Packers Vs. Seahawks First Impressions – 2014 NFC Championship

Clay Matthews Russel Wiilson

Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks:  2014 NFC Championship (Packers 22, Seahawks 28)

As always, this post it what it says it is, unfiltered initial reactions as the game progresses. I always find it entertaining to compare initial impressions from the heat of the moment with more measured thoughts with time to think about it.  Everything is up for discussion.

 

GAME NOTES:

Aaron Rodgers’ calf has dominated the discussion leading up to the Packers – Seahawks game. All the questions will have been answered by the time this post is published.

Wet, windy weather in Seattle today. Would seem to favor best running game (Seattle) and QB with strongest arm (Rodgers).

I’d estimate about 10% of all NFL analysts have picked the Packers to win.

Packers are 2-11 over last 3 years when underdogs, but I’d guess at least a third of those came when Rodgers was out.

Captains for the playoffs (as voted on by the players) will be Aaron Rodgers (offense), Jordy Nelson (offense), Julius Peppers (defense), Morgan Burnett (defense), Randall Cobb (offense/ special teams) and Jarrett Bush (special teams).

 

Inactives for today’s game:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
26 RB DuJuan Harris
39 CB Demetri Goodson
54 LB Carl Bradford
72 C Garth Gerhart
80 TE Justin Perillo
83 WR Jeff Janis
99 DT Bruce Gaston

Seattle Seahawks
5 QB B.J. Daniels
23 SS Jeron Johnson
28 CB Marcus Burley
66 G Keavon Milton
68 T Justin Britt
70 DE David King
84 TE Cooper Helfet

 

 

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

 

Overcame adversity in Dallas win: It goes back to your team identity, grit and staying fundamentally sound.

Familiarity with this stadium help? It takes away the unknown for your young players. Anytime there a positive aspect of a football team it gets exagerrated. This team is ready to win the game.

Ready for weather? Have to take care of football, be more disciplined.  Game will start in the trenches and end in the trenches

Rodgers mobility: That’s something that gets answered once he gets going. Did some more this week than last week, so that’s a positive sign.

Travel day early: Did you like it – (Wayne replies, ” I loved it”)  I’m sure you did.  Just the emphasis on sleep and acclimation to the environment, it’s definitely the way to go. Sat practice was awesome – we practiced outside in the rain at a HS stadium.,  Did the wet ball drills, That was fun. Got together last night, energy was so great , I aborted half of my speech.

Lynch: he’s so strong in his core – you can noyt tackle him high, got get him low, and get miltuiple dodies

Wilson: He has the ability to win with his feet and his arm. They stretch your run defense – we have to treat him like a running back. They have several running threats – Russell is one of them. Stopping Russell and stopping the run will be one of the keys to victory.

Seattle defense: Don’t want to spend a lot of time going east-west, whatever you’re doing.

Sherman: Not about one player on defense or offense. Our offense is about trying to take advantage of matchups.

weather contingencies: Gotta take care of the football, We’ve extended the amount of time we spend on ball drills the whole second half of the season.,

Improved team?: We’re a different football team – you have to improve. We’ve taken big steps in the second half this season.

 

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Packers vs. Seahawks – First Impressions – First Half:

Seahawks win the toss and defer.

First play from scrimmage, Rodgers dumps off to safety valve John Kuhn for 3 yds.

Handoff on 2nd down to Lacy – no gain. 3rd and 7 tuns into third and two as Bennett jumps offside. Third down, Lacy picks up 13 yds and a first down. Game on!

Packers taking multiple deep shots on first series, last one turns into an INT in the end zone on 3rd and 10. Lose a potential field goal.

You all know how I feel about taking deep shots on third down. Just gave up 3 points…

In fairness, looking at the replay, Admas was open, pass was a little late, Adams does not go up strong after the ball. Sherman did.

Clinton-Dix with the pick and returns it to the 4 yd line. Mike Daniels runs down field to get in the face of a Seahawk – 15yd penalty. We all love Daniels’ fire, but you can’t go out of your way like that – too obvious. So now they’re back to the 19 yd line.

Packers settle for 3 points after failing to score twice from the 1 yard line.  Score should be 10-0 right now.

The much-maligned Brad Jones with a huge play! Forces a fumble on the kickoff return.

Packers have to settle for another field goal on 4th down at the 2 yd line.  Huge waste of two huge turnovers… You’re killing me, Packers.

 

Score at end of 1st quarter:   GB 13 SEA 0

Great play by Clinton-Dix with the on-handed INT, his second of the game.

Brilliant job by Micah Hyde, shedding the block, and bringing down Lynch (up high) solo.

Packers defense swarming (and tackling) today. Holding Lynch in check. Playing as well as they can.

Russell Wilson getting frustrated. Got to give him credit, though – he’s a tough dude.

Earl Thomas to the sidelines and now to the locker room. Looks like a shoulder injury.

Shields picks off Wilson in the end zone. great coverage, goes up strong, high points the ball, holds on, stays in bounds. Packers ball with 1;55 left.

Graphic on the TV screen: Rodgers record is 41-1 with a 16+ point lead.

Well, that was a rarity – 3-man rush and bunch of pressure on the QB. Seattle gives up, lets the clock run and heads to the Locker room.

 

Score at end of 1st half:  GB 16 SEA 0

 

Packers vs. Seahawks – First Impressions – Second Half:

A total of 8 passing yards by the Seahawks in the first half.

I noticed Wilson all alone outside after the read option on a 2nd down play? If he had kept it – big gain. Something to watch out for in the 2nd half.

Three and out for the Packers defense on 3 straight runs to start the half. Still swarming to the ball…

Three and out for the Packers offense as Cobb can’t stay up on a 3rd down completion and ends up a few yards short. Seahawks ball on their 20.

16 yard loss on a sack by Matthews. Flag for a late hit on Seahawks, wish it could have been tacked on.

2nd and 31, then 3rd and nineteen, Seahawks get a first down with a 29 yd completion. KILLER.

Packers used a 3-man rush with Datone Jones as a spy, so basically a 2-man rush. Wilson had forever to find Baldwin, who was all alone.

Ex-Packer Jon Ryan zings them with a fake field goal TD pass.

Rodgers fails to get ball to Lacy on a screen that was setup perfectly there.

Rodgers sacked, Packers punt. Momentum completely with Seahawks now.

3rd and 12 – Can Packers get a stop here ….   YES!

After punt, Lacy picks up a first down. R

Rodgers milking every second off the clock. Almost every snap is with a second left on the time clock.

 

Score at end of 3rd quarter:   GB 16 SEA 7

Packers start quarter with ball at their 25.

Starks with a 32-yard run – longest play of the game so far.

Sets up Mason Crosby’s 4th field goal of the game, a 48 yarder.

Seahawks down by 12, start on their own 13 yd line. Nice work by Packers coverage teams today.

Matthews in the middle spying Wilson – runs him down for little gain.

Packers pass rush collapsing the pocket without allowing any exit lanes for Wilson.

Packers with run, run, pass – 3 and out to give ball back to Seahawks with 5:30 left on their own

BURNETT INT! WOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!

Three straight handoffs lose yardage. Seahawks using time outs, get ball back with 4 min left on their own 30.

Lynch TD pass called back as he barely steps out of bounds. 1st and goal on the 9 yd line.

A few plays later. Wilson score on read-option, first one kept kept all day.

Oh damn. Bostick steps in front of Nelson and muffs the onside kick. Oh damn.

Lynch scores soon after, make two point conversion. lead by a FG. Luckily, they scored fast. 1:29 left.

Only positive I can come up with is at least now we’ll get to see Rodgers pass the ball.

Crosby does it again. Another 48 yarder to tie the game.

Matthews hasn’t been seen since Seattle’s next-to-last possession.

 

Score at end of 4rd quarter:   GB 22 SEA 22

Matthews out is a HUGE problem. Allows Wilson to run now.

Wait, he’s back on…

3rd and six:  My heart is pounding… 39 yard completion.

Fuck… TD. Fuck.

 

Final Score:  GB 22 SEA 28

 

 

Final Thoughts:

Watching the Panthers – Seahawks game closely last week, the Panthers moved the ball easily against the Seahawks, just beat themselves with mistakes. That’s what convinced me the Packers had a good chance in this game.

