Pregame warmup: Kickoff to 2014 fast approaching

Posted by Mike Spofford on September 4, 2014 – 6:29 pm

SEATTLE — Lots of pageantry will precede tonight’s season-opening showdown between the Packers and Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.

The Seahawks are slated to unveil their Super Bowl champions banner, earned by defeating the Denver Broncos back in February in Super Bowl XLVIII. Kickoff is less than an hour away. Here’s the latest from Seattle.

The matchup: Seattle had the league’s best defense a year ago, and the Packers plan to attack with their up-tempo, no-huddle style that produced 32 points in eight preseason series with QB Aaron Rodgers at the helm.

That’s at the top of the marquee in this marquee matchup. For a more in-depth look at it, click here.

Defensive debut: The most significant free-agent acquisition by the Packers in eight years will make his debut tonight, DE/LB Julius Peppers. The former Carolina Panther and Chicago Bear signed with the Packers back in March, Green Bay’s biggest splash in free agency since signing Charles Woodson back in 2006.

Peppers and Clay Matthews give the Packers their most prolific pair of pass rushers in defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ six-year stint in Green Bay, which began when Matthews arrived as a first-round draft pick in 2009.

The last time … : Green Bay’s last visit to Seattle won’t soon be forgotten, if ever. In the infamous “Fail Mary” game, the Packers lost 14-12 on a disputed touchdown on the game’s final play.

The two players most closely associated with that play, Packers S M.D. Jennings and Seahawks WR Golden Tate, are no longer with these teams. Coincidentally, both signed in the offseason with NFC North rivals — Jennings with Chicago and Tate with Detroit.

Kickoff opener: The Packers last appeared in the NFL Kickoff Opener in 2011, as the defending Super Bowl champs hosting the New Orleans Saints. This is Green Bay’s first appearance in this game as the road team.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy is 1-2 in his head coaching career against the defending Super Bowl champion, having beaten Baltimore last year. For more on that, check out “One Last Look.”

Weather update: Conditions are ideal. Temperature at kickoff is expected to be around 70 degrees, with winds at 10 miles per hour or less throughout the game. There is no rain in the forecast.

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