Here are some of the keys to the game as I see them for tonight. As expected, a number of them are fairly obvious.
Brandon Mebane vs. rookie center Corey Linsley: Despite being a polished rookie and earning a ton of hype from the Packers, Linsley is going to be one nervous dude this evening. He's making his very first start against the defending Super Bowl champions in one of, if not, the most hostile environment in professional sports. Oh, and by the way, he's going up against one of the best interior defensive lineman in the game. Good luck kid. If Mebane, which I think should be expected, dominates this matchup the Packers are obviously going to have a difficult time establishing their running game with Eddie Lacy.
Rookie right tackle Justin Britt vs. Clay Matthews or Julius Peppers: On the flip side for the Seahawks they have their own potential issue with Britt making his very first start and he will be tested early and often by two of the very best at getting after the quarterback. Britt has been praised for his athleticism, but this is a whole new level when you are going up against Peppers/Matthews. Remember, when Russell Wilson likes to escape the pocket he likes to go to his right. So, if Britt is getting consistently beat and Wilson wants to take off he may have one of those two waiting for him.
Percy Harvin vs. anyone in the slot for the Packers: We should see a lot of Casey Hayward working the slot tonight for the Packers. Really it shouldn't matter who for Green Bay is in the slot if they are match up against Harvin - that's a clear win for Harvin in any situation. I would expect to see Darrell Bevell to give Harvin a healthy dose of touches in tonight's game.
Prediction: Seahawks 30, Green Bay 17. I think we are going to see a completely different offense this season for Seattle, coupled with a defense that still plays at an elite level. Tonight's performance on offense will send a clad signal to the rest of the NFL that for the first time in a long time we have a defending champion that looks completely worthy to repeat.