<
>

Have Seahawks become an albatross for Aaron Rodgers, Packers?

play
Seahawks secondary a thorn in Rodgers' side (2:50)

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan explains why the Seahawks have had so much success against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in recent years. (2:50)

GREEN BAY, Wis. – In the 1990s, the Dallas Cowboys were an albatross for Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers.

They couldn't beat Dallas in 1993, 1994 or 1995. Three years in a row, the Cowboys knocked Favre & Co. out of the playoffs.

The Packers of today insist that's not the case with the Seattle Seahawks, who under coach Pete Carroll bring a three-game winning streak over Green Bay in to Sunday's game at Lambeau Field. Only one of those was a playoff game, but that one was the painful NFC Championship Game collapse last season.

"I can assure that we don't feel as if we're going into this game and we don't have a chance," Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said Wednesday.

Nevertheless, the Seahawks have become a mental hurdle as much as a physical one for the Packers – more specifically for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose performances in the three losses to Carroll's Seahawks don't match the rest of his body of work.

In regular-season losses in 2012 (the Fail Mary game) and 2014 combined with the NFC title game, Rodgers has combined to throw just two touchdown passes and three interceptions. This from the NFL's career leader in touchdown-to-interception ratio.

"If you go back to Cal-SC, when he completed 21 in a row or something that day, he had our number," said Carroll, who coached Southern Cal when Rodgers played at Cal. "So we're just trying to it even it up maybe.

"We're just playing the way we play. He's a great football player and they're a terrific team and offense, and we've just fortunate at times. I don't know about the numbers so much, but we've always had difficult games and challenges and all that, and we'll count on that again for sure."

Just about everyone in the Packers' locker room who was asked about it Wednesday was quick to point out that all three games have been in Seattle. For his part, Rodgers insisted there's no mental hurdle for him or his teammates to get over.

"It's football, you've just got to execute," Rodgers said. "It's tough to win on the road. We've been a formidable opponent at home. You've got to take care of the ones you get at home."

But the mind game might have played a part in one of both of last year's losses. In the regular-season meeting, Rodgers never once challenged Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. And in the playoff game, he rarely threw at Sherman, even after he sustained an elbow injury early in the fourth quarter that severely limited his arm movement.

"I don't think anybody's afraid of me," Sherman said Wednesday on a conference call with reporters at Lambeau Field. "I don't know. Maybe it's just in his progressions, other guys may have come open. It could be a number of factors."