Packers Home Opener vs. Seahawks as Big as it Gets

If the Green Bay Packers are ever to get over the ‘hump’ and move ahead of the powerful Seattle Seahawks in the NFC, the time is now. There is a bitter taste in the mouths of the faithful and it is time to get rid of it.

If the Green Bay Packers are ever to get over the ‘hump’ and move ahead of the powerful Seattle Seahawks in the NFC, the time is now.

There is a bitter taste in the mouths of the faithful and it is time to get rid of it.

Just as the Dallas Cowboys were the Packers Kryptonite in the 90’s, the 2015 Seahawks represent a similar hurdle.  It was up to the Packers of ’96 to overcome that sizable obstacle in order to finally be able to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XXXI.  On Sunday we will begin to find out if these Packers can replicate that same feat.

The Packers of late have been stuck in low gear to start the season, posting marks of 1-2 in the past three years.  Included in that record was a 14 -12 loss in game three of the 2012 season and a 36 – 16 loss to open the 2014 season to these same Seahawks.  Coach Mike McCarthy has emphasized to his troops the importance of a fast start and vowed there will not be a repeat in 2015.

A fast start including a victory over Seattle would be huge.  The road to Super Bowl 50 begins for real in Green Bay Sunday night

This contest may not have come at a better time for the Packers.  The Seahawks have the look of team on the verge of cracking.

Seattle is coming off a tough overtime loss to their NFC West opponent the St. Louis Rams.  The Seahawks did not look particularly sharp in defeat.

Seattle allowed Russell Wilson to be sacked 6 times, he absorbed 7 hits and was forced into 13 hurries in its 34-31 overtime defeat on opening day in St. Louis. The culprit:  an offensive line that is nowhere near good enough.   Just two starters remain in position from the Super Bowl squad of last year.  Max Unger, their mainstay at center, was traded in the off-season as part of the package to land Jimmy Graham from the Saints.  In his place is DePere, WI native Drew Nowak, a converted Western Michigan defensive lineman.  Left Tackle Russell Okung has been the Seahawks best lineman, but he was charged with two of the sacks in St. Louis.  Right tackle Garry Gilliam and right guard Justin Britt have also not played well. 

On the defensive side of the ball the headlines are not rosy for the vaunted “Legion of Boom”.  One of the best defensive backfields of the past several years is far from dominant to date.  The decline began when right corner Byron Maxwell departed to join the Philadelphia Eagles via free agency.  Skilled nickel back Jeremy Lane, who suffered a gruesome wrist injury and a torn ACL on the same play in the Super Bowl, has not returned.  Free safety Earl Thomas is playing with a shoulder harness after off-season shoulder surgery.  To top it off there has been a very public, nasty holdout by All Pro safety Kam Chancellor with no end in sight.  To say that Chancellor’s considerable ball skills and ability to set the defense is missed would be an understatement.

And how about another distraction for Pete Carroll’s boys?  Enter Marshawn Lynch’s mother Delisa Lynch.  In a post on her Facebook page, Delisa called Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell "the worst play caller ever" and suggested that he gave the ball to Lynch in a crucial down Sunday (4th and one – he was stuffed for a loss) to make up for the interception that ended Super Bowl XLIX.  Ouch!

Delisa reminds us of Greg Jennings’ mouthy sister – a train looking for a wreck.

The Seahawks have been conference champions for the past two seasons.  However not since the Buffalo Bills of the 1990’s has there been a three-peat champion in either conference.  The Seahawks are finding that a third trip to the Super Bowl is a rough climb indeed.

The Packers are a 3½-point favorite at home to avenge their bitter overtime loss in the NFC Championship Game at Seattle. Green Bay is 0-3 at CenturyLink Field in the last three years.  Homey Lambeau Field and 80,000 boisterous Packers fans will be a welcome change for a snake-bitten team sick-and-tired of the 12th Man and the seemingly endless questions from the media regarding their inability to overtake the Seahawks.

There may not be a more anticipated regular season game in the past several years than this one.  It has it all:  redemption, vengeance, pride and putting the doubters in their place once-and-for-all.  Add in the ultimate prize with a win - having the inside track on home field for the playoffs - and you have what may end up being the game of the year.

Seattle is ripe for the picking.  It will now be up to Mike McCarthy and his crew to see it through for the victory.

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Comments (56)

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croatpackfan's picture

September 18, 2015 at 06:23 am

Good overview. I agree this game is probably the most winnable in last 2-3 years. Not only because it is playing on Lambeau...
I do not think it will be easy win, but every win is good win!

