To beat the World Champion Seattle Seahawks, in their home stadium, with both teams at or near full strength, the Green Bay Packers needed to play their best game.
Seattle looked stronger, faster and more motivated, especially after the first quarter. Green Bay and Seattle played to a virtual stalemate with the Packers leading 7-3 after one-quarter of play. From that point on, Seattle outscored the Packers 33-9. The final was Seattle 36 – Green Bay 16.
Takeaways from last nights game.
1. Seattle is the defending SB champs and showed why.
When you think Seattle you think defense. Time after time last night played a the Seattle D gang tackled. In the open field, one-on-one the Seattle defenders simply didn’t miss. Offensively Seattle played a complete game, spreading the ball around; showing good balance with eight different receivers catching at least one pass and rushing for 207 yards, which brings up point #2.
2. Green Bay needs to do a better job tackling.
The official number of missed tackles aren’t out as I write this article but this much is clear, whatever the figure is, it’s not acceptable. Taking nothing away from #24 Marshawn Lynch @MarshawnLynch24, the Packers allowed far too many yards after contact. Often the Packer defenders were reaching and grabbing air. What ever happened to squaring up and putting a good hit on someone?
3. Defense must be more disciplined and maintain gap control
The Packers defense showed good burst into the backfield, but as they were missing tackles, they were also over pursuing and showing poor leverage. Cutback lanes were open and on several plays #24 Lynch and #22 Robert Turbin were into the second level before the Packers defense got a hand on them
4. Lacy is the real deal!
#27 Eddie Lacy @Lil_Eazy_Ana_42 opened the game with several impressive runs. I know the box score shows Lacy with 12 carriers, 34 yards, a 2.8 average and a long run of 15 yards which in itself is not overly impressive but after #75 Bryan Bulaga @BBulaga left with an apparent knee injury, #78 Derrick Sherrod took his place and the entire offense, both rushing and passing came to a sputtering halt.
5. Rodgers generally had time to pass against a very good defensive line.
Throughout most of the game the offensive line, less #78 Sherrod @dsherrod78, did a reasonable job protecting #12 Aaron Rodgers and giving him time to pass. With almost zero yards after the catch, the Packers passing game was 23 of 33 for 189 yards with a 40+ yard pass interference penalty.
6. Penalties on our defense and kicking team netted three first downs for Seattle.
Twice, defensive holding on #59 Brad Jones @bejones00 on 3rd down kept Seattle drives alive. An uncharacteristic running-into the kicker penalty by #76 Mike Daniels @Mike_Daniels76 kept another drive alive at the GB 44 which resulted in a 35-yard field goal.
7. GB CB and safety play was good.
Overall the defensive secondary play will be a strong point as #21 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix @HaHa_cd6 learns “on the job”. #37 Sam Shields @ShieldSam37 played a good game, not giving his receiver much room to catch a pass. The only receiver that caused much havoc was Seattle’s #11 Percy Harvin @Percy_Harvin. Many of Harvin’s big plays came when he was covered by Green Bay safety #42 Morgan Burnett @MoBetta_42. Schematically, it’s curious why a Green Bay safety would be covering the opposing teams best receiver.
As the game wore on, the Seattle defense limited the Packers ability to come back while the Packers defense did nothing to stop the Seahawks or give the Packers offense the ball with favorable field position. The faster, hungrier, more motivated team won and showed why the Seattle Seahawks are favorites to win the Super Bowl. For the Packers to win the NFC North and be considered as contenders emphasis needs to be placed on basics such as tackling and gap control, otherwise it could be a long season.