The 2012 NFL season was known for several things: RG3 injures his knee in the playoffs, Adrian Peterson comes back off an ACL tear and breaks rushing records, Peyton Manning leaves the Colts, and Ray Lewis’s retirement. But nothing is more memorable from the 2012 season, than the replacement refs and their horrible officiating. No game that season displayed that terror on football more than the Green Bay Packers playing the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle on Monday Night Football September 24, when a Hail Mary gone wrong ends up being called a touchdown by one ref, and an incomplete pass by another. The touchdown call stood, and the Seahawks walked away with a win that had all NFL fans in a frenzy (unless you were from Seattle of course).
That game had longer ramifications than just a bad call on the part of some incompetent referees. That game very well was the difference between Green Bay getting a Wild Card game as the third seed, versus getting the second seed and sitting the first week. That game made the difference between the Packers having to see San Francisco at Candlestick Park versus facing them in Lambeau Field. This isn’t to say they would have won (as the 49ers had already beat them in Lambeau earlier that season), but it’s a whole different ball game playing in Lambeau in September versus playing in Lambeau in January. Yes, it’s fair to say that Monday night game may very well have been the most costly game on their schedule that year.
And now, Green Bay has a chance for some payback. But it won’t be easy.
The Packers and the Seahawks kick off the 2014 NFL Season this Thursday night, but Seattle is a different kind of team now. Russell Wilson was just a rookie back then. Now, he’s a veteran game manger. He’s a proven leader, and most importantly, he’s a Super Bowl Champion. The Seahawks defense is the best in the NFL at this point, and let’s not forget that Century Link Stadium isn’t exactly the easiest of places to play. That crowd is one of the loudest in all of sports. It will not be the same Seattle team that the Packers faced in 2012. But for that matter, it won’t even be the same Packers team. Aaron Rodgers will be coming off a season where he missed 9 games due to a collar bone injury, there is no star tight end in Jermichael Finley (not fully cleared from spinal cord injury he incurred last season), nor is there a James Jones on the opposite side of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Despite the absence of Aaron Rodgers for the Packers, and with the emergence of Marshawn Lynch as a dominate running back for the Seahawks, their 2013 numbers show offensively, this should be a very good game.
I would like to think that the Packers will bring the noise and bring their A-game this Thursday. Aaron Rodgers will be back where he belongs, behind center, and behind him, he will finally have a solid running back in Eddie Lacy, entering his sophomore season with Green Bay. This game will be close, but not “Fail Mary” close. A touchdown, maybe. In the end, I give Seattle the edge. There is just way to much power in that defense. Playing on the road alone will prove to be a challenge to start the season, and I just don’t think Green Bay will pass.
Green Bay 20- Seattle 27