That's was Green Bay's rallying call last year, adopted from a September 23rd interview following the Packers' 19-7 road loss in Detroit. In that, Aaron Rodgers shot back at fan panic and conspiracy theories about the health of his collarbone by spelling out the word in clear terms.
The Packers had stumbled out of the gate and started 1-2, including a Week 1 loss to the Seahawks, and like many Seahawk fans currently, there was much distress in Green Bay. The Sunday after that interview, the Packers would go on to destroy the Bears (funny enough), and Green Bay won 11 of their next 13 games.
Well, like Rodgers last year, I'm here to say it too. This is no time to fret. Not yet, at least.
After dropping two difficult road games to a division rival and the best quarterback in the NFL, the Seahawks have found themselves in a hole at 0-2. But I’m not even mad. It's a long, long season, and this is a talented team.
Now, I’m not going to lie: Week 1 was disappointing. Disappointing mainly with the quality of our defense, many missed tackles, and a poor day for the offensive line. Everyone seemed to be a step or two late to making the next big play – especially their linebackers. All problems that were fixable, according to Pete Carroll and several of the players. And, the good news is, in Week 2 many of those issues were corrected.
Seattle's defense, as a whole, played remarkably better in Week 2 than they played in Week 1. They tackled better -- they still missed a couple, but it was a marked improvement over Week 1 -- put out some hard hits, and put pressure on the pocket. Additionally, Deshawn Shead, in for Dion Bailey, played well. He was great in coverage and limited Rodgers’ opportunities. But Rodgers is going to do Rodgers – he creates extra time for himself and made a throw on Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman that arguably no other NFL quarterback can make. His touchdown pass (and subsequent 2-point conversion) were virtually indefensible. Both required precision and velocity and in those cases, Rodgers just beat Seattle's defense, as he's done to many, many groups over the last few years.
On the other hand, the Seattle offense got off to a slow start against the Packers. Marshawn Lynch never really got going and Jimmy Graham was limited to two targets all game – and had only one reception. As soon as Russell Wilson started keeping the ball on the option – the Packers’ defense was suddenly forced to decide between stopping the run or letting Russell roll out. Russell actually had a pretty solid game – throwing for a pair of TDs and doing some damage in the run game. The offense seemed to finally be getting in a groove. Near the end of the third quarter, an incredible interception by one of the Packers’ defenders killed the hope of a crucial Seahawks’ drive. It was an incredible play by the defender.
Also importantly, in Week 2, the Seahawks vastly improved in their pass protection. They actually ranked right in the middle of the pack– ranking 17th overall -- per Pro Football Focus' tracking. See what happens when you give Russell a little bit of time and some clear passing lanes? Revolutionary, I know. And Russ balled out in the second half. If the Seahawks' offensive line can keep up even average pass protection, this offense will continue to find its groove and give this defense a better chance to hold the lead in games.
After two weeks, the Seahawks have gone 0-2 in arguably the most difficult stretch in their 2015 schedule. In some ways, it’s actually kind of relieving. The Packers will likely be Seattle's most difficult opponent all year – and the Seahawks always dread playing the Rams in St. Louis. Seattle now returns home for two straight, then have several more favorable matchups down the line – giving them the opportunity to get back on track for a playoff berth.
Knowing this team, I would not be surprised if the Seahawks rattle off a 6 or 7 game winning streak, starting this Sunday in the CLink. Regardless, the NFL season is a rollercoaster, so fasten your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen, it’s going to be a ride.