Not too long ago, Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks games meant a lot more to fans of both teams. It was teacher vs. pupil, coaching hero vs. the football-mad small Wisconsin city to which he brought a Super Bowl championship. Things have changed, but in 2012 these teams are 1-1 and the Seahawks are currently the NFL's best team on Monday night (.680 win percentage).
Expect that winning percentage to go up.
In the past, Mike Holmgren was that coach, and Brett Favre his prized protege. Holmgren had been the Packers' coach that took them to a Super Bowl XXXI title before becoming the Seahawks' coach, which he was from 1999 to 2008. Whenever the Seahawks and Packers met -- and it happened often during the Holmgren era in Seattle -- the talk would always turn to the synergy both he and Favre had in those days together.
There's a new cast of characters for this meeting. Pete Carroll is Seattle's ever-positive coach. Only a couple of players remain from the Holmgren era. The Packers are trying to get back to the Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgersfirmly in command at quarterback, while one of the NFL's more underrated teams, the Seahawks, toils in relative obscurity in the upper corner of America and enjoys a home-field advantage that is arguably the league's best.
The pick for this game, after the jump:
Green Bay was impressive in a win over the Chicago Bears in Week 2, but exposed by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1. The Seahawks could easily be 2-0 if not for execution issues in the red zone at Arizona in Week 1. Russell Wilson will be a challenge at quarterback for the Packers defense despite the presence of NFL defensive great Clay Matthews. Wilson can run and has a strong arm, and when if he struggles in the passing game, the Seahawks can bulldoze with running back Marshawn Lynch.
The Packers will find out what other teams have -- Seattle's secondary is big, physical and will challenge Rodgers and his receivers.
Pick: Seattle wins its sixth straight Monday night game, thriving in the rare national spotlight on the Northwest. It's a close game, but the Packers will have problems in that crowd noise. A close game, but Seahawks beat the four-point spread and win.