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EdsLaces's picture

September 18, 2015 at 07:06 am

Beatable definitely. A team on the verge of cracking cmon now. STL has best d line in football.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 18, 2015 at 07:16 am

I'm with Jeff on this. If Packers beat Seattle this week, you can expect lot of earthquakes in the Seattle locker room. Kam Chancelor issue is not to be underestimated... I think those guys are really strange bunch of the players. Russell is set up to leave NFL to MLB, very, very weak OL... DL is good to excellent, but lot of players in secondary plays under some injuries... This group is glued by success. If success is missing who knows what will be. Lets wait to see...

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dschwalm's picture

September 18, 2015 at 11:36 am

Any team in the NFL is "beatable" on any given Sunday, but to say the Packers will win against this team in the context of a very poor game by the
defence last week, is a bit of a stretch.
Wilson will give our defence all sorts of problems with the read option. Our inexperienced and incapable d-backs will be running in circles. The coup de gras: I believe that Carroll is a better coach than MM

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4thand1's picture

September 18, 2015 at 03:17 pm

No way Carroll is better than MM. He took over a young talented team with no cap issues. He's made back to back humungous dumbass play calls his last 2 games. He lost a SB and on sides kick last week to start OT? If MM did that I could just imagine this and other blogs exploding.

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NickPerry's picture

September 18, 2015 at 08:12 pm

I hate Pete Carroll but he didn't take over a talented team. Seattle made 284 roster moves in 2010 ALONE, Carroll and Schneider's 1st year together.

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NickPerry's picture

September 18, 2015 at 07:07 am

I posted this earlier but thought it was an interesting stat. Seattle is 2-20 when the opposing team scores 24 points, 2-20! The Seahawks are 19-21 on the road during the regular season under Carroll, actually 19-22 after last weeks road loss. I like Green Bay's chances this week, Seattle's ripe for an butt whipping!

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Oppy's picture

September 19, 2015 at 10:36 am

Yup, that's a fact.

And, my opinion is, and always has been, Russell Wilson isn't a top tier QB. All he has to do to win games is be the proverbial game manager. No secret that the Seahawks win games on defense.

The downfall of the Seahawks dominance started the second they paid Russell Wilson elite QB money. I actually thought Schneider was going to stick by his guns and let Wilson walk if his agent didn't start discussing reasonable numbers because deep down, his Packers front office training had taught him to never overpay talent.

Nope, he folded, and so will the Seahawks over the next 3 years as they wont be able to keep star defensive players any longer.

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chugwater's picture

September 18, 2015 at 07:16 am

'Cautiously optimistic' about this one. Really think AR's regained mobility helps us more than most people think. Hopefully BJ can play big up front to stuff Lynch. I think Datone will have a good game too against this weak line.

Still have Seattle pegged as a wildcard. Their O has too many liabilities.

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Dan Stodola's picture

September 18, 2015 at 09:16 am

I've been calling Bevell a terrible OC for years. How that guy is in the NFL is beyond me. A decent to bad college QB and now a bad OC in the NFL. Give me a year on the job and I could do a better job than him.

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4thand1's picture

September 18, 2015 at 03:19 pm

In your professional opinion?

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Dan Stodola's picture

September 18, 2015 at 03:47 pm

No. My expert opinion. LOL

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 18, 2015 at 09:24 am

So Seattle is hurting on the offensive line and the defense isn't the same.
Nothing is better than beating an assumed self beaten team or player deficient via injury etc.
Especially when we have used the same excuse/reason when beaten by the same opponent.

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 18, 2015 at 09:50 am

They maybe injured but don't forget they traded away their pro bowl center for Jimmy Graham. That definitely has impacted their OL play early on.

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porupack's picture

September 18, 2015 at 09:34 am

I think their Oline mess (if indeed it is) isn't particularly advantage GBP b/c of a mobile Wilson, and a one-man-sweep Lynch, able to force GBP pass rushers to be conservative (and to contain). Graham will do the damage in the middle and key on what CMIII does. If CMIII rushes, Graham slips into vacated spot. So hard to see GBP victory. I don't believe GBP will enjoy any evidence of Seattle's decline as you pose. I watched the STL game, and STL earned it. Seattle D was fast and excellent tacklers. Hoping for a great game though.

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Dan Stodola's picture

September 18, 2015 at 03:49 pm

I think Matthews will be the one keying on Graham, not vice versa.

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porupack's picture

September 19, 2015 at 12:53 am

Good point, but maybe both are set up as the 'Knights' in a physical chess match. Should be a great duel!

