The last Packers' trip to Seattle is popularly known as the "Fail Mary" game. Around Green Bay, it's remembered for the eight sacks absorbed by Aaron Rodgers in a raucous atmosphere.
"We didn't really anticipate the noise level," guard T.J. Lang explained this week, via ESPN Wisconsin. "We didn't really know how loud it was going to be. We're going into this game anticipating that we're not going to be able to hear (expletive)."
A generous portion of training camp was devoted to preparation for the Super Bowl champions. For the first time in the McCarthy era, the Packers began piping in loud music this summer as the coaches installed a no-huddle offense.
"No one could hear," Jordy Nelson said, via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "The music emphasized communication. It (Seattle) is the toughest place there is. I actually think Seattle will be louder (than the practice field)."
Because the Packers believe it will be tougher to huddle up and communicate verbally, they are relying on visual cues and signaling at the line of scrimmage in an uptempo attack.
"Coach made it clear from day one that we want to run as many plays as possible," Lang added. "Our goal is 75 plays a game. We had somewhere in the mid-60s last year."
The no-huddle fireworks left preseason opponents dazzled by the tempo and lethal proficiency.
"Man, they looked goooooood," Raiders receiver James Jones said two weeks ago, via ESPN.com. "They looked like they were in midseason form. A-Rod is the man in that offense. They're doing a lot of quick games, giving the receivers a chance to get the ball in their hands, make some plays for Aaron. But they looked good. They looked real explosive."
Raiders teammate Charles Woodson seconded Jones' assessment, labeling Rodgers' no-huddle attack "a beast."
The Packers fully realize the Broncos brought their own high-octane, no-huddle scheme into Super Bowl XLVIII, only to be summarily dismissed by a historically great Seahawks defense.
McCarthy is counting on a balanced attack, with the one-two punch of Eddie Lacy's smashmouth running style and Rodgers' superior arm and athletic ability making the difference. If they can get tone-setting Pro Bowl strong safety Kam Chancellor on a yo-yo instead of patrolling the middle of the field, they can succeed where Denver failed.
"Run, pass, score," Lang said of the Packers' game plan. "We have the best quarterback in the league. It's all about playing fast."
Here is what else has changed about Green Bay's outfit this year:
» Last week, Pro Bowl left guard Josh Sitton said this was the best offensive line he has seen in seven seasons with the Packers. Lang is emerging as a weekly asset at right guard, and Bryan Bulaga has returned from an ACL tear to solidify right tackle.
» The coaches and players have talked all offseason about fixing a defense that ranked in the bottom third of the league for the second time in three years.
"I say it a lot: We need to be accountable to our offense," linebacker AJ Hawk told NFL Media's Albert Breer this week. "We got Aaron (Rodgers) throwing the ball around. We got a ton of other weapons around him. We need to find a way to get some turnovers, get the ball back to them and kind of stand up as a defense finally."
To that end, the Packers have upgraded the secondary with the drafting of safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and an increased role for hybrid safety-cornerback Micah Hyde. They have a pair of breakout candidates at defensive end in Mike Daniels and 2013 first-round pick Datone Jones. They return All-Pro caliber pass rusher Clay Matthews and star nickelback Casey Haywardfrom debilitating injuries.
The biggest reason for that optimism? The presence of potential Hall of Famer Julius Peppers opposite Matthews.
The latest "Around The NFL Podcast" previews the Packers-Seahawks opener and announces nominees for the new "Team of ATL."