Packers vs. Seahawks: Seattle's DL Shines as Controversial Call Seals the Deal

Tyson Langland@TysonNFLNFC West Lead WriterSeptember 25, 2012

Sep 16, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin (51) celebrates after sacking Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) (not pictured during the 2nd half at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Dallas 27-7. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

There were so many good storylines that could have played out if it weren't for that one infamous call at the end of regulation.

We could be talking about the absolute dominance of the Seahawks' defensive line. who piled up more sacks in the first half than you can count on one hand. Or how about the stout play of the secondary? They helped the defensive line get to Aaron Rodgers as the Packers receivers failed to get separation all game long.

Yet, Steve Young said it best during his postgame segment on ESPN: It's so sad that we're not talking about one of the great defensive efforts that have been seen in a long time."

Unfortunately, the general observer will forget about the first 118 plays of the game and focus on only the last one. Which is completely understandable considering it effectively decided the outcome to a game that proved to be crucial for both teams.

But just remember Green Bay could have done themselves the favor of not being put in this position by protecting Aaron Rodgers, which in turn would have helped them sustain drives.

By no means am I saying the final call was the right one; I actually thought it was the wrong one for multiple reasons. However, there's nothing that can be done about it now. The bottom line is this: Seattle moved to 2-1 and Green Bay moved to 1-2.

The game started out in true Seahawk fashion with the 12th man playing a role in helping the defense get cranked up. There's no question the crowd noise plays a part into the way an opposing offense performs.

Which leads me to the question, when was the last time the Green Bay Packers had fewer than 185 yards passing?

It was in fact January 9, 2011. The Packers' Wild Card victory over the Eagles on that day was the start to their legendary Super Bowl run. So, it's safe to say Mike McCarthy's offense met its biggest challenge tonight since that playoff game.

At times it almost looked as if Green Bay's offensive line looked lost and confused. Chris Clemons decided to have his best game as a pro on national television, as he single-handedly turned Marshall Newhouse into minced meat. Clemons finished the game with four sacks and four quarterback hits, both career highs. 

On the opposite side of the defensive line, rookie Bruce Irvin decided his coming-out party was too going to be on Monday Night Football. Irvin finished the game with two quarterback sacks and three quarterback hits.

Up until tonight when Irvin showed him who was boss, Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga had played okay through Weeks 1 and 2. Pass-blocking had actually been his strongest area of performance given the fact he only allowed a total of six quarterback pressures, but the continuous pressure he gave up on the edge might just land him of Pro Football Focus' Had A Bad Day Team.

In all, the defensive line racked up eight sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hits.

Offensively, outside of Marshawn Lynch and Golden Tate, no one looked overly inspiring. Seattle's wide receivers failed to get separation when Russell Wilson needed it the most, and Wilson often looked to make plays outside of the pocket when things broke down.

For the second time this season Lynch fell just yards short of the century mark. Currently, the Seahawks are the only team in the NFL to have more rushing yards than passing yards.

At game's end, Coach Carroll's offense has 424 yards on the ground and 383 yards through the air after three games. If the Seahawks want to stop defenses from zeroing in on the run game from here on out they will need to open up their passing game tremendously. 

And even though this game turned out to be about the bad calls, there was plenty of good football being played in the midst of all these yellow flags.