Packers vs. Seahawks
Things that made Quin happy:
This was the most surprising aspect of yesterday’s game. We all saw what happened to the Packer’s defense late last season and into the playoffs. The pass rush was a thorn in Russell Wilson’s side all game thanks to great play by Mike Daniels, Clay Matthews, and Nick Perry. That is what they had to do against a fast paced offense like Seattle and a mobile quarterback like Wilson. The play of the Packers secondary was also impressive as guys like Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins and Morgan Burnett looked more sharp than the NFC Championship Game in Atlanta. They limited Wilson to only 158 yards passing and Wilson really only exposed them once all game in the final two minutes of the first half.
Second Half Offense
It is a very calming and positive sign that the Packers offense could make halftime adjustments to go from not scoring at all during the first half to scoring 17 points against Seattle’s defense during the second half. A lot of the credit is due to the defense with Mike Daniels forcing a turnover inside Seattle’s own 10-yard line. After that happened, momentum seemed to change and after the Packers got their first taste of successful offense they refused to fail again. It also gave Rodgers and his receivers confidence as shown by that beautiful 32-yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson at the end of the third quarter. Due to this great recovery, Rodgers had his first career 300-yard passing game against Seattle.
Any football fan that isn’t a Packer fan is probably angry and upset by the referee of that game Sunday but as a Packer fan I am very happy. Sure, some calls shouldn’t have happened like cornerback Jeremy Lane getting ejected or a pass interference in the endzone not getting called but Packers fans have seen their fair share of horrible referee calls, especially against Seattle. Also, bad referee calls did not affect the outcome of the game and to believe so is ignorant. The Packers offensively and defensively outplayed the Seahawks throughout the game, even when they were down 3-0 at halftime.
Things that made Quin mad:
The Packers biggest problem was their offensive line. Much of the credit is due to the Seahawks’ pass rush as forces like Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Frank Clark and Bobby Wagner were thorns in Aaron Rodgers’ side. Rodgers was sacked a total of four times but it seemed like he was on the ground after every pass attempt. It was well known that was going to be the biggest issue as well as trying to run the football because Seattle has such a great defense. Surprisingly enough, Green Bay’s defense was more impressive than their offense and again Rodgers threw for over 300 yards against that tough Seattle defense. The offensive line’s play is concerning because that could very much be their play all season and there could be defenses the Packers play that are better than Seattle’s. If that’s the case, Rodgers has a long and painful season ahead for him.
Much like last year, McCarthy’s playcalling this game seemed to be too methodic, conservative, and predictable. Because the quarterback was Aaron Rodgers, he could create his own pace and manipulate the defense by running the hurry-up offense and drawing penalties but when that didn’t happen, there wasn’t any offense. Specifically, the calls were not aggressive enough for my liking. The running plays were not creative thus predictable and passing plays were too horizontal. After a while, Seattle’s defense could easily defend any underneath or screen pass because they knew it was coming. McCarthy needs to mix it up with more passing up the field to stretch and tire opposing defenses. If Rodgers can get the time to pass and receivers can get open, no offense is deadlier than Green Bay’s. Guys like Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb have the talent and ability to make the offense more vertical and fast paced. With a more unpredictable balance, they will be unstoppable.