Who can blame them?The NFC championship game in the 2014 season was in their control until a fake punt by the Seahawks and some bad decisions by the Packers helped Seattle force overtime.Then Russell Wilson spoiled the Cheeseheads’ night with a 35-yard TD pass to Jermaine Kearse — brilliant throw http://www.oaklandraidersteamo…..son-jersey , even more brilliant catch — and Seattle headed to the Super Bowl. Many believe those Packers would have handled the New England Patriots for the league title. Hey, had Seahawks coaches not gone wacky at the end of that Super Bowl, Seattle would have beaten the Pats.Neither the Packers (4-4-1) nor Seahawks (4-5) looks like championship material. They might find a way to sneak into the playoffs, but a win Thursday night would be crucial in that chase.“I know they’re frustrated, too,” coach Pete Carroll says, noting his Seahawks have lost two in a row, both against the LA teams. “They’ve dropped a couple of games that they should’ve won and I’m sure their outlook … we’re kind of in a similar boat right here.“They’ve been a winning program for a really long time and we don’t think of them as anything other than that. I mean, it happens to be the Packers and the Seahawks, so it’s a big deal. We’ve had some great matchups in the past, so we’ve got to play good football.”Seattle, ranked 14th in the AP Pro32, is a 2½-point favorite over No. 13 Green Bay.SEAHAWKS, 26-23KNOCKOUT POOL: Green Bay did the job for us on Sunday, and now we go with ARIZONA. What? Look who the Cardinals are facing.No. 23 Denver (plus 7) at No. 5 Los Angeles ChargersChargers might be “the other team” in LA, but they’re very solid.BEST BET: CHARGERS http://www.oaklandraidersteamo…..row-jersey , 30-19No. 7 Minnesota (plus 2 1-2) at No. 10 ChicagoIf Bears win this one, we’ll start believing.UPSET SPECIAL: VIKINGS, 22-20No. 4 Pittsburgh (minus 4 1-2) at No. 24 JacksonvilleDo Steelers remember playoff matchup with Jaguars? Is Pittsburgh the Steel City?STEELERS, 34-20No. 2 Kansas City (plus 2 1-2) at No. 3 Los Angeles RamsGame moved from Mexico back to LA. Expect lots of scoring.RAMS, 40-36No. 8 Carolina (minus 3 1-2) at No. 25 DetroitPanthers need turnaround coming off real stinker. They’ll get it.PANTHERS, 26-24No. 15 Dallas (plus 3) at No. 19 AtlantaFalcons need turnaround coming off real stinker. They’ll also get it.FALCONS, 26-19No. 16 Philadelphia (plus 9) at No. 1 New OrleansEagles need turnaround coming off real stinker. Sorry, not here.SAINTS, 37-27No. 12 Tennessee (plus 2 1-2) at No. 18 Indianapolis.Pro Picks is certain this looks like a crazy choice after what Titans did to Patriots. Still …COLTS, 21-20No. 9 Houston (minus 2 1-2) at No. 11 WashingtonTwo clubs that can begin thinking playoffs with victory here.TEXANS, 23-17No. 26 Tampa Bay (plus 1) at No. 28 New York GiantsAt least Giants don’t have to face that other Tampa team, USF.GIANTS, 26-24No. 32 Oakland (plus 4) at No. 31 ArizonaLiked how Cardinals played at KC. Raiders ain’t Chiefs, so …CARDINALS, 20-10No. 17 Cincinnati (OFF) at No. 20 BaltimoreFlacco, Jackson or RG3 as Ravens QB? Won’t matter against Bungles’ defense.RAVENS http://www.seattleseahawksteam…..air-jersey , 29-23 DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins 14th-year veteran John Denney first saw his future career path in eighth grade, when he bent over and looked between his legs.His coach was putting together a place-kicking team at practice, and Denney volunteered to try out as a long snapper.“Whoever was interested lined up and started snapping the ball at a tire hanging from the uprights,” Denney said. “Beginner’s luck, I hit the chain holding the tire and it knocked the tire off the chain. At that age, that got everybody in a frenzy.”Those cheers might still be the loudest Denney ever received for doing his job. All long snappers toil in anonymity — unless they make a mistake, and Denney doesn’t. That’s why he has been with the Dolphins since 2005, four years longer than any other active player.At 39 he’s among the oldest players in the NFL.“It has been a ride, that’s for sure,” Denney said following a recent practice. “I would never guess 14 years later I would still be on this field in the same place. I won the lottery.”Is the hardest part of the job the drudgery of training camp in steamy South Florida?“For everybody else, yeah,” Denney said with a chuckle. “My position is different.”That’s for sure. Long snappers spend much of practice off to the side with the place-kickers and punters, often watching and chatting. It’s not bad duty for $1 million a year, which is Denney’s salary this season.But as with any specialist, there’s pressure. Denney is expected to be nearly 100 percent accurate http://www.seattleseahawksteam…..ton-jersey , and has been. When asked to tabulate the misfires, Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi paused to search his memory.“In my nine seasons with him, I think we had confusion once on a field goal,” Rizzi said Tuesday. “Brandon Fields (the holder) wasn’t looking, and John hit him in the face mask.“To have to sit here and think about it is a credit to him.”And while the 6-foot-5, 242-pound Denney doesn’t log as many snaps as an every-down player, he does run downfield under punts, and wins raves for staying in shape.“The guy is in unbelievable physical condition,” coach Adam Gase said. “He’s the ultimate pro.”Denney doesn’t look his age, but he’ll turn 40 in December.“Wow. I didn’t know he was going to be 40,” said running back Frank Gore, who’s a mere 35. “He does work hard, though. During the offseason he works very, very hard.”That includes snapping drills. Sometimes Denney recruits his 11- and 13-year-old sons to help, and hikes in the backyard.Like everything else, practice makes perfect.“If I give you a ball right now and you look between your legs and everything is upside down http://www.seattleseahawksteam…..nes-jersey , it’s not natural,” Denney said. “It’s a matter of working at it to a point it becomes natural.”Denney played linebacker and offensive line in high school in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was a three-year starter at defensive end for Brigham Young. All the while he groomed his skills as a long snapper, which is how he made the Dolphins’ roster after going undrafted.He played in every game as a rookie, and each year since he has played in all 16 games — 208 in total. That’s by far a team record for consecutive games, and tied for third among active NFL players.The streak will likely grow, although Denney has nominal competition in training camp from undrafted rookie Lucas Gravelle. It’s one of the few times the team has brought in another long snapper to compete with Denney, but he said he always feels like he’s fighting for his job.“Regardless of whether there is another body in camp, they have a list on a board somewhere with the next five best long snappers available,” he said. “It’s not like you’re ever in the clear.”That accurately describes life in the NFL. As usual, Denney is right on target.