Over the next 24 hours, or maybe even years, backlash will continue over the “touchception.” It will overshadow a performance that had a lot of positives for the Seattle Seahawks.
As the time expired on the clock, Russell Wilson hopped and heaved a ball into the end zone. You know the rest. Outside of those ten seconds, there was a sixty-minute game of football.
The biggest story line lost in this mess is the arrival of Seattle’s pass rush and the subsequent statement they made. Aaron Rodgers was sacked 8 times in the first half, tying the most in his career for any single game.
DE Chris Clemons dominated the highlight reel for his efforts, posting four sacks on the night. He was accompanied by rookie Bruce Irvin, who in committing two sacks himself, demonstrated to the Seattle fan base why he was their first-round pick.
After two weeks of the regular season, the Seahawks had only recorded a total of two sacks. But on Monday night, they looked to be in sync.
It was a complete defensive effort.
The “Legion of Boom”—the nickname for Seattle’s Secondary—was a critical part of the equation. There, tight coverage gave Rodgers no options. Whether he scrambled to the outside or stood firm in the pocket, Seattle’s pass rush applied pressure and made stats.
The result: The Packers made it past the halfway point only once during the first half. This limited them to just 87 yards and not a single drive inside Seattle’s 40-yard line.
Despite not sustaining this feat through the second half, Seattle kept the Packers offense at just 12 points—a victory in many regards.
Led by a conservative game plan, Russell Wilson and company struggled to ignite the offense and capitalize on a strong defensive performance.
The issues started with the offensive line, which did a lot right and a lot wrong. In limiting the Packers defense to just one sack, they also shut down Clay Matthews. He arrived in Seattle with six sacks for the season and left with six.
But their discipline ruined an otherwise good performance. The Seahawks lost 118 yards after being whistled 14 times.
While Wilson is stumbling to find his rhythm on the passing end, the already limited opportunities he got were not helped by simple penalties. In particular, Russell Okung's performance last night further put into question whether or not he wants to lead this O-line.
Wilson completed 10-of-21 and finished with 130 yards. The highlight here was Golden Tate’s uncontroversial touchdown. It came midway through the second quarter from a 41-yard bomb by Wilson.
Until offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell allows Russell Wilson to take more reps without the run, Wilson's numbers will continue to be far from excellent. Yet he has still won two games and came a catch away from being 3-0.
Special teams did not leave as significant a mark as it did last week. But punter Jon Ryan continued to go about his business quietly and put his name in early Pro Bowl conversations. He established the Seahawks by routinely giving them strong field positions, averaging 51.5 yards on six punts, including a 73-yard one.
Defenses have won Super Bowls. But before Seattle seriously considers itself in the playoff picture, they will need to address their offensive concerns.