Monday, September 08, 2014

"It's Not A One Game Season": Packers Lose To Seahawks, 36-16

It's hard to write about how the Packers lost by 20 points, their 3rd largest margin of defeat in the last three seasons (the Packers didn't lose a game by 20 or more points at all in 2009-2011).

QB Aaron Rodgers wasn't sharp, the defense couldn't tackle or force a turnover, they burned a couple timeouts early due to general confusion, and they had some killer penalties (one on DE Mike Daniels for running into the kicker and a holding penalty on LB Brad Jones that extended Seattle's 4th quarter drive that led to their final touchdown). It was a sloppy mess of a game and this is the best that can be said about it:
On Thursday I wrote about two keys to the game, and the Packers failed badly on both fronts.

The first key was RT Bryan Bulaga, whose game was unfortunately cut short due to a knee injury that could keep him out for a few weeks. Backup RT Derek Sherrod allowed a sack on a 4th down attempt and surrendered the sack that forced a fumble/safety. And to keep up with the sloppy theme, LT David Bakhtiari had a personal foul after the fumble/safety. The line had to protect Aaron Rodgers, and they did a pretty good job for most of the game (3 sacks and 4 QB hits) but those two sacks allowed by Sherrod were such big, negative plays that they overshadowed the rest of the line's good work.

Obviously Sherrod's someone to watch closely over the next few games (depending on the severity of Bulaga's injury). If there is a silver lining, it's that he was pretty inconsistent during the preseason. He was terrible last month in St. Louis, but he was solid in their other three preseason games. Hopefully the Seattle game was his bad week, and he'll look much better over the next few games.

The second key was to attack QB Russell Wilson. He didn't have a monster game, he was held under 200 yards passing and a couple of tipped passes could have easily been intercepted (also a long incompletion to FS HaHa Clinton-Dix probably should have been picked off), but the defense didn't make him pay for his mistakes/bad luck. They only recorded one sack and one QB hit. Basically everything bad from the 2013 defense (terrible run defense, poor tackling, no turnovers, little pass rush) returned for Week 1.

They won't look back (they rallied from a disastrous 30-point loss on Thanksgiving last season to win three of their final four games) and this game in Seattle was their toughest road match-up of the year. I'm looking forward to see them bounce back next week.

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