‘Fail Mary’ Rematch – Green Bay Looks for Revenge vs. Seattle
On Monday Night Football in 2012 the Green Bay Packers fell to Seattle on the famous 'Fail Mary' play.
Replacement referees ruled a touchdown in the endzone for Golden Tate. The Packers, meanwhile, thought M.D. Jennings intercepted Russell Wilson. Hence, the 'touchception' was created.
I remember sitting at my friend's house in college with a bunch of Packers fans and we couldn't believe what had just happened. It was the oddest, craziest game I've ever seen.
Fast forward to 2014, and now the Seahawks are opening up against the Packers as defending Super Bowl champions. Green Bay is hoping to spoil their homecoming and get a little revenge at the same time.
Aaron Rodgers is fully healthy. Heck, I even heard he did some yoga in the offseason to prepare for this year.
In the backfield, Eddie Lacy (1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns) is coming off an outstanding first year capped by being named Offensive Rookie of the Year. Plus, he's got a sidekick - DeJuan Harris.
The Packers lose James Jones at wideout, but return Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Jarrett Boykin. Rookies Davante Adams and Jeff Janis hope to make a mark, too.
This vaunted offense will have a tall task going up against Seattle's dangerous defense (led the NFL in by allowing 14.4 points and 273.6 yards per game).
If there's one question mark on offense, it will be at center. J.C. Tretter was lost for the year, and rookie Corey Linsley will need to step in and adjust quickly to the crowd's noise.
The defense is improved. Julius Peppers was signed away from the Chicago Bears and hopes to form a formidable duo with Clay Matthews.
The biggest loss, though, was losing B.J. Raji to a season-ending torn bicep injury. Look for former Iowa standout Mike Daniels to make an impact on the line, after he recorded six and a half sacks in 2013.
Peppers and Matthews will put pressure on the quarterback, but the biggest improvement must come from the secondary. The Packers allowed 26.8 points per game and 372.3 yards in 2013. Drafting Ha-Ha Clinton Dix, and re-signing Sam Shields were two big moves in the offseason to help this unit.
The defense won't have to worry about Tate, but will have to keep a healthy Percy Harvin in check.
Injuries: Brandon Bostick, Demetri Goodson, and Tretter are all out for the Packers. Brad Jones is probable. Cooper Helfet, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Christine Michael, Kevin Pierre-Louis, and Tharold Simon are all out for the Seahawks. Bruce Irvin, Jeremy Lane, and Kevin Norwood are probable.
Sam's Keys to the Game for the Packers:
On offense, Linsley needs to adjust fast to the noise of the '12th Man' and they need to develop the run game to give Rodgers time to throw in the pocket.
On defense, the Seahawks will test the Packers secondary and try to burn them with Harvin's speed. If they can get some stops and let Rodgers be on the field more than Wilson, Green Bay will have a good shot to spoil Seattle's homecoming.
Sam Tastad will have pre-and-post game report for the Packers all season long. Follow him on Twitter @samtastad and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.