A lot of people in Packernation will have the week two matchup against the Seattle Seahawks circled on their calendars. For that matter…a lot of Packers players may have that matchup circled…those that are still with the team anyway. Mike Daniels has said that he is still mad about that loss and that he went back and was particularly upset about the stupid penalty he had in that game. The guy’s a beast and a leader…takin’ responsibility.
Earlier, we polled Packernation to find out what divisional opponent might be able to give the Packers fits. But not everyone thinks that the Seahawks (even with the addition of a dangerous Jimmy Graham) will be the most threatening to the Packers in 2015. I know this, because I am one of those people.
The Seahawks: Marquis Matchup
The Packers come to Lambeau for the second game of the 2015 season and there is no doubt that this is one of the marquis matchups of the season. I think that this game could have homefield advantage ramifications down the line but I also think the Packers are going to win this one not just because it is against the hated Hawks who did not deserve the Super Bowl berth, but mostly because it is at Lambeau…finally!
The addition of Jimmy Graham is the wildcard in this one but I have a feeling the Packers defense is going to pick up where it left off and that we are already putting in schemes that will give us better matchups against the Seahawks tight end. Does that mean we will have more sets with one less LB and an extra corner or safety? I don’t know but to me, the most important thing is that this game is at Lambeau and we just don’t lose there. So while I think the Seahawks game will be a great game and a marquis matchup, I don’t think they are the biggest threat to the Pack.
So who will it be?
Another obvious contender for the most critical game is the Dallas game. The Cowboys are coming off Tony Romo’s best season and while they lost DeMarco Murray, their O-line is stellar and the Packers have had issues with good run games as we all know. But again…Lambeau Field. The Cowboys couldn’t beat the Packers at Lambeau with Demarco Murray…can they really hope to beat us without him?
Romo to Witten is still a dangerous connection but without the threat of the best running attack in the league (which the Cowboys will not have in 2015), the ‘Boys, while once again a marquis matchup, will not be the most critical game the Packers play. Of course, I know there are those who will say that the Cowboys are a team that will likely be on top of their division (like the Seahawks) and be playing for homefield advantage and I can’t really disagree as that may very well be the case. I don’t disagree…I just don’t think it matters because the Packers are going to win the game.
There are some other games that could be considered “honorable mention” games. The game against the Broncos will be played away from Lambeau, and of course there is always the surprise win by a Lions team that is minus Suh but perhaps finds a way to get it done.
But I think the most critical game of 2015 will come on December 27th, when the Packers travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. The Cardinals are a (presumably returning) playoff team and made the playoffs with, like their fifteenth quarterback last year. With Carson Palmer healthy and the 49er’s in disarray, I see the Cards challenging for the division. I know, I know, “Are you Kraysee! The ‘Hawks owned the Cards in week 16 last year 35-6!” But I am expecting the Cardinals to find a way to NOT give up like 600 yards and I think the Seahawks’ scores in 2015 will be closer to the November ’14 meeting where the ‘Hawks scored only 19. Carson Palmer is a big step in the Cardinals’ biggest problem against the Seahawks…not only do you have to keep the Seahawks from scoring 35 points…you have to score more than six!
I think the Arizona Cardinals can split meetings with the Seahawks this year and with the loss of the ‘Hawks to the Packers in week two…they could be playing for a LOT when the Packers come to town.
So that is what I think will be the most critical game of 2015…Packers v. Cardinals. But what do you think? Which game do you see as the most critical matchup? Let Packernation know what you think by clicking the poll below: