The right team won
The Seattle Seahawks were in the spotlight Monday Night, taking on the Green Bay Packers on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. There was no shortage of excitement as the game literally came down to the last play.
Seattle 14, Green Bay 12
When: 8:30 PM ET, Monday, September 24, 2012
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
Head Official: Wayne Elliott
The spotlight from Monday shone into Tuesday, making the game’s outcome a national spectacle. The debate rages on, but what can’t be changed is the fact that the Seahawks came out as the victors and are now 2-1 on the season.
Like usual, there was lots to love about this game. What’s odd, though, is that despite the Seahawks win, there was lots to hate at the same time.
Here’s what I loved and hated about Monday night’s game.
The Seahawk secondary was shut down and lights out yet again in this game. Despite Aaron Rodgers’ yardage he managed to rack up, the secondary of Brandon Browner, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas held Rodgers and the Packers receivers touchdownless in Seattle.
Their physical play and lockdown ability effectively kept Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver, Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley absolutely frustrated.
It was evident, too, as Nelson was seen huffing and puffing while Jennings was trying to pick fights with Seahawks players.
(Even though Browner roughed him up pretty good on his own accord)
The way they played tonight is a testament to exactly what Pete Carroll and John Schneider were looking to do when they built this defense.
Let it be a warning to the rest of the NFL…especially the 49ers that the Seahawks aren’t going down without a serious fight from here on out.
In my pre-game article, I said that the duo of Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin absolutely needed to get pressure on Rodgers or he would eat this defense alive. It’s as if they read my piece, because they went out and decimated the Packers offensive line and Rodgers.
For Irvin to start the sack fest was a treat on it’s own, but to see Clemons rip off 4 sacks in the first half was just absolutely mind boggling.
Brandon Mebane getting sacks helped even more as it made the offensive line have to worry about every single part of the line instead of just the ends.
The pass rush showed up and did its job and as a result, Rodgers was held without a passing touchdown.
Golden Tate has completely transformed himself and like every other Seahawks fan, I am ecstatic. I will be the first to admit I wrote several scathing things about Tate up until he emerged last year in the Philadelphia Thursday Night game.
Since then, he has been an absolute animal.
His efforts tonight were exceptional and it paid off in the ultimate payoff possible – the swinging game winning call.
Because of his effort, his ability to follow Pete’s mantra and compete, he was able to put enough doubt in the mind of the referees to be awarded the catch and the win.
Special teams doesn’t get much love nowadays. In a game where the score was low and the defenses were playing well, field position mattered. And if it weren’t for Jon Ryan, the Seahawks would have been in much tighter spots than they were the whole game.
He averaged over 51 yards per punt and had a 72 yarder to boot. (Pun intended)
Ryan’s ability to kick the ball deep, pin it inside the 20, 10 or 5 yard line, and his ability to give punts the maximum hang time possible allowed Seattle to keep Green Bay far enough in their own territory that they were barely keeping their heads above water.
Russell Okung was another pre-game mention of mine, but he was one of 2 on that list that failed to deliver. While he stayed healthy to play through the whole game, he may as well have ended up injured. The amount of penalties he caused alone hurt this team .
If Okung does not stop getting stupid penalties, he should be replaced immediately.
Linebackers pass defense
Let me preface this by saying that the linebackers played lights out in the game as well, with KJ Wright racking up 11 tackles. My gripe, though, is what I mentioned they needed to do to put this defense as a whole in the conversation as the elite defense in all of the league.
Their run defense was stellar. Their ability to get to the ball carrier was second to none in the game. But like I said, if they didn’t cover the middle of the field, or the flats, that Rodgers would pick them apart there.
And he did.
While it didn’t lose the Seahawks the game by any means, this needs to improve. Rodgers threw for over 220 yards with the LARGE bulk coming in the middle of the field.
They won so I won’t pick too bad about this, but my point remains the same and remains valid.
They need to step up their middle of the field coverage to eliminate teams from marching on them.
Penalties & Officiating
When I say penalties, I mean as a whole. The Seahawks were atrocious again this week, but the game in general was atrocious in this aspect.
My main point on this is that the officiating was terrible. 24 penalties in 1 game is inexcusable, especially for 2 teams who call themselves professional franchises.
While I would agree that there were a lot of terrible calls, there were also a lot of missed calls as well. The Seahawks need to clean these up as it will cost them games in the future if they continue to lack discipline in the penalty department.
Penalties kill teams and if they don’t eliminate penalties, or at least the controllable ones, this team will lose games because of penalties alone.