Packers with a sound offensive strategy in first half – go right at them with Lacy and exploit the holes in middle of the field.

Didn’t like what Matthews did on the Clinton-Dix INT return. If someone did that to Rodgers, we’d be screaming bloody murder.

Packers front 7  (and especially DL) played incredibly disciplined. Everyone staying in their lanes, nowhere for Wilson to run when he wants to. Collapsing the pocket without allowing exit lanes.

Fake field goal pass to an eligible lineman? Gotta give credit – that was brilliant.

Rodgers spotted running out of the pocket – obviously feeling much better than last week.

Packers kickoff and punt coverage teams were pretty much perfect today.

Sherman playing most of the last quarter with only one arm, yet not a throw or run play directed at him until 30 seconds left in the game.

On the 39yd completion to Baldwin, you saw why Casey Hayward is normally only used in zone coverage.

Mason Crosby gets a game ball, no matter what.

Aikman: As improbable a win as I’ve ever witnessed.

This one is going to hurt for a looooooong time.

You can blame Bostick, blame the #Packers secondary at the end, but this game was lost in the first quarter. Could have been 24-0. Alternatively, if you don’t want to blame the failure to fully capitalize on the turnovers, then blame MM for going ultra-conservative again w/ a lead

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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  • SchenySchen

    Disappointing loss. Don’t understand why Burnett slid down with over 4 min left after the last pick. You return that aggressively to set up a fg at worst. They thought the game was over. Gotta play 60 min hard. They didn’t and thus they list. On to the draft. GoPack!

    • Sven

      Thats really the lesson here. You have to play for 60 minutes.

      Its tough tonight. We deal and move on. I am already pumped for next season.

    • Mike Sherman

      couldn’t believe he went down like the game was over. wtf was that? Also, hawk is terrible, get rid of him. Have to say that

      • dobber

        It wouldn’t be the “First Impressions” column if someone didn’t make the Hawk comment…

        • Mike Sherman

          Hawk and house blew the fake fg, everyone’s job is to protect against the fake at that point. That was a pivotal play, of course it has to be mentioned in first impressions.

  • Jonny83

    That loss is on McCarthy. Way too conservative at times and we just let Seattle back into this game. We should have been at least something like 24-0 up at HT and you just felt Seattle was always going to respond.

    Nothing will happen but this team deserves to be roasted for this loss. Talk about one of the biggest choke jobs in the NFL in years. How can you trust this team again in the playoffs after something like this?

    • packett

      yep, another classic GB meltdown. Kind of like the Philly (Donavan McNab 4th and 26th completion).

  • billy

    several very very stupid plays…2 man rush on 3rd and 19, Burnett sliding down when no one within ten yards of him, CATCH THE DAMN ON SIDE KICK THAT HITS YOU IN THE HANDS…KNOCK THE 2 POINT CONV DOWN…wtf???? Pack outplayed them all game long till the stupid melt down at the end….unreal…just unreal…oh yah, score in the redzone when your on the one foot line…

  • David

    Are you kidding me? Worst loss I have ever witnessed.

    McCarty blew the game. So conservative in second half. As well as the Defense played they were exposed at the end.

    Packer’s outscored 28 – 6 in second half.

    If I am Mark Murphy I fire MM right now and tell him he has to find his own way home.

    Can’t wait for Game Balls and Lame Calls article.

    Lame calls:

    Capers 3 man rushes when it was 2nd a 31. Playing soft with 4 min to go.

    Burnett for going to the ground on INT.

    Special teams as usually blew it.

    Masthay was horrible again. What happened to him?

    Just ridiculous coaching.

    MM for being a pussy. Packers also had time to score TD on last possession but did not call time out soon enough.

    Can’t expect to score 6 points in 2nd half and win.

    6 points on 4 TO’s Horrible

    Still in shock more later…

  • cubFan90

    I don’t understand why we went into a prevent defense when putting pressure on Wilson was working for 3 quarters.

    • Tundraboy

      Exactly. Why???

  • dobber

    The frustrating part is that most of us didn’t expect the Packers to win today, and they led all but the last 2 minutes. So many plays to pick, so many opportunities…what do you say?

