FOX 25/48 Football Insider
By Marty Hendricks
Sept. 24, 2012
It's not the match-up the Green Bay Packers expected when the National Football League schedule was announced in April.
When the Packers take the field in Seattle tonight, Matt Flynn will not be directing the Seahawks offense.
The former back-up to Aaron Rodgers signed a lucrative free-agent contract in the offseason, but was beaten out for the job by rookie Russell Wilson from the University of Wisconsin.
Flynn has spent the week leading up to Seattle's Monday Night Football clash with the Packers sharing his knowledge of Rodgers with the Seahawks coaching staff and his defensive teammates.
While the inside information is helpful, tonight's game still boils down to two key components for the Packers: Rodgers and the offense has to be patient and get into a rhythm and score early to negate the home crowd; Clay Matthews and the defense must play with the intensity of the Bears game and first stop Marshawn Lynch and the running game.
"Make the rookie beat you" is the old NFL adage.
Expect unexpected looks and disguises by defensive coordinator Dom Capers to confuse Wilson and create opportunities for playmakers Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams to do what they do best: bait young quarterbacks into ill-advised throws.
The Green Bay offense receives a huge boost with the expected return of receiver Greg Jennings, who forces a solid Seattle defense to account for on every play.
Look for head coach Mike McCarthy to aggressively attack from the start and spread out the defense with five-receiver sets. If Rodgers finds his groove, Jermichael Finley and Randall Cobb could have big games as they create match-up problems for any opponent.
With upsets galore and the ongoing officiating saga this weekend—I'm still amazed how the Vikings handled the seemingly invincible 49ers—the Packers-Seahawks game appears destined to be a close one.
My prediction: Green Bay 30, Seattle 24.