Packers Offense Overwhelmed in Season Opener
SEATTLE, WA – 9/5/2014 –In the 2014 season opener, the Green Bay Packers had the privilege of facing the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. While it was beaten to death going into the game, the last time these two teams have met up ended in possibly the biggest controversy since “Spygate”. Whether you refer to it as the Fail Mary, the Inaccurate Reception, or just a catch, the game back in week 3 of 2012 definitely sent sparks flying.
The Packers came in off of an injury riddled season that saw Aaron Rodger, Clay Matthews, & Randall Cobb miss more than 20 games combined. They were able to stay afloat long enough, however, for the Packers to have a chance at a division title in week 17 at the Chicago Bears. They were successful. Finishing with an 8-7-1 record, the Packers claimed the NFC North title and made the playoffs. They fell to the 49ers in the first round at Lambeau Field.
The Seahawks would win the NFC West and claim the #1 spot in the NFC overall. They would go through the first two rounds and face those very same 49ers in the NFC Championship. They were also successful. After a thrilling ending that gave us one of the best post-game interviews of all time, the Seahawks went on to dismantle the AFC champion Denver Broncos 43-8. That was a Broncos offense that set the scoring record during the regular season, and saw Peyton Manning have perhaps the best statistical year any quarterback has ever had. Proving once again, that defense wins championships.
There was a lot of hype around this Seahawk team in the off-season, wondering if they were too young & stupid to realize how difficult it is to repeat, and that isn’t an insult. The Packers were getting back the 2011 & Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers, along with a healthy offensive line & a Randall Cobb. It was shaping up to be a great battle of the Titans. That wouldn’t be the case though.
The game started off with the Packers receiving. After a few impressive Eddie Lacy runs, and a short completion or two, the Packers were forced to punt. The Seahawks used running back Marshawn Lynch & utility man Percy Harvin to march into Packers’ territory. The Packers typical “bend, don’t break” defense held true though and only allowed a field goal. After a three and out, the Packers punted once again, but caught a lucky break as Richard Sherman blocked a Packers’ coverage player into return man Earl Thomas who fumbled the ball that was recovered by rookie first round pick Ha-Ha Clinton Dix. The Packers would drive the rest of the way, and the first touchdown of the 2014 NFL season was scored by FB John Kuhn on a 1-yard run.
As the game continued however, the Packers offense looked shaken by the speed & strength of the Seahawks. The defense was unable to tackle Marshawn Lynch, or even catch Percy Harvin. After a Bryan Bulaga injury, the Packers offensive line struggled to give Aaron Rodgers time. The Seahawks would come away with this one with ease 36-16. Every time the Packers would try to get back into it, a mistake would be made.
For the Packers, Aaron Rodgers Rodgers completed 23 of 33 passes, but only for 189 yards with one touchdown and one interception. On the ground, Eddie Lacy was ineffective gaining only 34 yards on 12 carries. James Starks was serviceable in the backfield, gaining 37 yards on just seven carries. Rodgers never even looked Richard Sherman’s way during the game, and that led to Jordy Nelson (9 rec, 83 yds) & Randall Cobb (6 rec, 58 yds, TD) garnering most of #12’s attention.
For the Seahawks, quarterback Russell Wilson continued to do all that is required of him. Going 19 of 28 for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch absolutely gashed the Packers front seven, rushing for two touchdowns and 110 yards on 20 carries. Utility man Percy Harvin finished with 160 all-purpose yards, and looked healthier than he has in a few years.
There are some questions that need answering in Titletown. We’ll see if this is a blip on the radar, or a real problem moving forward in nine days. Join us here on 98.3 WRUP for all of your Packers coverage next week as the Packers return home for an interconference battle with the New York Jets. Pre-game will begin at 2:30 with a 4:30 kickoff. You can catch it all here on 98.3 WRUP!
-Carl Leander Johnson