Seahawks 36, Packers 16: Game Balls and Lame Calls

NFL, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Packers vs Seahawks, Packers Seahawks 2014, Aaron Rodgers, Mike McCarthy, Dom Capers, haha clinton-dix, Derek Sherrod, Packers regular season, 2014 NFL season, 2014 NFL Week 1

Well, it was every Green Bay Packers fan’s worst nightmare and it was on national television to boot.

The Packers are 0-1 on the season as they fell to the Seahawks 36-16 at Century Link Field. The game was an utter disaster all the way around for Green Bay as Seattle outclassed them in all aspects of the game.

Aaron Rodgers looked lost, Eddie Lacy was stymied and the defense looked like, well, the same old Green Bay defense despite an infusion of new talent in the offseason. Oh and it’s not a Packers game without a potentially devastating injury and that came via Bryan Bulaga who missed most of the game after a collision with Richard Rodgers. Bulaga appeared to be holding the knee with the ACL he tore in 2013 that caused him to miss last season.

It was an absolutely brutal start to the season, but thankfully playoff spots are rarely own or lost in Week 1 and the Packers thankfully can put what was likely their toughest game behind them.

Here is who stood out and stood down in the Packers’ loss to the Seahawks.

Game Balls

LB Clay Matthews It seemed like Matthews was the only member of the defense who came to play Thursday. He finally looked healthy and was as disruptive as ever. The presence of Julius Peppers seemed to help Matthews gain some favorable matchups. He blitzed from both his natural outside position as well as at inside linebacker.

Facing the Seahawks is a stiff challenge, but if he can stay healthy then another stellar campaign from Matthews could be in the offering based on what we saw Thursday night.

S HaHa Clinton-Dix Sure he missed a few tackles (a problem much larger than one player on the Packers’ defense) but given he was playing his first NFL game on a very large stage, Clinton-Dix showed enough that fans can feel pretty good about him as he gains more experience.

The dropped interception was another negative grade, but again he’s rookie in his first NFL game. He isn’t going to become Nick Collins overnight.

RB James Starks He showed his worth as a change of pace back from Eddie Lacy and he picked up where he left off late last season. Starks signed a two-year deal with the Packers this offseason and he helped shore up depth behind Lacy.

Lacy suffered a concussion late against the Seahawks and if he has to miss time, Starks just might be up to the task. He’s no Lacy but Thursday he showed he can still get the job done in his own way.

Lame Calls

LB Brad Jones That contract GM Ted Thompson signed Jones to a few years back may prove to be a top five blunder in Thompson’s tenure with the team. He played so poorly he may not have only benched himself but he also may have released himself.

Missed tackle after missed tackle, Jones’ play was some of the worst by a Packer defender we have seen in a long time and given the defense’s play the past couple seasons that’s pretty telling

Jamari Lattimore or Carl Bradford, you’re next.

OL Derek Sherrod Part of me wants to feel bad for him because he finally gets to see meaningful game action after his 2011 injury and it’s against the best defense in the NFL.

The offensive line held up well until Bulaga went down. Then Sherrod became a liability. If Bulaga is indeed lost for the season again, Sherrod will be counted upon to step up in a big way to help keep Aaron Rodgers upright.

Oh and Sherrod did limp off late in the game. Think the Packers miss Don Barclay now?

RB DuJuan Harris He won the first crack at kickoff returns, but a pair of bad decisions relegated him to the bench on kicks and had Micah Hyde take his place. Harris needs to learn you have to take a knee when you’re seven yards deep in your own end zone. Field position is super critical against a team like the Seahawks and he did his teammates no favors in his two returns.

Jeff Janis was not active against the Seahawks. Any bets he will be against the New York Jets next Sunday?

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers Your defense had to show something tonight, Dom. The clock on your tenure in Green Bay didn’t strike midnight Thursday but the clock has started ticking.

How fast it ticks is up to you. Start by destroying the Jets, then we will talk.


Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and


62 thoughts on “Seahawks 36, Packers 16: Game Balls and Lame Calls

    1. Do you think Capers would be a better coach if he was coaching Seattle’s defense? I think the answer is a resounding YES. The coaches can draw up schemes all day but if players do not execute it doesn’t matter how great the x’s and o’s are.

      1. Except Capers has produced terrible defenses every year he’s been in GB save for his first year. At some point it’s time to blame the guy at the top not the rank and file.

