The Seahawks racked up 14 penalties for a loss of 182 yards on their way to an ugly, ugly 17-10 win over the Aaron Rodgers-less (save for one series) Packers. More in-depth analysis to follow, but here are a few notes:
- The Seahawks' offensive line struggled with penalties and pass protection. J.R. Sweezy had a very bad start with two holding calls and a late hit in the first quarter. Generally speaking, the whole line did not protect well, but at least they sprung Seattle's running backs for 166 yards on 27 carries for a 6.1 YPC. This was an ugly-ass game, but having a solid run game as your foundation is a good way to mitigate issues in pass pro and poor rhythm from your quarterback(s).
- Christine Michael in particular looked great out there - his abrupt and athletic cuts behind the line allow him to find creases that other running backs wouldn't even see. He's shown creativity and explosiveness in his running, which is awesome to see. I don't know what the deal with Sherman Smith's proclamations that Michael will have a hard time being active on game day are all about, but maybe they're trying to keep the young back grounded and humble. Tonight's performance should earn him some points with Smith though - he looked like he really belonged. He finished with 11 carries for 97 yards - more than he rushed for in the San Diego game and more than he rushed for at any time in his senior year at A&M.
- I watched the defensive line pretty closely in this one because it's one of the units that is still most up in the air. We finally got to see Tony McDaniel in a Seahawks' uni and I was very, very encouraged. If he can be consistent and stay healthy, he looks like the answer at 3-technique under-tackle. If his first snap was any indication of how he'll play for Seattle this year, I'll take it, because he flat backed the guard he was lined up against and got into the backfield.
- I also thought that newest-Seahawk DT Sealver Siliga looked good out there. He's not fast. At all. But he's a hulking mass of a man with long arms, and he did a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage in front of him. He ended up with a sack and he should have had another after he used a club move to get into the backfield at some point in the middle of the game. He was held badly from behind and the refs somehow missed it - negating what would have been a great play. Regardless, I liked his stoutness and power - and I think that's exactly what the Seahawks wanted from him. Think, perhaps, a combination of Alan Branch and Jesse Williams.
- Stephen Williams continues to make a case for himself as the 5th receiver on this roster. He had two go-routes in which he was thrown to in the endzone - he was very close to coming down with the first, but that glanced off his helmet after it slipped through his hands, and the second, he straight stole from the defensive back. He also gets brownie points for taking a crossing route about 45 yards horizontally and 15 yards downfield for a first down on a third and long.
- The pass rush looked good. Multiple pressure schemes, sending five or six on third down, rushing from different angles. Bruce Irvin had a great tackle for a loss early on, and on first watch, Benson Mayowa looked good again as well. Overall the defensive line's play was encouraging. The Packers only rushed for 75 yards on 23 carries and their passing attack was tepid - 139 yards on 18 of 34 passing. Vince Young was probably their best backup.
- Russell Wilson didn't look in rhythm this whole game. He finished 11 for 17 with 126 yards and two picks - the first was deflected twice into the air and intercepted and on the second, it looked like Doug Baldwin stopped or slowed up on a route as he ran into coverage. Wilson threw it anyway and it was picked. Looked like an ill advised pass in the first place, but Baldwin didn't help by stopping up in his route. This allowed the safety to pick it off. I'll have to watch the game again to get a better idea of how he played snap to snap, but it was a not a great showing overall, that's for sure.
More tomorrow after I watch the game again - but talk about it here. What did you guys see?