As the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks have long been slotted for one of the two spots in the 2014 NFL season opener and now, after much speculation, comes the news they'll host the Green Bay Packers, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Barring scheduling conflicts like last season in Baltimore, it's customary for the defending Super Bowl champion to host the first game of the season. Seattle has a loaded home schedule, which led many to speculate about possible opponents for the kickoff game. Some thought the NFL might send Denver to Seattle in Week 1 for a Super Bowl rematch. Others thought the the season would begin with a bang with Seattle hosting rival San Francisco. The Dallas Cowboys were another popular choice, but in the end, the Packers will be the ones tasked with visiting the defending champs first.
The trip to Seattle will be Green Bay's first regular season appearance since the famed "Fail Mary" game in 2012. While the final play of that game will certainly be replayed a time or two, the season opener will be a great matchup of two of the best teams in the NFC. Green Bay was a legitimate NFC contender last season before Aaron Rodgers got injured and the Packers fell out of the race for home-field advantage. With Rodgers back, Green Bay should once again be a contender and could challenge Seattle for the NFC. While it's the first game of the year and the attention will be on the Fail Mary, the Super Bowl banner, pregame concert and all the other hype, the game itself could be significant factor in the playoff standings come Week 17.
It all begins Sept. 4 in Seattle with the Seahawks vs. the Packers.