Even in that short time, the Packers and Seahawks have started to weave some interesting lore. They've shared two legendary figures, a coach and a running back, who have experienced phenomenal success in Green Bay – one in the past and one in the present.
Another common thread: These two teams have met on the Packers' road to glory once before. During the campaign which culminated in a Super Bowl XXXI Championship, the Packers rolled over Seattle 31-10 back on Sept. 29, 1996.
Some of the major players in that matchup will be on the field for Sunday's playoff game, although they all won't be wearing the same colors. Mike Holmgren, who coached the Packers to their back-to-back Super Bowls, and has a street named in his honor to prove it, will be standing on the visitors sideline wearing a slightly different hue. Others are still true-blue … or rather true-green. Brett Favre threw for 209 yards and four touchdowns, with more than half of the yardage and TDs going to Antonio Freeman. ‘Free' shouldered a large load that afternoon because Robert Brooks suffered a concussion on the first lay of the game and could not return.
The tight ends pitched in as well. Mark Chmura and Keith Jackson combined for four catches for 46 yards. Jackson had a 10-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, staking the Packers to a 24-10 lead.
On the ground, Edgar Bennett was just shy of the 100 yard mark. He had 94 yards on 22 carries, while Dorsey Levens added 28 yards plus three receptions for 18 yards and a touchdown. The Packers' 1-2 punch was just heating up.
Another name from this game that resurfaced on the Packers' dance card in 2003 is Rick Mirer. Then Seattle's starting QB, Mirer didn't fare well vs. Green Bay back in '96. He met a similar fate this time around, starting for Oakland in a big Packer win two weeks ago on Monday Night Football.
The defense came up with five turnovers. Safety Eugene Robinson, playing his first game as a visitor in Seattle after 11 stellar seasons with the Seahawks, intercepted a Mirer pass and returned it 39 yards into Seattle territory. The Packers capitalized on the when Favre connected with Freeman from 13 yards out to give the Packers the lead for good.
The next takeaway came from a player not known for his interception prowess. Defensive end Reggie White picked off Mirer and chugged 46 yards to the door of the Seattle red zone. Green Bay cashed in again, this time with a Chris Jacke field goal.
All this action took place in the now defunct (and demolished) Seattle Kingdome, in front of a crowd of nearly 60,000 fans – more than half of whom were cheering for the Packers. The result was a green and gold sea which gave Green Bay the feeling of an indoor home game. The bizarre occurance may explain, at least to Packer fans, why Seattle is called the Emerald City.