So, the initial impression of that one is undoubtedly, in the words of the immortal Jack Buck, “I don’t believe what I just saw!!!”
But here a bunch of others from beat writers Jayson Jenks and Bob Condotta.
First from Jenks:
1, Defensive lineman Michael Bennett had a huge impact. Bennett didn’t have any sacks, and he had only two tackles. But Bennett still was a disruptive factor in stopping the run, and his ability to penetrate and slip through Green Bay’s line helped slow the Packers’ rush attack in the second half. Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said of Bennett, “His penetration was a factor.” Bennett is so quick at the line of scrimmage, and he was constantly slashing through Green Bay’s line. He didn’t get as much pressure against Aaron Rodgers, but he was still a factor in the run game.
2, Alvin Bailey held the line at right tackle in filling in for injured offensive tackle Justin Britt. Bailey gave up a sack on Seattle’s second series of the game when veteran defensive end Julius Peppers pushed Bailey onto his backside before dropping quarterback Russell Wilson. Bailey called that sack “pretty bad.” But he settled down after that and, at the very least, wasn’t a noticeable weak spot along Seattle’s offensive line. Bailey had mostly played guard and also had filled in some at left tackle, but Sunday was the first time Bailey had ever played right tackle in a game. He practiced at the position during the week, but didn’t find out he would make the start until before the game on Sunday. “I know I was a little tentative,” Bailey said, “but as the game went on I got comfortable over there at right tackle. That was my first time playing over there all year, but that’s not an excuse.”
3, How will the Seahawks bounce back from Sunday’s win? As thrilling as Seattle’s game was — Brandon Mebane said it was better than last year’s NFC Championship game against the 49ers, and I’m sure he wouldn’t get much of an argument — the Seahawks exit with some question marks. How serious is Richard Sherman’s injury? Or the ones to Earl Thomas and J.R. Sweezy? Coach Pete Carroll said he thinks Sherman, Thomas and Sweezy will be fine, and all three of those players are the types of people to play if there’s anyway possible. But still, it’s worth noting that those injuries could be a concern moving forward. After all, Carroll said he didn’t know how Sherman was able to play with his elbow injury, and Thomas has to leave the game and head to the locker room to get his shoulder examined. Sunday’s game took a physical toll against the Seahawks, and Sweezy said the ability of guys to keep playing through the injuries and the setbacks is a characteristic of the team. “That’s what we are: finishers,” Sweezy said. “Every single person on this team is a finisher, or they wouldn’t be on this team. We all know that and respect each other because of that.” And what does finishing mean? “To never quit, to give it everything you’ve got even if you can’t.”
And from Condotta:
1. There will be endless debate the next two weeks about Russell Wilson in the wake of this game. But what sticks in my mind is a quote Carroll often uses about Wilson that “he’s hard to beat.” That’s what he was again today. This was not a great quarterbacking performance, but all that happened bad early was not all his fault — the receivers, and particularly Jermaine Kearse, could have helped him more and the protection was spotty at times. But Wilson didn’t waver in the wake of all the mistakes and made the plays at the end of the game to win the game. Are there better quarterbacks in the NFL? Who knows? Are there better quarterbacks for the Seahawks? Two Super Bowl trips in two years makes that hard to argue.
2. This could have been Marshawn Lynch’s last home game as a Seahawks — and if it was, this was the most fitting swansong possible. So, who knows for sure if this is Lynch’s last game at CenturyLink. There was an NFL.com report earlier today backing up rumors going around that the Seahawks are more apt than ever to bring him back. Still, you never know for sure — Lynch was not around after the game to talk about anything. And Lynch was never better, arguably Seattle’s MVP and the main reason the offense did anything through the first three quarters of the game. That was a hard-fought 157 yards on 25 carries and showed that Lynch appears to still have a lot of life left.
3. Byron Maxwell now has two of the seven interceptions Aaron Rodgers has thrown this season. Which I bring up in part to give the defense some credit for keeping the Seahawks in the game. That could have, and maybe should have, been 24-0 or 28-0 at halftime. But plays such as the one Maxwell kept Seattle in it. Recall that it was 16-0 and Green Bay had the ball at the Seattle 33 with a first down following what was Green Bay’s longest pass play of the day — a 23-yard pass from Rodgers to Jordy Nelson. There was some sort of miscommunication on that play and Maxwell didn’t necessarily have to do much other than make the catch. Still, this was a game where the obvious play wasn’t always made. Maxwell made it in a game when the Packers too often didn’t.