Packers vs. Seahawks: 5 reasons NFC Championship isn’t like week 1

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Oct 12, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) calls an audible at the line of scrimmage as Green Bay Packers guard T.J. Lang (70) and Green Bay Packers center Corey Linsley (63) listen at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

4.) Corey Linsley 

When it was announced that rookie center Corey Linsley was going to get the start Week 1, the Seattle defense turned into a bunch of sharks circling some bloody chum.

Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin was quoted saying “I’m going to pray for him,” and “It’s going to be a long night, man” regarding the rookie center.

Linsley held his own that game, and is becoming one of the best centers in the league in just his first year.  With Linsley at the helm, Green Bay’s offensive line has played its best football in years, and has sent guard Josh Sitton to the Pro Bowl.

What makes Linsley’s performance so important this season is that it gives Green Bay a set offensive line.  It gives them five men they can put out on the field week in and week out, which is something Green Bay hasn’t experienced since the days of Chad Clifton, Marco Rivera, Mike Flanagan, Mike Wahle, and Mark Tauscher.

Linsley is now able to anchor this offensive line, has the experience of directing a unit, and the ability to play in big games; all as a rookie.

With Rodgers being limited in terms of mobility, the line will need to play at the same all-pro level they have been.  With no injuries, there is a very good chance they can.

Next: Unmistakable stakes