Final Score: Packers 16 Seattle 36
The 2014 NFL season has begun. No more excuses and no more waiting around and hoping things will get better. The time has come for results and last night in Seattle was a significant setback for the Packers who lost their third straight season opener in a row.
The Packers unraveled in the hostile environment that is the Seattle last night from a more physical and more dominant team. They allowed 207 rushing yards, committed unacceptable penalties, and did not have an answer for the physical running style of Marshawn Lynch and versatility of Percy Harvin (which the Packers better have taken note for new ways to use Randal Cobb). The offense could not get much of a running game going and also restricted themselves to only half of the field by not throwing a pass towards Richard Sherman all night. Because of this, they failed to gain and sustain momentum throughout the game.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers played average at best, but the most surprising fact of the game to most would have to be he and McCarthy ignoring the right side of the field all night. The Packers lined up Jarrett Boykin against Sherman on most plays because they and everyone else knows that Richard Sherman does not follow the best receiver. Jordy Nelson lined up against Byron Maxwell all game and finished with 9 catches for 83 yards, but when you make the number one defense in the league play only half the field, it’s just going to amplify their strengths.
Now I don’t believe that Richard Sherman is the best corner in the league. The collective effort of the defense which includes two top safeties and an effective pass rush makes him look better than he really is. But if you’re not even going to try to throw towards him once? It sure made him look like the best. Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league and Jordy Nelson is an underrated top receiver. If the Packers wanted to beat Seattle in Seattle, they had to match up the best against the best, and it is extremely disappointing that they didn’t try.
The Packers also sustained two more significant injuries last night with the loss of Eddie Lacy to a concussion, and Bryan Bulaga to a knee injury. It is unclear how much time either will miss at the moment, but Eddie Lacy missed only one game when he sustained a concussion last year, and the common consensus is that Bryan Bulaga dodged the bullet and did not receive a significant knee injury. Based on the play of Derek Sherrod, I’m hoping he heals up sooner rather than later.
Putting this all into perspective, remember that it’s only week one and the Packers will learn from this loss. A loss like this one always stings but it’s much better that this lesson is learned in week one than in the playoffs. They did show a few good things to go with the bad on defense which included an effective and disruptive pass rush. If the defense can learn to tackle more effectively they should improve as the season continues. The offense should go back to spreading the field against the Jets weak corners next week and the Packers should be able to get their first win of the season.
What do you think of the Packers loss against Seattle? Are you worried or do you think the Packers will be fine? Do you believe that they should have matched up Jordy Nelson with Richard Sherman or do you agree with their game plan? Leave a comment!