    They played a whale of a game against an excellent team in their park. No this is NOT their worst loss ever…

    • David

      Are you kidding me 19 to 7 with 5:04 for to go and run, run run? Two first downs and the game is over. Bye Bye MM

      • dobber

        …and what if Rodgers takes a sack/fumble? What if he throws a pick? What if he just throws an incompletion, stops the clock, an saves the SEA timeouts?

        You’re somehow living in a world where throwing the football, which they’d only been marginally productive doing in the second half, was a panacaea. It was the defense that was winning that game for the Packers and MM put the game in their hands.

        Bye, Bye MM? What are you, 12?

        • David

          They lost didn’t they? What about a play action TD? How about that? No, I am not 12. No need for name calling, is there?

          • dobber

            A play action TD would’ve been great. Could you guarantee that against the league’s best defense?

            • David

              Still lost didn’t they?

          • william dickson

            he is twelve

      • packett

        Quarless dropped the key pass that would have converted a 1st down. Get rid of him.

      • packett

        Get a new TE corp, and keep only Richard Rodgers. If you can’t catch, don’t be a TE for the packers.

    • I think I go along with the worse loss ever theme because of the sheer number of things they had to screw up to lose this game. And they did it. Incredulous…

      • packett

        Agreed. Worse playoff loss, and they look like bozos for having performed so well for 3 quarters…and then looking like dufus for last 4 minutes.

  • Jerry

    Talk about getting kicked in the ball’s! This one hurts real bad, much worse than 4th and 26! Morgan Burnett why are you going down after the pick there was too much time left. Does Ted Thompson check IQ’s at the Scouting Combine? That will be one long plane ride back to Wisconsin. Was the last two minute’s a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial audition? Glad I’am not Mr Bostick,he must feel like Bill Buckner.

    • David

      If you watch Peppers motions Burnett to go to the ground he may have gone the distance, at least 10 or more yards.

  • Chad Lundberg

    THIS LOSS IS ON MCCARTHY FOR RUNNING THE BALL WITH 3-4 MINUTES STILL ON THE CLOCK! IF THE COACH THINKS THE GAME IS OVER, SO DO THE PLAYERS AND THUS THIS STUPID PATHETIC COLLAPSE! THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR LOSING THIS GAME!!!!

    • SchenySchen

      I was going to skip your post, but then I saw that it was written in ALL CAPS so I realized it must be really important…… Take a deep breathe Chad. Being furious isn’t going to change the outcome and you probably have to go to work tomorrow. GoPack!

      • Chad Lundberg

        I’m sorry I know I’m overreacting it’s just that I felt like I was the only person who was screaming when we got the ball back after Wilson’s last pick. We got the ball back with a chance to run the clock out but McCarthy decided to be predictable and run the ball straight up the middle instead of trying to mix it up a bit where the Seattle Seahawks probably may not have had any answers, and we would have won. I know no one else felt the same way but I just felt that right in my gut that some kind of completely loaded BS Bologna was going to happen and it cost us the game. All we had to do was keep getting first downs but McCarthy went predictable run up the middle and I could not stand it.

        • SchenySchen

          I get it. I get a little snarky at times and couldn’t help myself. My apologies. It was a tough loss.

          • Chad Lundberg

            I accept your apology, but I will forever remember this game as the absolute prime example of how McCarthy is extremely predictable in the 4th quarter. Overall a good coach, but I am telling you that somewhere around half of our total losses have been because he goes so ultra conservative far too soon.

        • packett

          I had no problem with the running plays to kill clock. Lacy had made some great runs. I remember Quarless dropping a pass. I say, he deserves one dirty jock strap as gift from the locker room. Bostic gets one,
          Despite Ha-ha Clinton Dix outstanding night, he missed a sure interception, ., and missed the 2-point conversion play. That was the most obvious one play that would have made a difference. He gets a jock strap.
          Yeah, Morgan burnett gets one too. Just sliding down with the superbowl on the line? Come on man. Jock strap for you.
          Caper…I hope he’s gone.
          MM, still need him, but its time to send a warning to coaches. We’ve seen enough of not finishing games.

