Defenseless in SeattlePosted:Sep 5th, 2014 3:18 am
Well, this one had it all. Lousy tackling, untimely penalties and a potentially devastating injury on the offensive line. The NFL is back!
So much for making a statement. So much for setting the tone and serving notice to the rest of the NFC. Look, the Seahawks proved last year they were the best team in football. No team in a decade has repeated, but Seattle served notice on Thursday night that they remain the cream of the NFL crop and will continue to be nearly unbeatable at home.
To beat them you have to play nearly perfect football and the Packers were as close to perfect as Kroll's is to fine dining. Beginning with Mike Daniels' running into the punter penalty that extended a drive and led to the 'Hawks' first three points, to Brad Jones' two holding penalties that extended drives, the defense was on its heels all night.
207 yards. The Pack's run defense failed its first test, surrendering more than 200 yards to Beast Mode and company. Clearly, the Pack misses BJ Rahi. Letroy Guion was not up to the challenge and faded visibly as the game progressed. Flip side, the Seahawks run defense was much stouter than I expected, holding the Pack to 91 yards. Eddie Lacy stormed out of the gates with 21 yards on his first two carries, but Seattle put the clamps on from there, holding him to just 13 yards on his next 10 carries. He left the game with might be a concussion.
Of course, the most disheartening thing about the game is the left knee injury to Bryan Bulaga. We'll all expect the worst, since it's the same knee that cost him last season with an ACL. If he's done the Pack will be down two of its top three tackles and there's no one on the roster ready to step in. Derek Sherrod won't have to face the Seahawks again, but I'm not sure he could hold his own against the Indiana Hoosiers.
The Packers spent a good chunk of the offseason preparing for this matchup, but Dom Capers had no answers for the unpredictable Russell Wilson, Percy Harvin and company. A healthy Harvin makes this offense devastating; whether Harvin is a target or a decoy. Throw in the hard running of Lynch and they will keep most defenses off balance this season.
They certainly confused Julius Peppers, who had a few moments but struggled overall. Brad Jones continues to be a liability on the inside and Ha Ha Clinton Dix played like a rookie. Only Clay Matthews really stood out for the Pack on that side of the ball.
Ten days to lick their wounds, regroup and prepare for the Jets, their only home game during the first quarter of the season. Since this is the NFL, many will over-react to what we saw and bury the Packers. It's one game and the champs showed that they were ready to defend their title. The Pack has plenty of time to get things figured out. But we know this: if the run defense doesn't improve and if Bulaga is done, the NFC North race could be a lot more interesting than we bargained for.