Seattle Seahawks 9 – 17 Green Bay Packers

Here we find ourselves once more, on the precipice of these sweet 17 weeks of the regular season with our Packers. I’m looking forward to getting to spend another year writing for you all here in the Post Game Play Action with PTTF! With that said, I hope you all enjoy going down this little Monday journey with me each week, and without further ado onto the defensive destruction of Seattle!

With Seattle coming to Green Bay in a week 1 game where implications across the NFC could not be greater with regards to likely playoff seeding scenarios, we’ve known for months we were gonna be in for a smashing game and we were not left wanting. After a slow start on offense, the Packers defense came out looking like the ’85 Bears with as dominant a defensive showing as I can remember from the Packers. The result being a 17-9 win to kick the season off at 1-0, with one of the toughest on-paper opponents of the schedule defeated.

Keys To The Game

Defensive Dominance

In all my years of watching the Packers play (and having spent most of those lamenting the state of the defense) this may have been the single greatest display of sheer dominance over an opposing offence I have seen them put together. Seattle were forced to open the game with five straight drives ending in punts. Before the final drive of the first half (brought to you by some classic McCarthy timeout useage) Seattle had 26 yards of offense through 29 minutes of game clock.

From the very start of the game Nick Perry began to justify the offseason contract with which he was rewarded. On the first play of the game he stood up the Seattle left tackle, pushed him 3 yards straight backwards and came off the block, nearly sacking Wilson. Two plays later, he went directly through the left tackle again, planting him on his backside, and this time getting the sack, forcing a three and out that set the tone for the entire evening. The front seven just took over the entire game, led by an otherworldly effort from Mike Daniels whose exploits I’ll devote a section to below. If the defense can even be 50% this effective throughout a season we’d be looking at a top 10, perhaps even top 5 defense. It’s a wonderful turn to watch a game and genuinely be excited to see the Packers defense trot out onto the field.

Even the secondary performed admirably, with Russell Wilson held to 158 yards through the air over the entire course of the game. This was obviously in large part due to the amount of pressure put out by the front 7, but if the defensive backs can hold up their end of the bargain adequately in this manner there’s every reason to be hopeful we could see the redemption of the defense from last years downturn.

Player of the Week – Mike ‘Your Offensive Linemen Are Now My Children’ Daniels.

Nobody else comes close to being player of the week. For a good portion of this game, it was Seattle vs. Mike Daniels featuring the Green Bay Packers. His almost constant presence in the backfield was a large deciding factor in holding Seattle to 90 total rushing yards. While spending the entire game bullying the interior linemen of Seattle, Daniels was able to rack up 1.5 sacks and 4 tackles for loss. A spectacular amount for an interior lineman. However the crowning glory of his day was the series of plays that led to the first touchdown of the game for Green Bay. On back to back plays, Daniels tore through to the backfield, and one the second was able to smack the football clean out of Russell Wilsons hand to be recovered by Kyler Fackrell (A FACKRELL PLAY GUYS, AN ACTUAL FACKRELL PLAY!) at the 7 yard line, setting up the Montgomery touchdown. That was a perfect example of the overall impact Daniels had on this game. Every single down he was terrorising the Seattle line. Imagine the sheer horror of having to drive to a stadium knowing for 3 straight hours Mike Daniels is going to bounce you around like a basketball of sadness.

This was as impressive a display of singular defensive talent as I’ve seen a Packers lineman have since perhaps the Minister of Defense himself, the venerable Reggie White. The mere fact I can say that with no hint of hyperbole fills me with so much hope for this season.

O’ Offense, Where Art Thou?

Nobody going into this game expected a 0-3 score going into the half. While to begin with, the Packers were able to move the ball, throughout the first half something was simply not firing on all cylinders resulting in the rare scoreless half and the even rarer Aaron Rodgers Lambeau interception. One that could have been his second career pick-six if not for a block in the back as he sought, somewhat half-heartedly (thankfully) to chase down the ball.

What we saw in the second half, however, was night and day to the first. The offense came out and looked like that classic Packers west coast system. The ball was moved down the field with a nice mix of long and underneath passes. True to form, mixed in were some otherworldly Aaron Rodgers throws. The one which impressed me most was a second quarter pass on 3rd & long to Bennett, who was squeezed into the tightest of spaces between KJ Wright and Earl Thomas right on the first down line, and Rodgers lasered a pass into the smallest of windows between two of the NFL’s best defenders for the first down, as impressive as any Hail Mary.

Despite the slow start, the ability became apparent that this offense, even against a defense as historically great as Seattle, can move the ball through the air at will when it really needs to. When it came to protecting the fourth quarter lead, the Packers were able to string together long, clock consuming drives and see a game out with a narrow margin formed on the basis of a heroic defensive effort and a competent offensive one. While the slow start can likely be attributed to the lack of starters playing time in the preseason, once this offense is firing on all cylinders, with a defense playing like this, they have the makings of an unstoppable juggernaut.

Totally-Not-Knee-Jerk Reactions

  1. Mike, dude. Stop it with the end of half timeouts! I willingly ate the crow at the end of last regular season on my criticism of McCarthy. The timeout stuff at the end of halves really needs to stop though. It so rarely pays off, and in a really tight game like this one it could’ve easily been a significant factor had the offense not found its rhythm in the second half. Other than that though, heck of a job coaching this game.
  2. I just cannot get over this defense. I also think we, as fans, need to start the Mike Daniels for Defensive Player of the Year campaign (#76ForDPOY). The fact this man, one of the most unstoppable interior forces in all of football, has not been a pro bowler never mind an all pro at this point isn’t acceptable to me. I demand change!
  3. One of my favourite moments of the entire game was a Packers player committing an unnecessary personal foul. With 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Rodgers ran for a first down and ended up with Seattle linebacker KJ Wright on top of him. From nowhere, the man-mountain that is tight end Martellus Bennett charged forth and wiped Wright out, clean sent him flying, for daring to be near his quarterback like that. The first down was still gained, all but sealing the win, and the 15 yards assessed on the penalty was more than worth it in my opinion to see the strength of the bond that has formed between two of my favourite Packers so very quickly.