First impressions from our coverage team after the Seahawks’ 36-16 victory over the Packers at CenturyLink Field:
Jerry Brewer: There was a preseason notion that the Seahawks run defense would be diminished this season, with the departure of run-stuffing specialist Red Bryant and fellow defensive end Chris Clemons. But the Seahawks fared well against Green Bay’s improved run game, stopping Eddie Lacy, one of the league’s best young backs. Lacy averaged only 2.8 yards per carry, rushing 12 times for 34 yards. And he was forced to leave the game early to get tested for a concussion. The revamped defensive line was stellar, and linebacker Bobby Wagner and safety Kam Chancellor were all over the field, making big hit after big hit. In all, the Packers managed only 80 rushing yards and 3.8 yards per carry.
Larry Stone: The Seahawks’ defense was as disruptive as we’ve come to expect. For me, the most positive development were on offense – specifically, Marshawn Lynch and Percy Harvin. Because of his minimal use in the preseason, and advancing age, some expected this to be a year in which the team transitioned away from Lynch. But he was as explosive as ever, and served notice that the Seahawks’ offense will still be predicated on Beast Mode. Harvin, meanwhile, reinforced just what a multifaceted weapon he will be as long as he stays healthy. He made an impact running the ball, catching it, and returning kicks. Between the ruggedness of Lynch and big-play threat of Harvin, the Seattle offense will be extremely tough for opponents to deal with.
Bob Condotta: Seattle’s preseason-long enthusiasm over the progress of its offensive guards was on full display throughout this one as left guard James Carpenter and right guard J.R. Sweezy were on point and powerful throughout. Carpenter, in particular, got what is a key year for him personally off to about the best start possible.
Jayson Jenks: Safety Kam Chancellor and linebacker Bobby Wagner were two guys who won’t grab many headlines, but they were all over the field for the Seahawks. Chancellor’s thumping tackles continued setting the tone for the way the Seahawks want to play defense, and he helped corral Eddie Lacy, the Packers’ bruising running back. Wagner is one of the NFL’s hidden gems at linebacker, but there’s a good chance that could change this year. He had 10 tackles against the Packers — in the first half. They both played a large hand in shutting down the Packers.
Percy Allen: This week Richard Sherman said one of his biggest challenges during games is fighting boredom because opposing quarterbacks rarely challenge him. The Seahawks cornerback might have been flat-out disinterested in Seattles 36-16 win due to the fact that ball never came his way. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 23 of 33 passes for 189 yards, while not once throwing at the two-time All-Pro cornerback.
Matt Pentz: The battle between Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Seahawks secondary was far more compelling than the gap in the final score indicated. Rodgers finished a 23 for 33 with 189 yards, a touchdown and an interception. And there were flashes of his methodical best, when he found openings nobody in the stadium saw and threw receivers open. The first half felt like a tactical battle between masters, two sides feeling each other out. Seattle had the better of the second half, never allowing Rodgers to regain that early rhythm but for a late drive with the game already getting out of hand.