What We Learned Against the Seahawks

Posted by  Mike Davidsen   in       3 years ago     136 Views     5 Comments  

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imagesIt was not at all surprising to watch Seattle’s offensive and defensive fronts dominate the Packers in the 2014 season opener, just as they did in Week 3 of 2012. Nor was it surprising that a key starter for the Packers went down early in the game – that has almost become regularity. But what was odd about the Packers’ 16-36 loss in Seattle was the lack of resilience during the second half of the game, as well as the tendency to commit the same errors that they have for the past five seasons.

Let’s start with the positives. Clay Matthews was fresh out of the gate with great pursuit of ball carriers, though the veteran pass rusher failed to tally a single sack all night. Eddie Lacy showed some initial burst in the first quarter (before Bryan Bulaga exited the game) and Mike McCarthy did a nice job inserting James Starks into the mix as a change of pace and much-needed breather for Lacy. For the first quarter, the Packers ran in stride with the Seahawks, leaving doubt that this opener would be anything like the Super Bowl beat down just six months ago.

Most Dangerous Substance on Earth - Packer Offense

In actuality, beating last year’s Super Bowl champions was not the insurmountable feat that some described – though still a task that requires close to flawless execution. Unfortunately, the Packers showed signs of sleep-walking early on, which included committing stupid penalties and missing many tackles on defense and special teams.

Forget the questionable fourth-and-five call by McCarthy early in the game. Green Bay committed fundamental mistakes that added up throughout the contest. DuJuan Harris – a bad fit at kickoff returner to begin with – gave the offense consistently poor starting field position by choosing to bring deep kicks out of the end zone. Shawn Slocum and the coaching staff then made the switch to Micah Hyde, which should have happened during the second week of training camp.

Even more inexcusable were the forced timeout to avoid a 12-men-on-the-field penalty and the undermanned defense on a Marshawn Lynch nine-yard touchdown run. A noisy road game atmosphere is never easy to play through but McCarthy’s crew had four whole months to prepare for it.

One of the most concerning aspects of Green Bay’s loss is not related to injuries or even the type of Seattle smash mouth football that doesn’t bode well for the Packers. Instead, it is the talent gap between Seattle and Green Bay’s personnel that has become increasingly obvious. While it’s true that Brad Jones played arguably the worst game of his career, the inside linebacker simply wouldn’t be a starter on the majority of 3-4 defenses around the league.

The Packers have a relatively easy opportunity to redeem themselves at home against the Jets in Week 2 but face three straight divisional opponents after that. McCarthy has made a name for himself in Green Bay with his ability to routinely beat NFC North opponents. In order to continue that trend, his team will need to shore up both the offensive and defensive line as well as eliminate the mental mistakes that cost them dearly in Seattle.

About  

Brady Augustine is co-owner and content creator for www.greenbaypackernation.com. He currently resides in Tennessee and also conspires with brother, JR on www.cheesnewswire.com

1 Comment

  1.   October 19, 2015, 9:30 pm

    I’m glad that you didn’t minimize what Rivers accomplished on Sunday. He’s one of the best QBs of all time when he’s hot, his only weakness is consistency from game to game and, sometimes from 1 half to another. The Chargers successfully protected their devastated O-line with quick timing routes and limited run plays.

    Manning will be trying to do the same thing with a weaker arm (remains to be seen if he can), but I don’t think Newton’s offense can adjust in the same way. Carolina will likely stick to their read option with a hard to bring down QB, which creates a unique challenge for our D.

    The banged up Packers won a game that they’ve typically lost in the past, with lopsided time of possessions and the offense playing down to their opponents. That builds confidence in me, and hopefully in the team and coaches as well.

    Hard to count on having a healthy team by the end of the season. We’ve been banged up more than most teams by week 17, and this season appears to be on that same track. But the next man up philosophy, McCarthy’s involvement in all phases of the game, and the young talent on this team are all playing important roles in these wins. Regardless of who’s on the field, I’m feeling very good about our playoffs success this year. Go Pack go! 🙂

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