The opening game of the 2014 NFL season is upon us, as the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks, play host to the Green Bay Packers.
You may remember the last time this matchup occurred in 2012, as the Seahawks prevailed 14-12 in what came to be known as the "Fail Mary" game that may or may not have sped up the end of the replacement game officials.
What you may not remember from that night was that Aaron Rodgers was hit so many times that it was reminiscent of Jay Cutler's 9-sack piñata game against the New York Giants in 2010; Pete Prisco has an interesting breakdown of how the Seahawks got after Rodgers in that game, eventually causing him to jump at pressure when there wasn't any there.
That's something to keep an eye on tonight as, like it or not, the road to the playoffs will most likely come down to beating Green Bay at least once. A lot of that will depend on whether or not the Packers can get their running game going, in a way that they didn't against the Seahawks two seasons ago, the difference being that now they have Eddie Lacy to pound the ball. On the other side of the ball, can their run defense hold up with lighter bodies on the D-line?
Another interesting nugget, courtesy of the Associated Press, is that the Seahawks are 15-1 at home during the regular season in the past two years. Of course, we saw for ourselves not long ago just how tough it is to play there...
Other than that, you're no doubt already aware of the major storylines involving our divisional rivals - whether Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix can improve their defensive secondary, if Julius Peppers can still raise his game and take some pressure off Clay Matthews - so we'll leave you with a reminder to Open Thread Responsibly [Tm].
Force of habit: Article pic in hi-res.