Bay Packers 42, Seattle
January 11, 2007
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
Offense: Matt 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 .