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egbertsouse's picture

September 18, 2015 at 09:39 am

Judging Seattle's OL as horrible after playing the Rams is a little premature, they have the best DL in the NFL. They may look a little better Sunday, our DL is playing OK but they are not the Rams yet.

MM's main goal should be keeping A. Rodgers healthy and that means giving Barclay some help. Do you hear that Mike!!!!

As much as I hate the Seachickens, I would rather see the Pack demolish the Forty-Whiners later this season, although it would not be as much fun as when Harbaugh was coach, seeing him go apoplectic on the sideline and maybe seeing his head explode. Seattle has lucked out with fluke plays and bad calls, SF has whipped up GB for the last few years.

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The TKstinator's picture

September 18, 2015 at 10:10 am

I'd be SHOCKED if Barclay doesn't get help. This isn't the preseason. I think Barclay's performance during preseason made it clear that he DOES need help.
Also wouldn't mind seeing Walker in there if Don B struggles.

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dschwalm's picture

September 18, 2015 at 11:40 am

In the pre-season, Barclay reminded me of Marshall Newhouse!

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Tundraboy's picture

September 18, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Oh God no.

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Imma Fubared's picture

September 18, 2015 at 05:31 pm

He wasn't that good

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barutanseijin's picture

September 18, 2015 at 09:30 pm

Newhouse was better.

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Oppy's picture

September 19, 2015 at 03:19 pm

The Packers under MM have shown many times in the past (for better or for worse) that when a player goes down, they typically don't change the game plan for, or give extra help to, the back up player- they simply expect them to find a way to get the job done.

I would be shocked to see Barclay (or whoever fills the void) get any extra help at the outset of the game. I wouldn't be shocked if they let him completely sink or swim.

If they do give help, i would suspect it would only come after Barclay struggled repeatedly for more than 3 or 4 series. The Packers tend to give back ups a number of drives to 'settle in' before they go all-in and change their scheme and game plan to accommodate. It's part of the accountability factor that is part and parcel to the 'next man up' philosophy.

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Green Machine's picture

September 18, 2015 at 10:33 am

Forget that the Packers can't tackle.
Forget that the Packers have a deplorable run defense and now have to face Lynch.
Forget that the Packers are, more often than not, inept when it comes to defending elite tight ends and now they have to face Graham.
Forget that Carroll has McCarthy's #.
Forget that the Lambeau crowd will be it's usual milk-toast, passive, quiet self.
Forget that the Packers go into this one down 4 preferred starters.
Forget that you'll see tons of Seattle jerseys in the crowd.
Forget that mobile quarterbacks make Capers look senile.

It all comes down to Rodgers showing up.

Enough of these 19/30, 220, 1/1 type games against elite teams.

If Rodgers isn't the best player on the field by A LOT, the Packers lose... again.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 18, 2015 at 10:36 am

Yes!!!!!!

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dschwalm's picture

September 18, 2015 at 11:44 am

An interesting and entertaining read, Green Machine. I have to agree with every one of your points. And I thought I was going to be vilified with my comments!
I especially liked your comment about Capers and mobile QBs. I think Vic, MM and TT are the only ones in Packerland who still think he's a capable DC

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Imma Fubared's picture

September 18, 2015 at 05:35 pm

The jury is still out on him. Could be he has crap players to work with. As Jimmy Johnson said, if you have a great coach and lousy players you end up with a couch with a lot of losses!

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NickPerry's picture

September 18, 2015 at 07:48 pm

Is that what's happening with Zimmer?

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NickPerry's picture

September 18, 2015 at 08:03 pm

Do you actually READ Vic?

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The TKstinator's picture

September 18, 2015 at 04:35 pm

All I hear is "moo".

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Green Machine's picture

September 18, 2015 at 04:43 pm

Damn.
You got me.
I'm out.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

September 18, 2015 at 05:34 pm

I feel what he said was true.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 18, 2015 at 10:38 am

Hoping that after last year, a healthy Rodgers, and it being the home opener, we win. Emotional game with ample motivation. They can beat Seattle if they have their minds set. Hoping for a great game and a great day for Rodgers. Last week's type of throws galore.

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JerseyAl's picture

September 18, 2015 at 11:38 am

I'm just glad Randall Cobb doesn't have to worry about Kam Chancellor lighting him up over the middle...