          • Chad Lundberg

            Look, I don’t have a problem trying to run the clock out either, but it has almost NEVER worked before. The one time I remember it working was a game against Minnesota where James Starks ran for 2 first downs. I has never worked outside of it, but MM felt as though he could run on SEA even though it was clear to just keep doing what they were doing.

            Put it this way: McCarthy was trying to fix something that wasn’t broke.

          • dobber

            An important part of those running plays was forcing Seattle to burn timeouts. I don’t fault them for doing that, and even Troy Aikman was talking about how the Packers would be foolish to put the ball in the air at that point.

            The Packer D had completely bottled up the Seattle offense ’til that point. I don’t think anyone expected they would go in the tank like that.

  • Since ’61

    Well the Packers certainly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. For some reason they stopped playing after Burnett’s pick. I don’t why he slid down. He could have run for another 10-15 yards for sure. Then Bostick with the dagger. 2 special teams plays cost the game, the fake FG and Bostick. Capers going with a 3 man rush on 3rd and 20 didn’t help either. I give MM credit. He had his team ready to play and he had Seattle beat on the road up to the last 90 seconds of the game in a game no one gave the Packers a chance in. Thanks, Since ’61

    • David

      Give him credit are you kidding me? He blew the game with his BS play calling. Fire him now!

      • Since ’61

        David – 3 bad plays. Burnett sliding on his pick when he had more yards to go, possibly FG position. Bostick leaving his feet to catch an onside kick that Jordy is ready and waiting for, and Dix not making a play on the 2 point conversion. All execution plays that if any one of them goes our way the game is over. Has nothing to do with play calling or MM. It’s all on the field and we didn’t get it done. Can’t stop playing for the last 4 minutes or so. Thanks, Since ’61

        • David

          Lot’s of good plays and lots of bad plays it is true. But to get five turnovers and score only 6 points off of them is on MM. Thanks

          • SchenySchen

            Did MM overthrow a wide open Jordy Nelson in the end zone? Great play call. Got the matchup we wanted and Rodgers misses the throw. — Eddie Lacy open on a short dump off screen with loads of room in front of him and Rodgers steps funny and can’t make the connection. Again, great playcall, failed execution. Firing everyone doesn’t solve those issues. GoPack!

  • Gman

    You play to win or you play not to lose. When you have a team down, you must learn to step on them and put them away….Go for the kill!!!! Great season, but sad way to lose. My hats off to the management, coaches, & players for giving us a great year. Hopefully, we go for the kill next year.

    • David

      Next year is for losers!

      • marpag

        See you next year, David.

        • David

          Nice comeback!

          • Sven

            It really was!

          • Thegreatreynoldo

            Classy admission though, David.

          • haha. That was a funny exchange

      • Gman

        12-4 record & 1 playoff win is for winners. Losers just stew in the loss and keep losing. Winners pick themselves up after a loss. This loss is like a kick in the gut. It should more than motivate the coaching staff to go for the kill next year & motivate the team to go to the SB.

  • Gman

    Thanks Jersey Al & crew for another great year. You guys do a great job of reporting, giving us insight, & letting us blow off some steam. Go Pack!!!

  • This hurts so much. The better team lost today. Go AFC. Failing that – go meteor to destroy the Lombardi before it’s handed out.

  • FIRE SLOCUMB! ANOTHER BAD DAY FOR THE SPECIAL TEAMS!

  • Tundraboy

    “Sherman playing most of the last quarter with only one arm, yet not a throw or run play directed at him until 30 seconds left in the game”

    Hey MM. Nice guys finish last

  • David

    Defense does not even give Roger’s a chance in OT brutal!

  • All I can say is that Seattle – and specifically Russel Wilson – has a horseshoe planted firmly up their asses.

    • David

      Good point plus MM on the other side of the field doesn’t hurt either.

  • Tundraboy

    Well we sure have added motivation and a chip for next year. Thanks Jersey Al for being the first to cover the aftermath and give me a place to commiserate. Now I want to go throw up!

  • croatpackfan

    Nice article Al, We saw that we can play against the best. There was 2 killers. One is that tricky play on special team for 1st Seahawks TD. Second was on side kick. For the first, I credit Pete Caroll for the bold and brave decision, but at that moment he had nothing to lose… For on side kick, by my opinion is mistakes from coaches, a do not know which one. Same story again as with “Fail Mary”. Do not try to be a hero in the game. Just do the job in the most simple way. Block the opponent and let Jordy to catch the ball! Again unfortunate sequence of events and we lose…

  • We were the best team in the NFL this year. And we blew it. I am literally almost crying. At 33 years old… and almost crying. Heartbroken.

