The Seahawks fell on Sunday night to the Packers by a final of 27-17. The offense never got things going in the first half, and couldn't answer after Green Bay retook the lead in the fourth quarter. Wilson did his best to lead a comeback inside of the two minute warning, but a Fred Jackson fumble ended any chance the Seahawks had at a miraculous come from behind victory.
The Seahawks managed only a field goal in the first half, but kept things close thanks to a very strong defensive effort in the first half. Bevell opened up the playbook a bit more in the second half, which led to some longer drives and scores for Seattle, but as the offense picked it up, the defense seemed to give way. A KJ Wright ejection didn't help matters, but the Seattle defense simply looked out of breath by the final whistle, and that was all Aaron Rodgers needed.
In the end, there is still work to do for this team. The timing of this game was unfortunate for Seattle, as playing the Packers whilst working out kinks on both sides of the ball is not ideal. Still, they played well enough to be within shouting distance at the end, which is more than most teams can say when they're not clicking on all cylinders. Starting 0-2 is never a good thing, but this team still has the talent and the coaching staff to turn things around and go on a big run. They need to start that turnaround quickly though, because the rest of the league is chomping at the bit to keep them out of the playoffs.
1. Bobby Wagner keeps it close.
The Seahawks were in an extremely precarious position as the first half was winding down. They were seemingly about to go into halftime trailing Aaron Rodgers 17-3, but this beautiful play by Bobby Wagner made sure that the Packers were only able to walk away from the drive with 3 points, and a 10 point halftime lead.
2. Wilson gets picked.
The Seahawks were on their way to answering the Packers go ahead score, when the offense attempted what seemed like their first screen attempt of the second half. Even if the pass had made it to Marshawn, Nate Palmer was closing in fast and would have had a shot to take down Lynch for a loss. What happened instead was much worse. The pass was intercepted by Jayrone Elliott, and the Packers went on to kick the field goal and retake a 10 point lead at the two minute warning.
It's still unclear on why Justin Britt emerging from the fumble pile up didn't lead to the Seahawks getting the ball back, though.
3. Russell Wilson reminds us that he and Doug Baldwin still make a great combo.
Wilson had much more space to work with in the pocket in the third quarter, and he made the most of it with a touchdown that looked like the Seahawks offense of years past. Baldwin runs a great route with a sneaky jab step to mimic a flag, before cutting back over the middle with a post route. Russell hits him in stride, and the Seahawks take the lead. Said lead wouldn't last, but at the time, it was a lead-grabbing and familiar looking touchdown.
-Russell Wilson: 7 rushes for 61 yards
The Seahawks offense always seems to be at its best when Wilson is running past the line of scrimmage. After a curious week one performance in which Wilson chose to give Lynch the ball on every single read option, he finally ran free on Sunday. Not only did it lead to sustained drives, but it opened things up in the passing game.
-Michael Bennett: 3 offsides penalties
Michael Bennett is one of the very best defensive linemen in the NFL. He can play the run, rush the passer, play defensive tackle and play defensive end. He does all of these things at an extremely high level, and deserves to be recognized as one of the most fearsome defensive players in the league. There is one thing that he consistently gets burned for though, and that's trying to jump the snap count. Against Aaron Rodgers, that's a no no. Bennett's three offsides penalties were some of the Packers' best offensive plays of the half.
-Jimmy Graham: 1 catch, 11 yards
Jimmy Graham is going to be keyed in on by every defense Seattle faces. That alone is not reason enough to not give him the ball, though. The former basketball star is adept at fighting off coverage to make plays in traffic, and Wilson/Bevell would be wise to give him a chance to prove that soon. It's possible that the coverage on him was too tight tonight, but he is certainly a player who needs to be targeted more often than twice in a big game.
Marcus Burley played what was probably his best game as a Seahawk. His coverage was solid, but his tackling was what really made his night. He filled the Byron Maxwell role perfectly, as the cornerback who won't stick with every receiver that lines up across from him, but will always wrap him up after the fact. It was a good night for Burley.
-Holy Luke Willson.
The tight end who has so often been criticized for having unreliable hands came up with this unbelievable grab. Willson has a lot of big play potential in this year's edition of the offense with defenses being forced to watch Graham wherever he goes, so being able to come up with big time catches like this will take him far this season.
-Flags on flags on flags.
This game came to a screeching halt thanks to penalties multiple times throughout the night. Unnecessary roughness calls, too many men on the field, offsides, false starts, an ejection- this game pretty much had it all. This team has succeed in spite of their penalty-drawing ways in the past, but they could really do themselves a favor by cleaning it up a bit.
-The defense looks different.
Perhaps it's the absence of a certain safety (that's not really the problem, but oh well), but the Seahawks defense seems different this year. They seem more susceptible to tiring as the game goes on, and giving up big plays than they have in the past. Perhaps its just them getting back into the swing of things, but they have too much talent to continue missing tackles and giving up long pass plays. They'll get better, but right now it is definitely possible to get to them.
What it Means
With the loss, the Hawks drop to 0-2. The Arizona Cardinals have rushed out to a 2-0 start, which should worry Seahawk fans a bit. They're clearly the biggest competition in the race for the NFC West, and a sweep of Carson Palmer and company is probably going to be a necessity this season.
Luckily, Seattle is now facing an upcoming stretch of very winnable games, with Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, Carolina, San Francisco and a currently Romo and Bryant-less Cowboys team in the near future. That should give the team time to straighten some things out and reestablish themselves. Up next, the Bears will visit CenturyLink Field, as the Seahawks will attempt to get into the win column.
(All gifs are courtesy of gif-extraordinaire, Jose Rivera. Follow him on Twitter. Now.)