This week, a lot of the focus in the outside world is going to be on last year.
Not for us. Think about it this way:
If you are in a game and someone beats you on a play — maybe beats you bad — and you keep focusing on just getting that person back or trying to show him up, you're going to miss your assignment, you're going to hurt your team and you're probably not going to win in the end.
It's the same way with this Packers game.
This is nothing more than the next game that we have to win. We're going to approach it that way and look at it that way. If we win, we'll have the same outcome that trying to get revenge could have gotten us, so we're just playing to win.
The media has more than enough backstory for this game. For us, we're just going to play the game and hopefully play it the way we know how to do it so we can get this win.
A big deal is made about the Packers' offense, and rightfully so. But their defense is full of superstars, too.
Charles Woodson is kind of like their Tony Gonzalez — someone who's getting up there in years but the talent hasn't dropped off. He's still able to do the things he needs to in order to make his team win. He's someone we have to know where he is at all times and look for him blitzing, double covering our guys and disrupting our offense.
Between him and Clay Matthews, BJ Raji and others — they have a lot of weapons that we have to neutralize in order to get the ball moving.
Helping that will be continuing to keep Matt Ryan off the ground. Last week, we did a good job of that.
We started off slow, and whether people want to blame it on the lockout or us having a slow start, regardless, it's unacceptable. It's our highest priority when it comes to the offensive group — the O-line, myself, tight ends — we've got to keep Matt healthy. We've got to keep him off the ground. We've got to keep him from getting sacked.
We took it personally and as a pride thing the first few games, not being able to protect him like we wanted to, so we made a pact — not a blood pact or anything — but we made a pact between ourselves that we're not going to let him get touched. That's something we're just going to carry on to the next game and the next game after that, because he's going to be a key component to us winning games this year and we need him for every single snap.
We're back in the Georgia Dome this week and I can't wait. The Dome is a special place for us. It's been special to me since I've been here.
Not only do our fans give us a great push when we have home games, but you want to win it for the city and the fans and let opponents know that the Georgia Dome is not a place they want to come into or a place they should take lightly.
They should always be worried, anxious and feel not quite right when they're in that Georgia Dome because we're a team that definitely rises up to the occasion.
No pun intended.