The defending Super Bowl champions Seattle Seahawks beat the visiting Green Bay Packers, 36-16, in the 2014 NFL Kickoff on Sept. 4.
"On the night when the Seahawks kicked off the NFL's 2014 season as defending Super Bowl champions, they went out and also played like defending Super Bowl champions.
"By the time their 36-16 victory against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field on Thursday night was over, the Seahawks had:
"Rushed for 207 yards, with Marshawn Lynch running for 110 and two touchdowns;
"Russell Wilson had passed for two touchdowns to (a) pair of unlikely targets -- wide receiver Ricardo Lockette and fullback Derrick Coleman;
"Percy Harvin had shown what was missing last season when he was limited a handful of plays in the regular season by contributing 59 yards on seven receptions and 41 yards on four rushes -- yes, he averaged more yards rushing (10.3) than he did receiving (8.4) -- as well as a 31-yard kickoff return;
"And a defense that got a 14-tackle performance from middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, an interception to set up a field goal by cornerback Byron Maxwell and a fumble-forcing sack by defensive end Michael Bennett for a safety was not happy -- despite holding Aaron Rodgers to 189 passing yards and the Packers to 80 rushing yards.
"'We played a great game,' Wilson said. 'Defensively, we were lights out. Offensively, we were so physical, made a lot of plays.'
"And the best part of the team's third-year quarterback who passed for 191 yards and ran for 29? The 15-yard TD pass to Coleman on a fourth-and-1 play in the fourth quarter? Lockette's run after the catch for his 33-yard TD in the second quarter? Either of Lynch's scoring runs, a 9-yarder in the second quarter and a 3-yarder in the fourth quarter? Maxwell's 21-yard return of his interception to set up the second of two field goals by Steven Hauschka? Cliff Avril's sack of Rodgers on a fourht-and-5 play in the third quarter? Bennett's safety-producing sack in the third quarter?
"None of the above. What really floated Wilson's boat on this night before a revved-up crowd of 68,424 12s was the fourth-quarter drive to Coleman's TD reception -- a 13-play, 80-yard tour de force that consumed seven minutes as the Seahawks imposed their will on the Packers.
"'The best part of the game was that six- or seven-minute drive to end the game pretty much,' Wilson said.
"By the time Coleman ran into the end zone, there were only 2 1/2 minutes to play and the Seahawks had pushed their lead to 20 points. The drive also underlined Wilson's line about how so many players made plays in his game. Wilson completed four passes to four different receivers -- tight end Luke Wilson, Lynch, Lockette and, of course, Coleman. Lynch ran five times for 14 times and had a 14-yard reception. Robert Turbin added a 4-yard run and Wilson ran twice for 14 yards."
The game showed wide receiver Percy Harvin is the Seahawks' X-factor on offense, writes ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter Terry Blount:
"Moments after the Seattle Seahawks easily defeated the Green Bay Packers 36-16 Thursday night, quarterback Russell Wilson had a clear message when interviewed on national TV.
"'Lord have mercy, we've got Percy,' Wilson said on NBC.
"Receiver Percy Harvin is the X-Factor for the Seahawks offense, the man who everyone had hoped would be the difference-maker for the team, but no one knew for sure in brief glimpses of his talent one season ago.
"Now they know.
"Harvin did it all in front of the frenzied CenturyLink crowd, catching seven passes for 59 yards, rushing for 41 yards on four carries and running back three kickoffs for 60 yards. If you're counting, that is 160 yards on 14 touches.
"'They can't stop him,' said Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. 'They can't tackle him. He's too fast to catch him. He's just a great player when he's healthy.'
"Being healthy is the key. Harvin played in only one regular-season game last year after undergoing hip surgery in August 2013. He came back in Week 10, aggravated his hip, and didn't play again until the playoffs.
"He now says he is healthier than he has ever been as an NFL player. In fact, he said he hasn't felt this good since he was in high school.
"A healthy Harvin is a very dangerous thing.
"'This is what everybody envisioned, to finally get everybody on the field healthy all at once,' Harvin said. 'Everything is finally clicking now. We are just finding different ways to get all our playmakers the ball.'"