    • Since ’61

      Bearmeat – I’m nearly twice as old as you. You have plenty of football left to see. It will get better and so will you. It always does my Green and Gold brother. Thanks, Since ’61

    • SchenySchen

      It’s ok to be sad. Just don’t let your sadness turn to anger at others or let it rule/ruin your week…..perspective. It’s my favorite word after a loss. Even one as overwhelmingly ridiculous as this one. GoPack!

    • Jerry

      Yea Bearmeat this hurts and it’s going to take awhile for this loss to fade away but it will. Guys like Since 61 and myself (I’am in my mid 50’s) lived through the Glory Years and the Dust-Bowl years (69-91) It could be worse, we could be the Bears and have a jerk like Jay Cutler as our QB. And the Vikes still have yet to win a Lombardi trophy.Look at the Jets and what a mess that franchise is. This was a tough pill to swallow but the loss to the Bronco’s in Super Bowl 32 was more pain full to me. Have a couple of beers and try to forget about it.

      • Mike Sherman

        the only reason we have to hopeful is because of TT and Rodgers. I still can’t believe we lost, but TT will prob have another good draft, get rid of Hawk, maybe add a great CB and TE. We can wish can’t we? Rodger’s is getting up there, after our first super bowl win with him, I thought we would have at least 1 more by now. Looks like we have rotten luck and AR only wins 1 or 2. Waste of top flight talent. Pathetic performance all around today.

  • Mojo

    Biggest choke job in NFL history. Fuck the Seahawks

    • Mike Sherman

      Rodger blew the game like a Brett Favre playoff performance. @ picks and didn’t throw the ball well. Guy was money all year and played like shit in the end. MVP? Yes but screwed up the playoffs

  • David

    Had lots of opportunity to go for the kill shot but showed mercy and got burnt. Back in the day Walsh and Gibbs would always go for the dagger with play action even when up by two TD’s or more. MM is a big pussy.

  • GBPDAN

    I’m numb….speechless

  • Sven

    Tough loss today, but a great season.

    • Mike Sherman

      The season was decent but a failure. We blew the end and 2nd place doesn’t mean much in history. We wasted another great year by Rodgers. Rodgers has to be pissed tho, he blew this game as much as anyone.

  • holmesmmd

    We will never beat SEA. If we couldn’t get it done today, it will never happen. I have never seen such a monumental FU in the 40 years I’ve been watching foot ball. God, you reLly have to try hard to crap the bed worse than GB did. It’s really astounding if you ask me…

  • holmesmmd

    One of the most monumental collapses in the modern NFL. Wilson throwing prayer balls beats you in the last 2 minutes?!

    • Mike Sherman

      Ha Ha blew that. Terrible, but he is 22 years old and thats what happens when you play kids. Kid had 2 picks but ultimately cost us the game. Next year? Fuck next year, we blew it and we have the same chance as 20 other teams of winning next year. Fuck it

      • holmesmmd

        WTF R u talking about? Williams….?as usual gave up the game winner. He won’t be with us next year. Ha Ha had a fantastic game! If you can’t rush the passer and cover the last 2 minutes of a game that you have been dominating for 3.5 quarters, you deserve to go home. Just terrible finish and no, GB will never beat SEA. They just are not consistent and disciplined enough. It’s really too bad

        • billy

          he had a good game but knock down a hail mary two point conv and we MAY win by two…there were some really dumb decisions made by multiple players late in the game, like the slide down after an INT with five mins left…that one had me puzzled..

        • Mike Sherman

          The 2 point conversion, did u watch the game? That was huge and ha ha’s fault. Read my response, I said he played well but ultimately that play cost the game. Williams had single coverage with no help and got beat on a perfectly thrown ball to the middle of the field…… Wtf r u talking about he cost us the game? U don’t know fOotball. And yes we can beat Seattle, they needed a horse shoe up their ass to beat us, we are the better team.