SMQB: Packers 42, Seahawks 20

SMQB: Packers 42, Seahawks 20

The Seahawks ran into the proverbial buzzsaw on Saturday afternoon and were systematically dismantled by the Packers despite jumping out to a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter. The Packers would score touchdowns on six consecutive possessions to stake their claim as the NFC's best team and crush Seattle's dreams of returning to the Super Bowl.

Green Bay Packers 42, Seattle Seahawks 20

Saturday January 11, 2007

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI

Play Of The Day:  On the Packers first play from scrimmage, Brett Favre threw a screen pass to Ryan Grant who slipped on the wet grass and quickly scrambled to his feet only to be drilled by Leroy Hill, who not only knocked Grant back to the turf but separated him from the football, allowing Lofa Tatupu to scoop it up and return the fumble twelve yards to the Green Bay one.  One play later, Shaun Alexander would score, spotting Seattle to an early 7-0 lead.

Handouts to the Standouts:  Leroy Hill played a solid game, racking up 10 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and seemed to be the only person on the Seahawks who was able to tackle Ryan Grant in the backfield.

Things That Made Me Go "Blech"John Marshall's defensive game plan was … interesting.  Despite having four Pro-Bowlers and a top ten defense in points per game, Seattle was completely overmatched on virtually every drive.  A prime example could be found on a 3rd down play in the first quarter in which a 31 yard reception to James Jones in the first half featured a zone blitz that left Patrick Kerney alone in the middle of the field in coverage against a wide receiver.  Plays like that might confound a quarterback who hasn't played in 10 years, but Brett Farve wasn't fooled.

Marcus Pollard fumbled after a hit from Atari Bigby, let a touchdown go through his fingers in the third quarter and later repeated the mistake on a crucial fourth down towards the end of the game. 

Seattle conceded the game with just less than five minutes left by running the ball.  I understand that team was down by 22 on the road, but, really, what was the harm in trying a few long passes?  Worst case scenario, the Packers intercept and score again.  Is losing by 29 that much worse than losing by 22?  I'd much rather have seen the team go down fighting instead of just rolling over with five minutes left.

OffenseMatt Hasselbeck had a decent enough game, finishing 19-33 for 194 yards and one touchdown, but the running game was flat out atrocious, netting a whole 28 yards total.  The run blocking was extremely poor, as it has been all season long.  Ben Obamanu did a nice job coming in off of the bench in relief of Deion Branch who left the game with a left knee injury and did not return.  Bobby Engram led the team with 6 receptions and a touchdown and Shaun Alexander had two nice catches out of the backfield.  Still, to paraphrase Dennis Green, the team was who we thought they were – namely a team utterly incapable of running the ball.  One can only hope that during the offseason, the offensive line is the front office's top priority.

Defense:  The Seattle defense came roaring out of the gate, forcing fumbles on the first two Packer possessions and appeared to be in complete control of the game.  Sadly, after those first two possessions, the wheels came flying off.  Against the run the Seahawks seemed completely mystified by the concept of outside runs, allowing Grant to continually turn the corner for big gains.  Grant would finish the game with over 200 yards and three touchdowns.  Against the pass, the secondary did a decent enough job, but Favre was just simply on fire – he was elusive in the pocket and showed great touch when he needed to, and he was zeroed in on Greg Jennings, who would finish the night with six catches for 70+ yards and two touchdowns.

Special Teams:  Ryan Plackemeier's punts were short but high enough that not one was returned.  Josh Brown was money on both of his field goal attempts and generally did a good job of getting the ball deep on kickoffs.  Once again the kick coverage left a lot to be desired, with the Packers usually starting with the ball on the wrong side of the thirty.

Summary:  The Seahawks ran into the proverbial buzzsaw on Saturday afternoon and were systematically dismantled by the Packers despite jumping out to a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter.  The Packers would score touchdowns on six consecutive possessions to stake their claim as the NFC's best team and crush Seattle's dreams of returning to the Super Bowl.

Dylan is a die-hard Seahawks fan trapped in Eagles Country and firmly believes that "Live At Leeds" is the single greatest live performance since a deaf Ludwig Van debuted his final symphony in Vienna in 1824.  You can e-mail Dylan at NJSeahawksFan@gmail.com .

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