Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Packers pluck the Seahawks 27-17

It may have been publicly downplayed by Green Bay Packers coaches, staff and players prior to the game, but there's no denying the sweet taste of revenge that comes with the Pack's Sunday night win over the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field. After losing three straight to Seattle, in heartbreaking ways, the Packers finally got their "white whale"...or blue-green birds...whatever.

It was a game where the better team exerted itself and controlled the game, particularly in the fourth quarter. To the latter point, the Packers controlled the ball for more than 10 minutes in the final quarter of the game, scoring 11 unanswered points.

As the Packers went to 2-0 in the division and conference, Seattle fell to 0-2, effectively putting the Pack three games up on their conference rival by virtue of the head-to-head tie-breaker, should it come to that at playoff time. The win was a huge one for the Packers and an equally huge loss for the Seahawks.
The Packers defensive line dominated the Seahawks
Photo by Rick Wood, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

While we expect the Packers offense to score points and lead the way (thank you, Aaron Rodgers, may we have another?), it was the Packers defense and special teams which played key roles in the win with unexpectedly strong performances. Outside linebackers generally held contain, while the D-line, anchored by B.J. Raji and Mike Daniels, stuffed RB Marshawn Lynch time and again, holding him to 41 yards on 15 carries. An amazing effort. Seattle QB and former Wisconsin Badger Russell Wilson was the team's leading rusher on the night, with 78 yards on 10 carries/scrambles.

The defense also caused two huge turnovers. Actually, LB Jayrone Elliott was the party responsible for both: he picked off one-handed a screen pass over the middle and then late in the game chased down RB Fred Jackson from behind and caused a fumble. A great night for the young man, who actually was back up to Andy Mulumba.

Packers special teams also are uncharacteristically performing well two games into the season under the leadership of coordinator Ron Zook. They covered well against the Seahawks. K Mason Crosby hit field goals of 54, 18, 44 and 21 yards. In doing so, he passed K Ryan Longwell as the Packers' all-time scoring leader. Congratulations, Mason!

While there was much to be pleased with in this game, injuries again reared up to bite the Packers. RB Eddie Lacy was lost in the first quarter to an ankle sprain; there is a possibility -- given the extra day of rest because the Packers don't play until Monday evening against the Kansas City Chiefs -- that he could be available to play. But James Starks carried 20 times for 95 yards as his replacement, proving why Ted Thompson decided to keep him in free agency rather than let him depart. Randall Cobb and rookie Ty Montgomery also got snaps out of the backfield, proving their versatility and how this offense just keeps coming at you no matter what.

WR Davante Adams was also out of the game for a while with an ankle injury, but returned to play. The biggest loss of the night was that of third-year DT, Josh Boyd, who broke his ankle and sustained some ligament damage, as well. He has since been placed on injured reserve for the season; the Packers immediately signed ILB Joe Thomas to the roster spot.

Chiefs up next
Next up for the 2-0 Packers are the 1-1 Kansas City Chiefs. The game will be in primetime on Monday night at Lambeau Field. In keeping with their 1-1 record, the Chiefs have both scored and given up 51 points in their first two games. The Packers, conversely have scored 58 while allowing just 40. The oddsmakers have installed the Pack as 6-1/2 point favorites at this point in time.

Check back with us later to read any updates and be sure to check back closer to game day for our preview and prediction.

Go Pack Go!!!