Russell Wilson

Oh, is it football season? Well, sure enough! Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks kicks it all off and here’s how we’re picking the game.

Shawn Neuser (0-0): First let me get it off my chest that I HATE starting a football season on a Thursday. A football season should start on a Sunday, not on a damn work day, and everyone should start on the same day so that there is a true celebration to the start of the football season. So, as lame as it is for ANYONE to play on a Thursday in week 1, the lameosity rises 100-fold when it’s the Green Bay Packers.

It is essentially a lose-lose situation. If the Packers win, you’ll be pumped for more and annoyed that you have to wait 10 days to see another game. If the Packers lose, it will be twice as bad.

Regardless, the NFL should have picked themselves a winner as far as games to open the season with. As good as the Seahawks are likely to be, the Packers haven’t been outclassed by anyone since 2006 and should be able to stay in the game. Though the 2013 Denver Broncos may statistically have been the greatest offense of all time, I think the Packers offense might be the truest test of the Seattle defense.

In a match up of great offense versus great defense, I believe the offense has the advantage as long as it can stay balanced. Any offense with a one-sided attack is going to get throttled by a quality defense. The Broncos never got the running game going in the Super Bowl and paid the price. In Eddie Lacy, the Packers have something that the Broncos didn’t. If Lacy can get going, the Seahawks defense, as formidable as it is, ends up in the same quandary as anyone else. The Packers scored on every possession that Lacy was in the game this preseason. Of course, that’s preseason and the Packers never faced anything like the Seahawks defense at home.

The Seahawks would be remiss to not go after rookie center Corey Linsley with stunts and linebacker blitzes. No one knows how well he will hold up. Linsley has talked about playing in the Big House in college, but against this defense in this stadium, Dorothy will quickly discover that he ain’t in Kansas anymore.

I believe that Lacy and Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson are the keys to the game. If Lacy can average better than three yards per carry, the Packers will put points on the board. If they do, then Russell Wilson will be obliged to answer. Wilson has not played particularly well in the game and a half of action that he’s had against the Packers defense. Wilson was not playing great ball at the end of last season. Fortunately for him, he didn’t need to.

Pete Carroll was allegedly going to let Wilson loose this season, at least, more than last year. Do we see another year of improvement from Wilson or is he going to plateau? We will see. One thing we know for sure is that he is a big game player and that he might have ample help from running back Marshawn Lynch. We have seen it all preseason, but the question still remains — can the smaller Packers defense hold up against a power running team?

One area where the Packers have a clear advantage is in how their defensive backs match up with Seattle’s receivers. If given time, I expect Wilson to go after the Packers’ safeties and linebackers — same as everyone else — but I think that if the defensive line holds up against the run, then the Packers’ secondary will make it hard on Wilson to carry the offense by himself.

I believe this game could go about a hundred different ways, but I am going to call it like this. I believe that Mike Daniels and company will hold up their end of the bargain and stifle the Seahawks’ running attack. I believe Wilson will be fine and make some plays, but I think the Packers secondary will make it difficult for him to put up consistent points. The Packers offense will find intermittent success. I think the Seahawks go ahead early before the Packers defense settles in. The Packers offense will make it interesting in the second half, but ultimately, I think once again that Wilson and the Seattle offense make the final play.

Seahawks 24, Packers 20

Oh, and watch out for the referees. We are going to find out just how serious the league is about enforcing pass interference, illegal contact and illegal hands to the face. The Seattle defense is notorious for holding in the secondary, but don’t expect the Packers to get all the calls because that just isn’t how the NFL rolls.

Andrew Chitko (0-0): First of all… football starting on a Thursday night is awesome! Why? Because it’s a few days before Sunday of course. That’s just three less days of hand-wringing, heart palpitations and overall eagerness about what has been missing in our lives for the past six months. I love the marquee Thursday night match up to start the year and I downright relish it when the Packers are involved. It’s almost as good as an additional bye week for the Green and Gold this year. No matter what happens in this first game versus the defending champs, the Packers will have more time to rest their week 1 weary bones and get significantly more preparation time than the New York Jets, their opponents in week 2. Granted, as noted previously by my esteemed colleague… win, lose or draw in week one and that wait for game two will be an excruciating one.

The Seahawks are a bunch of cheaters. They are led by the king cheater, who carries great credentials on his cheating resume. He deserted the college program he knew was about to get gutted and then had the audacity to say had he known they would face sanctions, he would have stayed to face the music. Laughable. He still hasn’t admitted the Fail Mary was a bad call. He dances and prances around the sideline like a little pansy rather than a respectable leader. He is considered by some to be one of the best coaches in the NFL. How he has the respect of anyone including his own players is anyone’s guess.

The stadium will be loud. The action will be fast and furious early and will undoubtedly be followed by fatigue, a familiar foe in the first football game of the year. Who will handle it better? The team with a history of performance enhancing drug users and illegal offseason full-contact practices must be considered the favorite over the team typically scared stiff of even getting near each other in training camp. Eddie Lacy would seem to thrive in this scenario of fatigue, but he will not be able to do it alone.

I think the Packers defense’s lack of fitness shows up in the fourth quarter as the Seahawks stretch their lead. The Packers will have opportunities to win, but red zone woes on offense and at least one dropped interception on defense will prove to be too much to overcome.

Seahawks 23, Packers 19

Monty McMahon (0-0): I could care less when this game is played. The Seahawks can lick the sweat off my taint.

It’s not so much the team that I’m developing a healthy dislike for, it’s the fans. They’re a bunch of Johnny Come Latelys who suddenly think they know shit about football because they followed their team for one season and that team happened to win the Super Bowl.

I have a friend from Spokane. She has a shirt that says “I Like Big Sacks,” followed by “Legion of Boom.” I made the comment that hey, you realize the Legion of Boom is a nickname for your defensive backs and therefore your shirt makes very little sense?

She was completely unaware of this, of course, but one of her moron friends was quick with an argument that went something like this. “But yeah, our defensive backs make big sacks, like that one time so-and-so sacked such-and-such.”

I bowed out of the conversation at that point, but not before telling him I was dumber for listening to his argument.

But oh, I bet all of these morons are going to be loud tonight.

LOUD! CROWD NOISE! WE’RE NO. 1 AT CROWD NOISE! WOOOOOOOO!

[feigns masturbating motion with disinterested look on face]

My head tells me not to pick the Packers in this game, but my gut tells me something else. It tells me Seattle is going to be riding high, patting themselves on the back for winning the Super Bowl and soaking in all the adulation.

Because they know nothing of winning. Last year is the first time they’ve won shit.

I see Seattle coming in unfocused and overconfident. I see Green Bay coming in the exact opposite.

Hungry. Laser-focused.

I don’t care whose defense we’re talking about, I don’t see anyone stopping the Packers offense so long as Aaron Rodgers and Easy Eddie Lacy are upright. What every matchup is probably going to come down to for me is whether the Packers defensive line can do anything at all.

Over the long haul, I have my doubts. However, I think Seattle is going to be out of sync, so I don’t think the defensive line will HAVE to do much of anything.

Yeah, that’s right.

Packers 24, Seahawks 13

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