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Why the Packers never tested Richard Sherman

Ryan Wood
USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

It was impossible to hide the Green Bay Packers' passing game philosophy Thursday night.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (28) exchange words after their Week 1 game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Jarrett Boykin was the sacrificial lamb. The third-year receiver lined up on the right side of the field, across from Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, completely ignored. No catches. No targets.

The Packers tried to exploit No. 1 receiver Jordy Nelson's matchup against Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell. There were good moments – Nelson had nine grabs for 83 yards. There were also bad – Maxwell intercepted a pass that bounced out of Nelson's hands, arguably the game's turning point.

The Seahawks effectively took away half the field. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers barely ever looked to the right side. Rodgers only threw three passes to the right side of the field, according to Pro Football Focus. Two were thrown in the backfield.

The other 30 passes Rodgers threw were directed to the left, away from Sherman.

"I don't think you ever make a conscious decision not to throw to one side of the field," McCarthy said. "Frankly, it was more of a decision to put Jordy on the left and see if (Sherman) would come over and play him. They played their defense and obviously they did a heck of a job. I'm sure they feel good about where they are today.

"Frankly, it's easier for the receivers to stay to one side of the field than the other as far as what we were doing. Our plan was to run our stuff, line up as quick as we can."

-- rwood@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood