Stout vs. Seattle: Packers' defense fuels opening triumph

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The defense ranged from solid to spectacular, sacking Aaron Rodgers three times and enjoying some diving play from Earl Thomas and the secondary, even as Michael Bennett, Sheldon Richardson and Cliff Avril all went down with minor injuries on the defensive line. It seemed like the momentum might carry through the playoffs after a big divisional round win over the Giants, but, like the Seahawks, they were no match for the red-hot Falcons in the NFC championship game. The Seattle Seahawks took a slim 3-0 lead into the third quarter thanks to a Blair Walsh field goal late in the second. Actually, twice a year ago with JC [Tretter] locking up [Vikings safety Andrew] Sendejo after I scored and he hit me, and then the whole team coming to my defense - especially Randall [Cobb] and Tae [Davante Adams] - right away in Tennessee.

When Rodgers threw what appeared to be only the second pick-six of his career in the first quarter, a play that would have given Seattle at 7-0 early lead, it was called back because of a game-ejecting penalty on the Seahawks' Jeremy Lane. They're loaded with talent on that side of the ball, whether it's quarterback Aaron Rodgers or perhaps the deepest receiving corps in the NFL.

According to Pro Football Focus, outside linebacker Nick Perry, inside linebacker Blake Martinez and defensive lineman Mike Daniels were Green Bay's best players on Sunday against Seattle. But on Sunday, the Packers defense did nearly everything right, something Green Bay fans haven't seen in a very long time. In his first NFL start, against one of the league's top defenses, Murphy wasn't flawless but certainly held his own. However, it was Green Bay's offense that struggled to get going against the talented Seahawks defensive front. Sunday's over/under is 51.

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Green Bay Packers saw off the Seattle Seahawks 17-9 in their home season opener at Lambeau Field, thanks to a much-improved performance from their defence. They have weapons and a stout offensive line that will look to establish the run game here.

Seattle QB Russell Wilson was 14 of 27 for 158 yards and no scores.

Seattle might have more talent than anyone in the NFC, which is why they had the best Las Vegas Super Bowl odds of anyone in the conference for much of the offseason. His offensive line didn't help him either, as he was once again running for his life in the backfield. Picking against them as an underdog anytime this year will be a risky proposition.

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Rodgers said the long-lasting effects of Bennett's actions in coming to his defense will be significant: "I support Marty 100 percent in just about anything he does", Rodgers said postgame. The Seahawks' offense managed only 3 yards in the first quarter, and were stuck at 24 total yards with less than a minute to play in the first half. For comparison, this would have ranked 31st in the league for the 2016 season. And things might not get much better this year, not after rising left tackle George Fant was lost for the season in a preseason game.

He's thrown 10 interceptions in his last 3 games vs. the Packers.

Both Rodgers and the game's location might be the ultimate deciding factors.

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