Super Bowl banner unfurled, curtain raised on 2014 season as Seahawks host Green Bay

  • Article by: TIM BOOTH , Associated Press
  • Updated: September 3, 2014 - 5:21 PM
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FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2012, file photo, officials signal after Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate pulled in a last-second pass from quarterback Russell Wilson to defeat the Green Bay Packers 14-12 in an NFL football game in Seattle. It's been nearly two full years since the Packers and Seahawks met in the regular season, a game that forever became known as the "Fail Mary," for the disputed touchdown on the final play. Both teams say that result has no relevance to Thursday night's, Sept. 4, 2014, season opener, even if no one will ever forget the play. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, John Lok) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; SEATTLEPI.COM OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT; USA TODAY OUT; TV OUT

Photo: John Lok, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP

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SEATTLE — At some point they will take a moment to acknowledge the celebration taking place around them. Pete Carroll and his team will step back from an offseason focused on forgetting what happened in 2013 and for a brief second appreciate the festivities commemorating Seattle's first Super Bowl title.

Once the Super Bowl banner is unveiled, it will be time to embark on the quest to become the first team in a decade to repeat.

"There's a challenge every game, particularly opening game. After coming off the offseason and all that, there's always a big challenge," Carroll said.

Seattle will raise the curtain on the 2014 NFL season Thursday night hosting fellow NFC contender Green Bay. It's the first regular- season meeting between the teams since the "Fail Mary" two years ago when Seattle won on a disputed touchdown on the final play of a game that also helped bring an end to the use of replacement officials.

But history was not the focus for Seattle this entire offseason, whether it was a controversial win two seasons ago, or its 43-8 romp over Denver in the Super Bowl.

"I think the thing that really separates us is we always stay true to who we are," Seattle safety Earl Thomas said. "We're going to recapture what we did last year and add a few more things to it."

Green Bay knows about winning a title and the pitfalls of trying to repeat. Aaron Rodgers got his championship four seasons ago and followed up by going 15-1 in the 2011 regular season before being bounced in the divisional round of the playoffs by the New York Giants.

With the addition of Julius Peppers to the defense, a revamped secondary and Year 2 of Eddie Lacy creating a balanced offense, many pundits believe the Packers can dethrone Seattle in the NFC.

That test begins Thursday.

"This is a game that we've been in before after we won the Super Bowl. We know the excitement that surrounds it," Rodgers said. "It's a highly rated game. We're playing at a tough environment with the Super Bowl champions, so it's going to be a tough test for us."

Here are things to watch for as the season begins:

QUALITY QBs: Not a bad matchup of quarterbacks to begin the season with Rodgers and Seattle QB Russell Wilson taking center stage. Both led their respective offenses with precision during the preseason. Wilson led the Seahawks to scores on 11 of 13 preseason possessions, including nine touchdowns. Rodgers, who missed seven games last season with a collarbone injury, wasn't quite as dynamic in the preseason but the Packers' offense looked potent in his limited playing time.

WELCOME AND GOOD LUCK: Green Bay rookie center Corey Linsley and Seattle rookie right tackle Justin Britt get difficult introductions to the NFL. Linsley was thrown into a starting role when J.C. Tretter went down with a knee injury during training camp. His challenge will be trying to communicate with the rest of the offensive line and hear Rodgers' adjustments in the loudest stadium in the NFL.

"If I'm a rookie and I've got Brandon Mebane my first game — he's one of the best nose tackles in the league," Seattle linebacker Bruce Irvin said. "So it's going to be big for him. I'm going to pray for him. It's going to be a long night, man."

Britt won the starting job during training camp. And his NFL debut means having to slow down the pass rush of Clay Matthews and Peppers trying to create havoc off the edges.

SPEED AND MORE SPEED: The Packers and Seahawks want their offenses to use speed, but in different ways. The Packers want to push the tempo, going no-huddle and trying to keep opponents from getting their defenses set. Seattle will rely more on speed from the skill positions this season, taking advantage of a healthy Percy Harvin and rookie Paul Richardson.

EIGHT IS ENOUGH: Lost in the chaos of the final play two years ago was a miserable first half for Rodgers during which he was sacked eight times. Green Bay could not slow the pass rush of Irvin and Chris Clemons. The Packers went to a jumbo blocking unit in the second half and were finally able to slow Seattle's rush.

The personnel is different, but protecting Rodgers will be critical.

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Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 14 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 5
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 5 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: D. O`Day 3
Milwaukee - LP: J. Broxton 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Holdzkom 4
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: H. Kuroda 5
Washington - WP: D. Fister 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 2
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 3
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 5 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Cleveland - LP: K. Crockett 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: J. Burton 5
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 10 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Seattle - WP: T. Walker 10 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 5
Arizona - LP: C. Anderson 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. Lyles 15
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Lackey 2
Philadelphia - LP: D. Buchanan 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 3
Texas - WP: L. Bonilla 12 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 3
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: O. Despaigne 5
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Colorado 1 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 5
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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