(via SI.com)

(via SI.com)

NFL football has officially arrived folks. The defending champs, Seattle Seahawks, defeated the Green Bay Packers, 36-16, to began their quest of a repeat. A couple things I noticed during this game about both teams that I will pay attention for the rest of the season: 

  • First, the Seahawks look like they have improved since curb-stomping the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Last season they were without Percy Harvin, but with him, this offense will much more potent. Percy Harvin touched the ball 14 times and accumulated 160 yards, between returning, receiving, and rushing. Seahawks have found ways to get Percy in the open field, with Jet sweeps, bubble screens, and pop passes, which makes it difficult for teams to get a hand on him. With the loss of Golden Tate (Lions) and Sidney Rice (Retirement), Percy will be needed. hopefully he can stay healthy. 
  • Can Beastmode lead the league in rushing? Pete Carroll has established early that they will run the ball and Marshawn has established early in his career that one man will not bring him down. 20 carries for 110 yards and 2 TDs, was Marshawn's stat line, majority of those yards coming after the 1st hit. Tweets were already going out saying Marshawn is the best back in the league, with rebuttals bringing up A.Pete (Shady hasn't retired either) but Marshawn is definitely in the convo. Couple more games like this and he will be the best back in the league. Seahawks offense will rely on him heavy.
  • The Seahawks defense is still fast and relentless, The defensive line was all over Aaron Rodgers and took full advantage of the Packers atrocious offensive line. In the secondary, I was very impressed with Vernon Maxwell. Vernon had the duties of guarding Jordy Nelson all night and held him to 0 TDs and under 100 yards. Now Vernon is supposed to be the 2nd best corner on this team but I guarantee you, if he plays the best wideouts all season and does a good job, conversations will emerge on whether he is the best CB on that team. Sherman is still king of the island though, Aaron Rodgers not even throwing his way for the whole game. 

As for the Packers they have some work to do, starting with the offensive line. The O-line has been the Packers main issue since they won the Super Bowl back in 2011. Rodgers was only sacked 3 times but he was rushed out of pocket pretty much the entire game. Rodgers is known to be a mobile QB but some of his throws were off target due to the fact that he was running for his life. Rodgers has established himself as an elite QB but without time, that won't matter.

  • The Packers defense on paper look like they should be top 10 by time the end of the season but didn't show it on the field today. The Packers secondary, which has history of being abysmal, could not stop leaving receivers open and this is against an option style offense. They won't be facing an elite QB until week 8, when they visit Drew Brees and the Saints (will see Megatron and Brandon Marshall before then) and if they don't get it straight by then, Brees will have a field day. 

Will the Seahawks repeat? As of tonight, it look like they will. The defense, even without Chris Clemons, Brandon Browner, and 3 other former starters, hasn't loss a step. The offense has potential to be more potent and they still have the 12th man, which they will probably go undefeated at home. If the Seahawks get home-field advantage again, crown them as NFC Champs.