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EdsLaces's picture

September 18, 2015 at 03:09 pm

True....also Booo K STATE

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EdsLaces's picture

September 18, 2015 at 03:10 pm

Whoops meant for Tyler Lockett comment.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

September 18, 2015 at 05:35 pm

If only the Seahawks had to worry about us like that...

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Bohj's picture

September 18, 2015 at 12:14 pm

I like that our crowd will allow more of Rodgers vintage audibles and line adjustments presnap. The seahawks haven't been able to face this part of his game yet. Twelth man was too loud. Silent counts are fine.....but they make it tough on those last second things that Rodgers diagnoses so well. I see us running a nice no huddle through the first half and getting a good lead.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 18, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Agree. But need more than a half with our
D and coaching.

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Icebowler's picture

September 18, 2015 at 12:47 pm

Another worry: The Seahawks rookie kick returner Tyler Lockett.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

September 18, 2015 at 01:03 pm

Easy fix. Touchbacks.

Now, as far as punts, I don't know what to do. Masthay is just playing horrible. Kicking it out of bounds would make it even worse.

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Dan Stodola's picture

September 18, 2015 at 03:53 pm

Saechickins need to be worried about our rookie KR.

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4thand1's picture

September 18, 2015 at 04:06 pm

Yeah, WTF!? Didn't see Monty getting any ink for his efforts.

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EddieLee's picture

September 18, 2015 at 12:55 pm

The Seattle defense just isn't the same beast on the road then in that bloody noise box they call home. Isn't this Seattle team below .500 on the road the last few years? I think these two teams are comparable talent wise as a whole. Packer QB play and offense a good notch above Seattle and vice versa on defense. Vegas gives about 3 pts to the home team and that is the current line.

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NickPerry's picture

September 18, 2015 at 07:59 pm

Counting last week's loss the Seahawks are 3 games UNDER 500 on the road, 19-22 I believe under Carroll. It's gets worse in outdoor stadiums. They have only Sherman and Thomas left from the NFC Championship game. People keep yammering about how bad the Packers looked last week. Seattle gave up 34 points, TO THE RAMS!!! Neither team is playing up to their potential YET, but I'd bet on the Packers offense showing up and scoring at least 30. The question is can the Packers defense hold them to less? I say they can. 31-17 Packers.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

September 18, 2015 at 01:01 pm

Bring on the chip help at RT.

Crack backs and all. I want Lacy, Quarless and Rodgers thick ass popping the sh*t out of whoever is rushing from the left side before releasing into their route.

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Since'61's picture

September 18, 2015 at 04:00 pm

This game will be about the Packers defense stopping the run and the Packers being able to establish their ground game. Effective run game will slow down the Seattle rush, then AR can play action, roll out etc... and cut Seattle secondary to pieces. If we can stop Lynch (which means we've learned to tackle since last Sunday), Wilson will be forced to throw and with his OL we can get some sacks and TOs. I would like to see the Packers come out aggressive on offense and defense for once. Go Pack! Thanks, Since '61

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Tundraboy's picture

September 18, 2015 at 05:36 pm

Agree especially on the aggressive point. Hard to recall a game where I felt that they did. Well maybe NFC game but not anywhere near enough in recent big games. Seems like forever.

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Imma Fubared's picture

September 18, 2015 at 05:28 pm

Sorry but I bet against these guys. No pass run again this year, no outside speed at linebacker, and pass defense is suspect. Rogers and Lacy are not enough to beat these guys! Seattle has skill players all over the place!

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4thand1's picture

September 18, 2015 at 05:38 pm

you suck

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NickPerry's picture

September 18, 2015 at 08:01 pm

Are you still pissed about Monday Night Emma?

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4thand1's picture

September 18, 2015 at 09:11 pm

LOL, the queens made the 9ers look like the 9ers of 3 years ago.

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NickPerry's picture

September 19, 2015 at 07:18 am

I don't know why they still allow him to post. I was kicked off a Bears and Vikings site the first time I posted there by saying nothing but the truth. This dude is as delusional and negative as hell and just keeps coming back. SMH

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Oppy's picture

September 19, 2015 at 03:25 pm

Because we're not a Vikings or Bears forum. We can handle opposing opinions... Even if they are ill-informed or delusional.

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Oppy's picture

September 19, 2015 at 10:44 am

If the Seahawks really are in disarray as so many talking heads and analysts are claiming, then this game isn't any more important than any other NFC game on the schedule, because the Seahawks might not be contenders for home field advantage.

Division games > conference games > specific opponents at this point, because no one has any idea who will be leading the push for home field advantage until no sooner than week 10.

In other words, you want to win them all, because you just never know.

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