Former Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears safety M.D. Jennings will forever be known for one thing — the now-infamous interception that never was and a would-be victory that many Packers fans still believe was taken from them due to poor officiating.
Now, two years later, the Packers and Seahawks will relive the memories of that game when they meet in Seattle on Thursday night. It will not only be a battle between two of the strongest teams in the NFC, but will also showcase two of the best teams in the league as well. A win for the Packers would set them off on the right foot in the division standings, while a loss could open the door for teams such as the Bears to strike early in the season and get out in front of the standings.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at how the Packers and Seahawks match up and which team holds the advantage:
Offense: Green Bay
– The Packers finally found the answer to all of their problems in the running game with Eddie Lacy. Package him with the likes of receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb — along with quarterback Aaron Rodgers — and the Packers should find themselves with one of the best offenses in the league this season.
– The Seahawks are simply the best defense in the league at this point and feature several players who are the best at their given position, including cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas. The Packers’ defense will rely heavily, as always, on linebacker Clay Matthews and newcomer Julius Peppers.
Special Teams: Seattle
– Any team that features Percy Harvin as its kick returner holds a huge advantage over its opponent. It’s only a slight advantage in this situation though as the Packers have a solid returner themselves in Randall Cobb. Seattle also holds a slight advantage in the kicking game with punter Jon Ryan and kicker Steven Hauschka.
– Say what you will about Pete Carroll, but the Seahawks coach has the love and respect of his players and simply knows how to win. Packers coach Mike McCarthy has a much quieter (and less annoying) demeanor than Carroll, but gets equally positive results from his team and players.
– Bottomline, this game is in Seattle and the “12th Man” will certainly play a role. Seattle should be able to come away with a victory, but it certainly won’t be easy.
What Bears Fans Should Watch Closely:
– Bears fans already know what to expect from the Green Bay offense, but it’s the defense that deserves a close look during Thursday’s game. It will be curious to see how Matthews and Peppers work together to put pressure on Wilson, especially with nose tackle B.J. Raji lost for the season. The Packers are weakest at the safety position, much like the Bears, and may rotate in several players throughout the game, including rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
No matter the outcome of tonight’s game, Bears fans should have a pretty good idea of the tough competition that the Bears will ultimately have to defeat if they hope to make the Super Bowl this season.