Week 1 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Green Bay Packers
- QuarterbackThere’s a good reason the Seahawks have won the NFC West in three of the last five years and been to the playoffs the other two seasons. Head coach Pete Carroll pushes his team much harder than other leaders in the preseason, and this team is ready to play. Russell Wilson is a top-level quarterback who makes the key throws at big moments.While Tom Brady has five Super Bowl rings and is generally considered to be the best quarterback in NFL history, Aaron Rodgers may be the better passer and is a threat to take the throne as the game’s best quarterback. He is unfailingly accurate, can get away from the rush and buy time for his receivers and is at his best when the game is on the line.
- OffenseThe Seahawks would like to see Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy give them a strong ground game that takes pressure off of Wilson. Lacy would like nothing better than to march into Green Bay and show his old team that they should not have let him go. Doug Baldwin is a superb receiver who can make huge plays, while tight end Jimmy Graham appears to be getting back to his best form.Ty Montgomery has been a find at the running back position, and he has excelled since head coach Mike McCarthy gave him an opportunity. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry on 77 attempts last year. Jordy Nelson is a brilliant receiver who can break games open with his speed and escapability. Davante Adams is a sensational complementary receiver and Martellus Bennett will provide an upgrade at the TE slot.
- DefenseThe defense has been the backbone of the Seattle program for years, and this unit brings a nasty attitude and tremendous skill on an every-week basis. Michael Bennett is a force on the defensive line and he will line up at various spots. Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner may be the best all-around player on the team. Earl Thomas is an enforcer in the secondary.The Packers must show quite a bit of improvement on defense this year if they are going to have a chance to finish their season with a Super Bowl appearance. They are particularly vulnerable against the pass, as they ranked 31st in passing yards allowed last year. FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is a key-play maker who will stay on the field every snap, but he will get beaten too often.
- Special TeamsThe Seahawks have been known for their consistent special-teams play through the years, but there was some slippage last year. Steven Hauschka left through free agency and former Viking Blair Walsh takes over at the PK spot. Tyler Lockett is a dangerous returner as long as he is healthy.The Packers have struggled to a degree in their kickoff and punt coverage, but there was some improvement and they are more respectable in that area. While Mason Crosby is an excellent placekicker in the clutch, rookie Justin Vogel is unproven at punter.
This should be a memorable battle between the Green Bay offense and the Seattle defense, and the Packers rate the slight edge because they have Rodgers and the home field. Look for a tight, well-played game between these two excellent teams.