NFL: Only the Green Bay Packers can stand up to the Seattle Seahawks
It seems the NFL thinks the Green Bay Packers are the only team that can match up sufficiently in a prime time game at CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field.
Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports photograph
With the report yesterday by Curtis Crabtree of NBC Sports that the NFL is “wary” of scheduling the Seattle Seahawks in prime time games at home, one can only think that the league officials are pretty confident in the Green Bay Packers.
In fact, it’s the Packers that were the last team to give the Seahawks a prime time battle in the Pacific Northwest – their 14-12 loss in the now-famous “Fail Mary” game of 2012.
Since then, according to the report, the Seahawks have beaten the 49ers 42-13 and 29-3 on Sunday night the past two seasons, and their Monday night game at home last December against the Saints wasn’t even close – Seattle destroyed the Drew Brees-led Saints 34-7.
Aaron Rodgers is tackled by Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (69) at CenturyLink Field. Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports photograph
And that’s why he Seahawks have just one home prime time game this season, the league opener Sept. 4 against the Packers. The league frowns on blowouts, especially in prime time. Advertisers and league officials don’t want fans clicking off to watch re-runs of the Big Bang Theory or a made-for-TV crime movie at halftime of the game. They want to keep them on the edge of their seats.
Though the Seahawks are the champions of the American football world, the league surely has confidence in an Aaron Rodgers-led Packers team giving the Seahawks all they can handle on prime time. That should also be reassuring to Packers Nation that also feels the Packers can give the Seahawks a battle, even if it’s at the loudest stadium on the planet.
That’s why the league opted not to open the season with what many thought was the most logical matchup – against their West Division rival San Francisco 49ers. As has already been noted, the Seahawks have easily handled the Niners during previous regular season prime time matchups. The League doesn’t want to take the chance that will happen again.
So, it’s good to see they’ve got confidence in the Packers to bring their A-game to Seattle. It’s also pretty clear that the league isn’t going to give Seattle prime time home games because of the fact that they beat most teams handily in those games.
Crabtree reports that Green Bay, Philadelphia, Denver and Dallas all host three nationally-televised games this upcoming season. Another 15 teams host two in primetime. The Seahawks get one at home.
Not only is Green Bay looking for vindication in this opener, they are looking to take a positive step in the direction of another championship. If the Packers beat the Seahawks on the road, in the league season opener and with the entire world watching, it will be a huge step for the franchise and the league.
But if the Packers don’t win but keep it close, it will also show the world that parity in the league is alive and well. It will also be an indication that this season opener won’t be the last time these two teams will meet in 2014. Something tells me these two teams will meet again somewhere down the road …