Seahawks vs. Packers game preview: Real refs to call game this time around

Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

The Packers get a shot at avenging their infamous Fail Mary loss to the Seahawks in 2012.

Heading into the third round of preseason games, depth charts and position battles are beginning to solidify around the league. The Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks will have the chance to shore up those areas when they face off at Lambeau at 8 p.m. ET on Friday.

Of course, the real story of this matchup will be remembering the Fail Mary game, which Seattle infamously won in Week 3 last season after replacement refs made a highly questionable touchdown call to give the Seahawks a last-second win. Expect a lot of chatter on the subject during CBS's broadcast.

Meet the Packers

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' aerial attack have laid waste to NFL secondaries for the past several seasons, but they'll face a new challenge in 2013 after the departure of No. 1 wideout Greg Jennings, who jumped ship for Minnesota this offseason. On top of that, Jordy Nelson is recovering from knee surgery and could miss the regular season opener. The movement at the top of the depth chart could open the door for a big season from Randall Cobb, who was sensational during his sophomore campaign in 2012.

Defensively, Green Bay is hoping to turn the clock back and return to its 2010 form, when the Packers' top-five defense helped carry them to a Super Bowl victory. In the two years since, the unit has fallen off, ranking last in the league in 2011. Last season was an improvement, but defensive coordinator Dom Capers will be looking to cut back on the 118 yards per game his guys allowed on the ground. The departure of the sure-tackling Charles Woodson doesn't help, but stars like linebacker Clay Matthews and nose tackle B.J. Raji, as well as the reemergence of defensive tackle Johnny Jolly, are working in the Packers' favor.

Meet the Seahawks

After a sensational rookie season in 2012, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson will be trying to improve during his second year. He showed strong evidence of that last week against the Denver Broncos, tossing for 127 yards and two touchdowns during the Seahawks' 40-10 romp. Running back Marshawn Lynch has been limited in the preseason thus far, but he may see his carries increase as the season nears. On the other side of the ball, new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will be breaking in his new system.

Local Takes: Packers

Jason Hirschhorn from Acme Packing Co. will be watching the competition for the Packers' starting halfback job, which seemingly can only be wrestled away from Eddie Lacy by injury.

The second preseason game featured Eddie Lacy's first live snaps as a professional, and the former Alabama tailback impressed. Not only did Lacy average 5.0 yards a carry, but he spun out of tackles several times while refusing to be taken down by a single tackler. The biggest and perhaps only legitimate knock against Lacy is durability. He missed the first game of the preseason with a hamstring injury after being injured throughout the draft process. After coping with James Starks' injury woes over the past three years, the Packers hope to avoid relying on another unavailable running back.

Local Takes: Seahawks

Danny Kelly over at Field Gulls will have his eye on wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who has had a breakout preseason with three touchdowns in two games and looks to be playing his way up the Seahawks' depth chart.

He made a few catches in very limited action with the Seahawks his rookie season after going undrafted, and over the past few months, has become the most talked-about surprise of Seahawks' training camp. Now, I'm not saying that Kearse will be a star in 2013 but he looks like a lock to make the roster and could be a strong depth piece and solid contributor.

Follow the Fun

Be sure to check out SB Nation's team blogs, Acme Packing Co. and Field Gulls, for more analysis and highlights from the game.

Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:



@TyDunne - Packers beat writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

@eric_d_williams - Seahawks beat writer for the Tacoma News Tribune


The Seahawks are favored by two points over the Packers, according to OddsShark.

Next Week

The Packers will head to Kansas City to wrap up the preseason against the Chiefs, and the Seahawks will host the Oakland Raiders in their final tuneup.

More from SB Nation NFL:

Two Carries, Six Yards: The tragic story of Ricky Bell

Michael Vick wins starting job | Brandon Weeden, too

Chiefs acquire A.J. Jenkins from 49ers

Rob Gronkowski could return by Week 3

Longform: Olympian Marquise Goodwin seeks success on the gridiron

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