The Seahawks opened the 2014 NFL season at CenturyLink Field against the Packers Thursday Night, and did not look like a team with the Super Bowl hangover. Seattle mixed strong defensive play--surrendering only 255 yards of offense to the high-octane Packers--with some exciting, creative schemes on offense, racking up nearly 400 yards, 207 of them on the ground. Seattle used Percy Harvin in a multitude of roles, Russell Wilson looked calm and poised as he "facilitated" the ball to his weapons, and Seattle got a great team win. 1-0.
The Seahawks held strong on their first two defensive series, forcing Packer punts on both. The second Green Bay punt, however, was slightly disastrous, as Earl Thomas refused to call for a fair catch and muffed the punt. With the fumbled punt, Green Bay proceeded to go after Byron Maxwell repeatedly, and moved into the killbox inside the ten yard line. John Kuhn eventually punched the ball in on a short draw play. The huge turnover by Earl--the thing that Pete Carroll stresses the strongest--helped the Packers get on the board to go ahead 7-3.
The Seahawks would strike back with a great drive and eventually score on a very cool pop pass out of the read option-- something that SBNation's Ian Boyd wrote about in a feature earlier this offseason--and Ricardo Lockette broke a tackle on his way to a 33-yard TD.
Defensively, Seattle couldn't manufacture much pressure early on, and the run defense gave up a couple of longer runs, but the Legion of Boom, K.J. Wright, and Bobby Wagner flew around and got in a few big hits, and held Rodgers to 4.8YPA in the first half. Dink and dunk was the name of the Packer gameplan, and Seattle held them to minimal yards after the catch.
That held strong throughout the first half. A 44 yard pass interference penalty on Bobby Wagner was the big hitter on the Packers' ensuing drive following Lockette's touchdown, but the Seahawks held in the redzone, forcing the Packers to kick a field goal--which notched the game at 10.
Marshawn Lynch would score a touchdown on the Seahawks' following drive and Seattle would go into the half with a one-score lead -- 17-10. At that time, Seattle's defense had given up 131 yards and only 4.1 yards per play. Their offense went for 221 yards and 7.9 per play. It may not have seemed like it at the time, but those are some solid numbers on both sides of the ball.
Starting the 2nd half, the Seahawks marched out of their end with some great runs by Marshawn Lynch but then stalled near midfield. They were forced to punt on first drive, but Byron Maxwell picked off Rodgers on a deflected ball by Jordy Nelson, and the Seahawks turned that turnover into 3 points.
The Packers countered with a ten-play drive, but it was stopped short with a fourth down sack by Cliff Avril. After a subsequent three and out by the offense, Michael Bennet sprinted off the left side to hit Rodgers, jarring the ball loose and back into the endzone. The Packers fell on the ball for a safety. A 9-play drive, capped off by a Marshawn Lynch touchdown, gave the Hawks a 29-10 lead.
Both teams would trade touchdowns down the stretch but at that point, the game was pretty much out of hand.
- Percy Harvin: 7 receptions on 7 targets, 59 yards, 4 rushes 41 yards, 31 yards returning
- Russell Wilson: 19/28 for 191 yards and two touchdowns. 4 rushes 32 yards.
- Marshawn Lynch: 20 rushes for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
- Zach Miller: 3 catches for 42 yards.
Seahawks -- four penalties.
Green Bay finished with 3.8 YPC rushing.
Seattle finished with 5.6 YPC rushing.
Aaron Rodgers: 5.7 YPA.
Russell Wilson: A substandard 6.8 YPA.