If the Green Bay Packers needed a reminder of how difficult it is playing on the road in Seattle, then they should look no further than Week 2, when the Dallas Cowboys rode in and were unceremoniously dumped on their big behinds.

Seattle made them see stars, cruising to a more-difficult-than-it-looked 27-7 victory, having put the Cowboys in an early hole with two huge first-quarter plays from their special teams that led to 10 points.

The Packers enter this clash on the back of a 23-10 victory over the Chicago Bears 11 days ago. The Pack’s defence – despite still having big questions to answer about their lacklustre secondary – did the damage against the Bears.

But as yet, their prolific attack has yet to really fire. Aaron Rodgers will hope that the scoreboard will soon start ticking over. The Pack conjured 22 points in their first clash, a 30-22 home loss by the San Francisco 49ers.

Seattle surprised last week, but they are perhaps a little nearer to the team that lost to Arizona than they are to the one who beat Dallas. The contrast between the two games could not be more stark.

Homefield advantage in one of the loudest stadia in the NFL, should never be underestimated. Crowd noise can disrupt any offense when they are trying to change plays at the line of scrimmage.

The Packers, who lost just once in the regular season last term, have a timing-based passing attack and Rodgers should not have too many issues with the ‘Twelfth Man’, as the Seahawks’ crowd is known.

Look for Rodgers and his receivers to exploit the Seahawks’ linebackers. They have a patchwork unit, with Barrett Ruud, their third middle linebacker in as many seasons, traded away to New Orleans in August and it remains to be seen if second-round draft pick Bobby Wagner can make the desired impact in that important position this season.

There is no doubt that players such as veteran Leroy Hill doesn’t cover as well as he used to and K.J Wright was forced to learn on the fly in his rookie season last year. He and Hill appear to be there by default.

The Seattle secondary is young, promising and huge, with the oversized cornerbacks especially good at jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage. This unit is the strength of the defence.

Seattle overpaid in free agency for Matt Flynn, the former Green Bay back-up who took advantage of one great game – a six-touchdown, 480-yard display against Detroit – to receive a big pay-day. Flynn has been beaten out in training camp by rookie Russell Wilson, but again, would you fancy a rookie passer going up against a Dom Capers defence, off a week where he’s had an extra few days to prepare?

Wilson, the former Wisconsin Badger, has looked very comfortable without being asked to do too much.

Seattle got a big game from running back Marshawn Lynch last week. He celebrates touchdowns on the sideline by eating a handful of Skittles, those chewy, bright-coloured teeth-rotting candy balls. The company has since given him a two-year free supply and a dispenser for the locker room. (Just for info, anyone at Walkers should know that when the Dolphins score touchdowns, I celebrate with a giant bag of their wonderful crisps. And I crack open a case of Corona beer. My wonderful Panasonic TV has gone on the blink as well. I’m sure Betdaq have my address and will be willing to pass it on).

Lynch is a beast, a violent runner who would scare the coating off any chewy sweet. He finished seventh in the league in rushing with 1,204 yards last term and he’s already over 200 yards for the year.

Seattle will do well to secure eight wins this season. They have a better team than last year but the offensive line needs to stay healthy and they have a very tough schedule outside of their division, as well as facing the resurgent San Francisco 49ers and St Louis Rams.

Victory over Dallas will have given them a huge confidence boost. They are already dressed for success thanks to Nike altering their colour scheme, adding a stripe here and there to make them look super-cool.

The Packers virtually refused to change their strip, incidentally. The only change this year is the Nike swoosh replacing the Reebok logo. They look sharp anyway. And you know, Every Girl’s Crazy ’Bout A Sharp-Dressed Man… (Nick Clegg excepted, of course).

The Packers won on their last visit to the Pacific North West, and they are three-point BEDAQ handicap favourites to win again.

BETDAQ have a number of markets on the game and with defences both playing well last week, it might be an idea to have a bash at the First Scoring Play market. A Touchdown was odds on, so the value lies with Any Other Scoring Play, which, at the time of writing, was odds against.

It does seem a little trite to say this about a team that went 15-1 last year, but you do have to wonder if the Packers’ have truly fixed their defence. And in my book, Seattle will provide more of a test than Chicago did last week.

Clay Matthews is a star, but he needs help and the club hopes that first round pick Nick Perry can be the bookend outside linebacker that they so desperately need. A.J. Hawk had a down year last season and needs to bounce back to solidify his position at inside linebacker.

But if the Packers can stop the run – a big if – they will ask Wilson to beat them through the air and the rookie is not yet capable of putting the game on his shoulders and winning it for them.

This could well be a trap game for the Packers, who have never won back-to-back road trips to Seattle. Yet in the last seven meetings, they have not failed to break the 23-point barrier and if Seattle are to beat them, then they are going to have to score more than 24 points. That leads me to believe that there will be more than 45 points scored in this contest.

Back – Over 45 points in total
Lay – Touchdown to be the First Scoring Play

Twitter: @simonmilham

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