None of the previous eight Super Bowl champions before the Seattle Seahawks won a playoff game in the following year. While the current holders of the Vince Lombardi trophy clearly want to change that, their first steps towards doing so could be easier.
Opening the 2014 NFL season, as the champions traditionally do on an American Thursday night, Richard Shearman and co have been handed the well-fancied Green Bay Packers as their first opponents.
Last season the Packs reached the playoffs for the fifth straight year, tying the longest active streak in the league. They managed it without their fabled quarterback Aaron Rodgers for seven matches of the regular season.
With Rodgers now back healthy, with a full pre-season behind him, the Seahawks couldn’t have had many first tests ranked much tougher than this.
However, in front of Rodgers will be a rookie centre, making his NFL debut against last season’s best defence, in the league’s loudest stadium, with a QB he’s had zero snaps with during the warm-up schedule.
The last time Green Bay visited Seattle, in 2012, the Seahawks dumped Rodgers on his backside eight times. The offensive line has improved since, but it’s a measure of how much the rookie will have to deal with on a surely head-spinning night.
In claiming the Super Bowl back in February the Pete Carroll-coached side confirmed their status as the best in the NFL. Nothing in the off-season has changed that, making the hosts the ones to back on the spread, especially with a 15-1 record at CenturyLink Field in the last two seasons.
An even greater reason is bwin.com’s generous offering in the market, where they’re offering the best spread on the Seahawks, currently -5.5, at an increased price of 97/100.