The Green Bay Packers probably needed to be perfect to come into Seattle in week one and upend the Seahawks. Being the defending champs with their home opener on Thursday Night Football in front of the nation, Seattle would have had to drop quite the egg to let the Packers come in and push them around. It just wasn’t going to happen.
On a night where the Seahawks dropped down their Super Bowl banner, they made sure Aaron Rodgers and co. weren’t going to put them in a corner. They allowed it to remain interesting for the first half, only holding a 17-10 lead mid-way through the third quarter, but dominated the rest of the way to send the Packers to 0-1 to start the year. There’s more to this one than the final score (36-16) or who won or lost. Let’s break down the four main things we can take away from last night:
The Packers Were Just Too Predictable
Green Bay came out and initially looked like they were going to try jamming the ball down Seattle’s throat with the powerful running of Eddie Lacy. It worked at first, but the Packers were far too conservative and failed to stretch Seattle’s defense at all. They even refrained from testing Richard Sherman’s side of the field even once (zero targets on him), which literally took away half of the field for the entire night. That turned out to be a horrible strategy, as it made the offense predictable and ultimately weak.
The Packers should have passed more to set up the run and kept Seattle guessing with some plays in Sherman’s direction. Instead, they came out way too conservative and way too predictable. For a Seahawks defense that can shut you down even when you come in with a killer game plan, that seemed to be about the worst approach you could have.
Green Bay’s O-Line is in a Bad Way
Bryan Bulaga went down with a knee injury (hopefully it’s minor) and both tackles were very subpar for the Pack. Derek Sherrod, who stepped up in place of Bulaga, was downright pitiful. The o-line didn’t move the piles after the first quarter in the ground game and the pass protection was spotty all night long. Shaky protection lead to three sacks and a safety. One sack killed a drive on a seemingly ill timed fourth down play, while another led to a fumble that ended as a safety. That’s at minimum a five-point swing potentially. In a game where the Green Bay offense truly only generate nine points on their own good will, they needed every point they could get.
Missed Opportunities and Mistakes
As bad as the o-line and game plan were last night, the mental errors were just as bad for the Packers. Brad Jones allowed a sure interception to be knocked out of his grasp early in the game, Green Bay missed tackle after tackle and at least two times the defense committed a back-breaking penalty that extended a drive. The first time was on a punt when a player ran into the punter and granted Seattle a first time, while another came with the game still in doubt with eight minutes left. Mental errors were a sign of a team ill prepared to take on the defending champs.
Marshawn Lynch is a Bad, Bad Man
In the end, the Seahawks simply weren’t going to lose this game. Even if the Packers came out firing on all cylinders on offense, Lynch was destined to set the pace of this game. He shed arm tackles galore and looked as quick and powerful as ever en route to 100+ rushing yards and two touchdowns. He was without a doubt the game’s MVP and has the Seahawks looking even better than they did a year ago. That’s scary for the rest of the league.