But now, both teams are 1-1, and the Seattle defense has been lights-out through two weeks of play. To top it off, Seattle is at home in primetime against the Packers, and you can bet Seahawk faithful will show up and be extremely loud in defense of home field advantage.
For the Packers, the prolific offense has been less-than-stellar, and the defense is a work in progress, though the seven sacks and four interceptions of Jay Cutler in Week 2 were positive steps in the right direction.
Seattle will look to establish Marshawn Lynch on the ground to pull off the unlikely upset and start the season 2-1. Keep reading for all the information you'll need on the matchup, including programming and who to start on your fantasy football team.
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
When: Monday, Sept. 24 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Listen: Sirius 92 and 93; Westwood One (check local station programming)
Spread: Green Bay -3.5 (via Bovada)
A little closer than you expected for a team just two years removed from Super Bowl, huh? That's what Seattle does to people. Just ask the Dallas Cowboys, who were all but humiliated in their recent trip to the Northwest.
Now, the Packers are a more accomplished team than the 'Boys and playing on Monday night will benefit them more than Seattle. But with an unpredictable, often susceptible-to-big-plays defense, I see this one being close.
I'm taking the Seahawks to cover, simply because the Seattle defense is so under-rated and the home field factor will help Seattle have a chance to win this game late in the fourth quarter via field goal or a Russell Wilson game-winning drive.
Over/Under: 45 (via Bovada)
Take the under. The Seahawks haven't played a game above 37 on the O/U scoreboard yet this season, and playing on Monday night under the lights, that trend won't change.
No matter that Green Bay might have the most explosive offense in the league. I don't see the Packers putting up more than 24 this weekend, and maybe less if Seattle can collapse the pocket and get to Aaron Rodgers the way they did against Tony Romo.
Expect a Seattle special teams play in this one, too, and a low-scoring battle, at least by the Packers lofty standards
Injury Reports (via CBSSports.com)
WR Randall Cobb, hamstring, questionable
WR Greg Jennings, groin, questionable
LB Nick Perry, wrist, probable
RB James Starks, toe, questionable
DL Johnny Jolly, suspended indefinitely
WR Doug Baldwin, shoulder, questionable
RB Marshawn Lynch, back, questionable
CB Byron Maxwell, hamstring, questionable
TE Zach Miller, foot, questionable
Fantasy Big Plays
Green Bay—TE Jermichael Finley
It would be fitting for the Packers tight end to go off after his agent's comments early this week about his quarterback not being a great leader.
@joe_smith07 ARod is a great QB he isn't a great leader. There's a major difference. Leaders take the blame & make every1 better. He doesn't— Blake Baratz (@blakebaratz) September 14, 2012
It's clear that was a ploy for publicity, but I doubt it's going to affect Rodgers, his receiving targets or the rest of this team. Finley is due for a big day, and after Seattle got lucky all game against the Cowboys by leaving Jason Witten open to the tune of three or four drops, I don't think they have the coverage skills to match up with the talented pro.
Predicted Stats: 4 Catches, 92 yards, 1 TD
Seattle—QB Russell Wilson
With focus on stopping Lynch and the running game and the Packers likely playing a lot of man coverage in the secondary, it's going to be up to Wilson to beat these Packers.
Not only does that bode well for him in the passing game, but he should have some running lanes on the outside if the Packers are stuffing the box.
Of course, that's not to underestimate the Packers' intense pass-rushing attack. Wilson will likely take a couple sacks in this one. But I think he gets a chance to beat this team by himself, and he responds with some solid fantasy numbers, if you have the gall to start him this week.
Predicted Stats: 20-of-32, 239 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT; 8 rushes, 39 yards, 1 TD
Key to Green Bay Win: Steady Offensive Production
Seattle has a great front seven, and they disrupt the running and passing game with different personnel. Green Bay can exploit them in the middle of the field, however, where wideouts Jordy Nelson and Finley will be too quick for the linebackers to stay with.
I don't think Green Bay has many big plays against this defense. What they can do, however, is wear down the defense with a good mix of possession football and unexpected runs, since they certainly have the talent at QB to do whatever necessary to win.
Key to Seattle Win: Russell Wilson
If Green Bay needs to play possession football, Seattle needs a big play to knock off the favored Packers. You can bet they'll gear up to stop the run, and when Seattle needs a play on third down, can Russell Wilson take advantage of one-on-one coverage with Golden Tate and Sidney Rice?
He's going to have the chance to prove that he can, and if he does make the defense pay with a couple big plays down the field, Seattle has a great chance to be in the game in the final stages.
While Seattle makes this close and covers the spread, Aaron Rodgers reminds us how clutch he is with a fourth quarter drive for a Mason Crosby field goal and the eventual win.
Predicted Final Score: Green Bay 21, Seattle 20
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