In 2015, the Seahawks were held to 17 points in a loss at Lambeau Field to the Green Bay Packers. The following year, Seattle only managed 10 against the Pack and suffered its worst ever defeat in the Russell Wilson era. To begin week 1 of the 2017 NFL season, they somehow fared even worse on the scoreboard and only put up 9 (it should’ve been more, but we’ll get to that later).
Despite shutting out the Packers in their own stadium in the first 30 minutes of playing time, the Seahawks lost 17-9 to their NFC rivals and looked completely disjointed on offense for much of this hotly contested matchup.
Seattle’s offense began the season with Rees Odhiambo twice getting beaten by Nick Perry, forcing Russell Wilson to throw the ball away on 1st down, before getting sacked on 3rd down. That set the tone for virtually the whole of the opening half, as the Seahawks only mustered four first-downs and struggled to run-block or pass-block effectively.
The defense, on the other hand, was superb. Not once did the Packers get into field goal range, as Green Bay’s running game couldn’t get going, and Aaron Rodgers was sacked a whopping four times. It looked as if Nazair Jones had gotten the Seahawks on the scoreboard on a pick-6, but Cliff Avril was called for an extremely questionable “block in the back” penalty and Jeremy Lane was ejected for throwing a punch on Davante Adams. We did not see a punch thrown by Lane and in fact saw Adams with a fistful of face mask during the return. Seattle went from having a defensive touchdown to another three-and-out.
Points came for the Seahawks at the end of the half, as Green Bay was punished for taking its timeouts to try and get the ball back again, and Russell Wilson connected on a 34-yard strike to Doug Baldwin and had a 20+ yard run to set up Blair Walsh’s 33 yard field goal. Prior to that possession, Seattle only had one first down.
It was only a matter of time before the atrocious play of the offensive line would cost the Seahawks in a major way, and Mike Daniels ran through Luke Joeckel to force a fumble, which the Packers would recover. Ty Montgomery scored a short-yardage TD on the next play.
Needing a spark, rookie RB Chris Carson put Seattle deep into Green Bay territory with a 30-yard sprint down the sidelines. A 3rd down conversion to Tyler Lockett put the Seahawks in a goal-to-go situation. Of course they didn’t score, and they weren’t helped by the referees deciding that Jimmy Graham getting mugged in the back of the end zone was legal. Apparently they didn’t signal that the ball was uncatchable, which makes that no-call even worse.
Blair Walsh made a chipshot field goal, then the Packers marched down the field and increased their lead to 14-6, with Rodgers taking advantage of Terence Garvin not getting to the sideline in time, and Jordy Nelson got free behind Bobby Wagner (!) and Earl Thomas.
A critical Jimmy Graham drop, which would’ve given Seattle a first down, instead put the ball back in the hands of Green Bay. By this point, the Seahawks defense was worn down and beaten up. Michael Bennett was cramping up. Frank Clark and Jarran Reed collided into each other and they were both temporarily dinged. The Packers went up 17-6 after a long, clock-killing possession.
Seattle (finally) went uptempo on offense, and it took them just a few plays to get into field goal range. Amara Darboh unfortunately was denied his first NFL catch, as he was knocked out of bounds inside the 5 and then the ball jarred loose anyway. Another failed Graham target meant another field goal for Blair Walsh to cut it to 17-9, and that would be the final time Seattle would see the ball on offense.
Green Bay ran the clock out with a series of clutch conversions and some untimely penalties on the Seahawks, including the usual offsides and 12 men on the field infractions that Aaron Rodgers routinely exploits. The dagger play was a 2nd and 6 play-action throw to Martellus Bennett, who stayed in bounds to keep the clock running (also atoning for his personal foul penalty a few plays prior). Seattle was out of timeouts, so it was kneel down time after the two-minute warning.
Russell Wilson (14-of-27 for 158 yards, and a huge missed likely TD to Tyler Lockett) didn’t play well. The offensive line was disgustingly bad. Eddie Lacy (5 carries for 3 yards) was ineffective. The referees were a farce and cost the Seahawks at least 7 points, if not 14 considering the no-call on the Jimmy Graham interference. Seattle squandered too many opportunities independent of the officiating, and we’re once again left with a familiar sight: a Seahawks loss at Lambeau Field.
In case you’re wondering, by the way, Seattle is now 1-10 in its last 11 regular season games (dating back to 2014) when trailing by 10+ at any point in the game.
The Seahawks play the San Francisco 49ers (0-1) at CenturyLink Field next Sunday at 1:25 PM PT.