The Seattle Seahawks are looking up at the rest of the NFC West after a hard fought loss to the Green Bay Packers that saw a flipping of the script from the 2014 playoff match-up, and without a doubt, adding more speculation to the where—and why—abouts of the increasingly-needed safety Kam Chancellor.
For the second week in a row this season, and as they had last year in a playoff game facing the Green Bay Packers, the scrappy Seattle Seahawks came fighting back from a deficit to take the lead in the second half. However, for the second week in a row and unlike playoff game versus the Packers, they were uncharacteristically fought off by determined (and unfrightened) opponents and denied the win. Aaron Rodgers, like Nick Foles the week before, found weaknesses within the Seahawks and took full advantage of them with his usual better-than-stats-tell performance. He completed 75% of his passes, 25 of 33 for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns with a QBR of 116.9, but what’s more, he confirmed that the best of the best in the NFL can and do accomplish great things with not-as-great talent surrounding them. Or, exactly what New England’s Tom Brady had demonstrated in an earlier game that was consider a serious threat.
FIRST QUARTER: The Packers had the ball first and sparked by a 22-yard pass completion to Randall Cobb, they drove 80 yards in ten plays, ending in a 29 yard touchdown pass to receiver James Jones. After an ineffective series by the Seahawks, Packers kicker Mason Crosby nailed a 54-yard field goal. Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka then matched that effort with a 54-yard boot of his own. Score: Seahawks 3, Packers 10
SECOND QUARTER: One Green Bay drive approached midfield when it abruptly ended with a fumble by RB James Starks (replacing an injured Eddie Lacy) but Seattle failed to take advantage. Both teams failed to cash in on opportunities until inside the final minute of the half when the Packers received pass interference help to the tune of 52 yards, but could only get another field goal (a 13-yarder) by Mason Crosby. Halftime Score: Seahawks 3, Packers 13
THIRD QUARTER: QB Russell Wilson was on a mission as, led by medium-ranged pass completions to Luke Wilson, the dangerous Tyler Lockett, veteran Doug Baldwin and two carries of his own, he steadily drove the Seahawks down the field and stamped his determination with a 5-yard pass to the recently acquired back-up running back Fred Jackson. The Packers would follow with a quick three-and-out and the Seahawks were at it again. Highlighted by a completion to TE Jimmy Graham and a 17-yard QB scamper, the Seahawks took the lead for the first time in the game via a 13-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin. Green Bay replied with a quiet 44-yard field goal. Score: Seahawks 17, Packers 16
FOURTH QUARTER: The Packers began the final quarter with the ball on their own 15 yard line and second down after a third-quarter Seahawks march quickly ended with three straight incompletions. The connection of Rodgers-to-Cobb clicked three times and was complimented by two catches from Aaron Rodgers to TE Richard Rodgers, the second being the go-ahead score of 5 yards. The two then successfully connected on the very next play for the two-point conversion. On the next anxious Seahawks series, back-up linebacker/special teams player Jayrone Elliott copped a sensational one-handed interception that sealed Seattle goose-egged fourth quarter fate and the victory for Green Bay as the team went into ball-control mode and ran several plays that led to one final field goal by Crosby. Final Score: Seahawks 17, Packers 27
The good news is that the Seattle Seahawks played an improved and inspired game from the previous week on both sides of the ball and can take solace in the fact that they might have beaten almost any other team Sunday evening. The defense sacked Aaron Rodgers twice (two more sacks than in week 1) and the O-line allowed only two sacks of QB Russell Wilson (four less than in week 1). Their 17-point output was a bit misleading in that Green Bay’s defense played well and allowed no freak or trick plays by the speedy Tyler Lockett on special teams while the two touchdowns earned through actual offensive drives was one more than they managed the previous week. Russell Wilson’s stats were a respectable distance south of Mr. Rodgers’, at 19 of 30 for 209 yards and 2 TDs with 1 INT for a QBR of 91.8. His vision was excellent, targeting nine different players with eight catching at least one pass. Running back Marshawn Lynch was suspiciously under-used, carrying just 15 times for 41 yards for a saddening 2.7 average. The really good news is that the team will now play its first two home games, hosting the possibly Cutler-less Chicago Bears and winless Detroit Lions…The bad news? Two instant wins and the pressure lets up on management to sign you-know-who, doesn’t it?