The Seahawks matchup against the Packers was built up to be a game that we can see in January. But the game looked more like two teams that were not ready for the regular season to start. Here are the biggest takeaways from the game:
Seattle’s offensive line needs a lot of work
The Seahawks made moves to try and help the offensive line in the offseason, signing Luke Joeckel and Oday Aboushi, and then drafting Ethan Pocic. But against the Packers, they looked exactly like the offensive line from last year, if not worse. Green Bay was not bringing many blitzes, but their pass-rush was still getting to Russell Wilson quickly. Wilson was sacked three times and hit seven times. Seattle was unable to stop Green Bay’s four-man rushes, forcing Wilson to be on the move almost every time he attempted a pass.
Seattle’s line also could not move anyone off the ball, which shut down their run game. Green Bay was stuffing the run no matter how many people they had in the box. Overall, with the offensive line struggling as much as they did, there was no chance of Seattle being able to move the ball. The starting linemen really need to figure out their problems for the offense to score points.
Seattle’s defense as good as advertised
Green Bay had a game plan early in the game to combat the star-studded Seattle defensive line: quick, three-step drop throws. But even though the Packers could get some first downs in the first half, the Seattle defense would tighten up, forcing a punt. But with the Seattle offense unable to stay on the field, it forced the defense to be on the field for just under 40 minutes. With the defense as tired as they were, they could not stop the Aaron Rodgers led offense in the fourth quarter.
But the defense had great moments. The defensive line was generating a ton of pressure on Rodgers, sacking him four times. After the first quarter, they contained him inside the pocket and not letting him slide out to the perimeter of the field. The defensive backs were defending most downfield plays, except for the Jordy Nelson touchdown. If the defense is not on the field for as long as they were Sunday, they should be able to win games for the Seahawks this season.
The running back room still has uncertainty
Thomas Rawls is the number one running back on the depth chart, but was inactive because of an ankle sprain. That gave more time to Chris Carson, Eddie Lacy, and C.J. Prosise. But other than one big run from Carson, they did not accomplish much. Seattle rushed for 90 yards, 40 of which came from Wilson scrambling. Lacy had five rushes for three yards, and Prosise had four carries for 11 yards. Carson led the running backs with six carries for 39 yards, but 30 of those yards came on one carry.
This shows two things: the offensive line is not creating holes and the running backs are unable to make plays themselves. Most of the problems come from the offensive line, but the running backs need to be able to find any seam possible to make a play. If they are not making guys miss at the point of attack, they will not be able to gain many yards with the line’s struggles. Carson’s long run came when he cut back at the line of scrimmage, and ran away from the direction the play was supposed to go. He found a seam to make a play. This was the only occurrence of the running backs being able to do this against Green Bay, and was the second longest run for Seattle. The running backs need to be able to make plays for the Seattle offense to keep defenses honest. Like Pete Carroll has said, he wants to get back to the power running style from year’s past.