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February 24 2018, 06:01 | Sammy Rose
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
While clarity for a season that lasts 17 weeks isn't going to come in Week 1 - sometimes it doesn't come until December - it's fair to label the Packers and Seahawks as prime contenders. The Seattle Seahawks, on the other hand, seemingly struggled in every game thanks to lackluster offensive line play. Frankly, other than the last five minutes of the 2014 NFC Championship Game, the Packer defense has had Seattle's number.
Here's a breakdown of each quarter. This year the Packers - a team that typically depends on the draft to reload its roster - signed five free agents, a much more aggressive offseason than fans typically see from Ted Thompson, who is in his 13th season as Green Bay's general manager.
The closest they came to a touchdown was on an interception by defensive tackle Nazair Jones that he returned to the end zone before it was called back on an illegal block in the back. That's far from the only negative.
Last season the Green Bay Packers went on a roll in the second half of the season that almost took them to the Super Bowl. The Packers let him go after season-ending ankle surgery in October-and two 1,100-yard rushing seasons before that. "Part of me wants to, but I don't want to get pushed down".
Seattle's offense, which did nearly nothing for the first 29 minutes of the half, struck for back-to-back big plays to take a 3-0 halftime lead. The secondary may not be as feared as it once was, but it will certainly make life hard on Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, and Devante Adams. If Seattle can create a nice balance on offense than the Seahawks will have a great shot of picking up a big road win.
The last time the visiting team won a game in this series was October, 2008. Coach Pete Carroll said the team would take the choice of whether to play or sit Seattle's lead running back up to Sunday afternoon just before kickoff.
Tight end and mismatch nightmare Jimmy Graham, who was starting to regain his previous form past year, was held to just one catch against the Packers. Both were back in action by the end of the half ... The Legion of Boom is the heart of the Seattle defense, and they've been missing members in each of their previous encounters with Green Bay.
It will be interesting to see how the Packers play this scheme against Seattle, but we really don't need to imagine too much. They were 7-1 at home and 3-4-1 on the road. The Seahawks responded with their longest sustained series, driving 71 yards over 11 plays thanks to some impressive plays by Chris Carson and Paul Richardson, but they stalled out at the Packers' 3 and had to settle for another Blair Walsh field goal. And the pass rush that now might be the envy of every defense in the National Football League following the addition of Sheldon Richardson looked as good as advertised, sacking Rodgers four times and moving him off his spot several others. If he does, the Seahawks will have to pay a bunch to keep him from leaving. The defense showed flashes of its old self, with free safety Earl Thomas once again at full health after a gruesome leg injury in week 14 of the 2016 season.
Green Bay held the Seahawks to just 225 total yards of offense and did not allow a touchdown. This year, at least one, when the Seattle Seahawks travel to Green Bay to face the Packers.