Can the Packers defeat the reigning Super Bowl Champion Seahawks on their home turf?
SEATTLE (WITI) -- Green Bay Packers football is back! The Packers take on the Seattle Seahawks in the first game of the NFL regular season on Thursday, September 4th. Thursday's game marks the first time the Packers have taken on the defending Super Bowl Champions in Week 1.
This is the first time Green Bay has opened the regular season in Seattle. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at CenturyLink Field.
Thursday's game is the second time in the last four seasons the Packers have played in the NFL's prime-time regular-season opener.
This will be the sixth time Green Bay has played in Seattle in the regular season. The Seahawks have won three of the previous five matchups.
Under Head Coach Mike McCarthy, the Packers are 5-3 in season openers. From 2007-11, the Packers won five consecutive season openers, which made McCarthy the only head coach in franchise history to accomplish that feat.
Green Bay has 52 wins on Kickoff Weekend, second most in NFL history behind only the Chicago Bears (54 victories in Week 1). The Packers and Bears are the only teams in the NFL with 50-plus wins on Kickoff Weekend.
Thursday's game will mark just the third time in McCarthy’s nine seasons (2006-14) that the Packers have opened their season away from Lambeau Field. The only other instances over that span were in 2013 at San Francisco and 2010 at Philadelphia.
The Green Bay Packers have won six of the last eight matchups with Seattle -- two of those playoff games.
The teams last met in the regular season on September 24th, 2012 at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won, 14-12.
The Packers-Seahawks officiating controversy, often referred to as the "Fail Mary" arose during the final play of that game.
After trailing 7-0 going into the third quarter, the Packers scored 12 unanswered points (two K Mason Crosby field goals and a 1-yard touchdown run by RB Cedric Benson) to take a 12-7 lead in the fourth quarter.
On the final play of the game, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary pass into the end zone intended for wide receiver Golden Tate. Both Tate and Packers defender M.D. Jennings got their hands on the ball while both players were still in the air and attempting to gain possession.
The two officials near the play initially gave separate signals of touchdown and time out, before ruling the players had simultaneous possession, resulting in a Seahawks game-winning touchdown.
Prior to the catch, Tate shoved Packers cornerback Sam Shields with both hands, which the NFL later acknowledged should have drawn an offensive pass interference penalty that would have negated the touchdown and resulted in a Packers victory.
The lack of a pass interference penalty and the ruling of a touchdown via simultaneous catch were widely questioned in the aftermath of the game, drawing comments from the game's announcers, NFL players, and the media, as well as locked-out officials.
The NFL subsequently released a statement defending the touchdown ruling.
The controversial ending followed weeks of criticism regarding the quality of officiating by replacement officials employed by the NFL during the 2012 NFL referee lockout. Two days after the game, the NFL and the NFL Referees Association announced they had reached an agreement to end the lockout.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged that the negative attention the game drew to the referee situation was an impetus for ending the labor dispute.
With a win in Seattle Thursday, Green Bay would be 9-6 against the Seahawks during the regular season -- and the Pack will have defeated the reigning Super Bowl Champions.
The Packers finished the 2014 preseason on a three-game winning streak. Green Bay's 3-1 record was its best since 2011 (3-1).
It was the third time the Packers finished with three wins in the preseason under Head Coach Mike McCarthy.