Packer Perspective: First quarter can set foundation for Packers season

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers calls a play in the first half during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT
ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers calls a play in the first half during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT /

Achieving Aaron Rodgers‘ goal of hosting the NFC Championship Game won’t come easy, but the Green Bay Packers can set the foundations in the first quarter of the season.

As the curtain raises for the opening act of the regular season this Sunday afternoon, a packed Lambeau Field will watch on as two NFC heavyweights collide on the league’s most famous turf.

For the Packers, setting the tone early on will show this team has moved past its NFC Championship humbling in Atlanta eight months ago.

Fifteen short minutes could define the outcome of a mouthwatering Week 1 showdown, just as it did when these two teams met last season. With a 7-3 lead as the first quarter came to a close, the game looked far more lopsided than the scoreline suggested.

Rodgers had ripped through the “Legion of Boom” on the opening series, connecting with Davante Adams for a 75-yard touchdown. Defensively Dom Capers’ unit looked ready for the fight, restricting Seattle’s high-powered offense to three points just a week after it had dropped 40 points and 534 total yards on the Carolina Panthers.

This Sunday the Packers have an opportunity to show their intent early and secure an impressive victory over their rivals. But the first quarter isn’t limited to the opening 15 minutes against Seattle, rather the Packers’ first four games of the season.

Green Bay’s opening “quarter” is as tough as it gets. Following the visit of Seattle is a trip to Atlanta’s brand new home. For the second year in a row the Packers will help open up a new stadium in Week 2.

More from Green Bay Packers News

After contests with two of the past three NFC Champions, the Packers collide with the Cincinnati Bengals, the only team Aaron Rodgers has never beaten. A.J. Green will give Dom Capers’ new-look secondary all it can handle.

Four days later the Bears come to town. On paper the Packers are the stronger team, but divisional games should never be overlooked. Chicago has won on two of its past four visits to Lambeau.

What’s important to note is that three of Green Bay’s opening four take place at Lambeau. If they have any intention of staying home throughout the playoffs, successfully navigating through the first “quarter” of the season is vital. That statement looks all the more true when you factor in Green Bay’s fifth and sixth opponents of the season, Dallas and Minnesota, both on the road.

When the Packers are on top form, they are almost unbeatable at Lambeau Field. What we saw in their dominant six-game winning streak to finish the regular season last year needs to be the sign of what’s to come in 2017.

Rodgers is right when he says his team needs to secure home-field advantage. Winning on the road in the postseason isn’t easy; it puts the visiting team on the back foot. Securing the No. 1 seed would place all playoff opponents firmly behind the eight ball, forcing them to not only beat Aaron Rodgers, but also the frigid Wisconsin weather.

Next: Top 30 moments in Green Bay Packers history

In the next four weeks Green Bay will meet two potential playoff rivals. Three of the next four take place at home.

Starting the season hot might make all the difference later in the year. For that reason, the Packers must come out of the first “quarter” in good shape.