        1. If you want to blame the guy on top then I guess you better start with Ted Thompson for not drafting better on defense.

            1. plenty of blame to go around, but players not being able to tackle is the players fault. Coaching too – Seattle does some creative things to teach tackling to their players.

              1. Capers has the talent on the field, he’s just NOT getting ATTITUDE with discipline–it’s like the Georgia Bulldogs with Todd Grantham as defensive coordinator–Grantham, former NFL coach–could NOT get them in position, TACKLE, or have any discipline on Dawgs defense last season. Dawgs bring in Pruitt from Fla. State–Pruitt gets the SAME players better positioned, SWARMING to the ball and TACKLING–what’s the difference: ATTITUDE, Pruitt gets discipline and ATTITUDE. Dom Capers defense can’t tackle any better now, than any Packers teams he’s coached.

      2. I said that once, I will repeat. Good manager or coach put the plans (schemes) to be reachable (executable) for his team. Not just put schemes. He finds the dominant players and make schemes to favor them. He play against opponent weakness and cover his. I was hearing all pre season than we will witness something unbelievable good on defense and that we do not want to show the opponents what we prepared. But game came and we still hiding what was secretly prepared. It seems to me that it was prepared so secretly that even Packers players do not know nothing about that…

    2. LOL! Hey, it’s good to be remembered by someone you don’t think you’ve ever heard of before.

      Ollie, can I assume that at some point in the distant past your strongly disagreed with me?


      1. Hi Marpag,

        Last year was posting as DaveD I believe. We had some disagreements for sure. All in fun my Brother.

        1. Fair enough, my man. I guess my question to you would be this: If everything else were the same except that Dom Capers were replaced by whomever you think is the best defensive coach in the league, do you think Green Bay would be transformed into a great defense?

          1. Yes, if the get rid of the 3-4 scheme, and Burnett, Hawk and Jones. They can’t cover anyone. That holding call on Jones with 8 min to go was so lame it is pathetic.

  1. Dom Capers what? Dom Capers missed all those tackles on Lynch? Capers got smothered or pushed aside by the Seattle O-line? Capers was ineffective at MLB? I see where people are calling for Mike Pennel to save the inside of the D-line. Really, UDFA will be Caper’s magic bullet.

    1. How many times last night did we see defenders there to make a tackle only to be shaken off by a runner (or blocked off the tackle by a lineman entering the play).

      Of course, that jet sweep killed the Packers. Not just when it was run, but when it was faked. Someone said that Peppers bit on misdirection too often…he wasn’t alone.

      1. without a doubt. I wrote in in my “first impressions post at the beginning of the 2nd quarter, “Any kind of misdirection the Seahawks are running is working…” As good as Lynch was, Harvin’s plays were the backbreakers.

  2. The Packers are a good team, but Seattle has raised the bar on what it is to championship. To win another Super Bowl they will have to get better. Capers needs to have a better plan to stop the run.

    1. I think you hit it here: the Seahawks are going to humble a lot of good teams this year. But then, maybe contrary to what many people are thinking at the moment, so will the Packers.

      Deep breath…exhale.

    1. And Mason Crosby…kicking the ball through the endzone and NOT kicking like he did in 2012 has to count for something.

  3. The Packers are off to a flying stop! I would add Linsley for game balls. I thought he handled himself very well in his first NFL action. Dix also played well. Hopefully we don’t have serious injuries to Bulaga and R. Rodgers. Defense again plays like tackling is illegal. Where was Daniels and his talk about a new attitude for the Packers defense, preseason nonsense. Fortunately the Packers have 10 days to prepare for the Jets. BTW, the Jets have a strong front 7 on defense. Not good news for our O Line. It’s only one game but it was a disappointing performance all around. Amoeba this! Thanks, Since ’61

  4. Hard to believe Packer inside triangle (NT-ILB) was swiss cheese vs The Beast! The same guy TT wouldn’t give a R4 pick for several years back. The TT/MM era is over, it’s just a matter of time. And Peppers, don’t get me laughing. The guy took the bait on every misdirection was very slow to diagnose/react. Stick a fork in Peppers (another Jeff Saturday-type acquisition).

    1. Only one game, but Peppers sure looked like a pass-rushing specialist. And you know what, if that’s how he’s used, I’m ok with it. Think that’s why you saw Perry and neal getting more snaps in the second half.

      1. Peppers is another bad defensive acquisition by TT. He is passion-less. DeMarcus Ware was the guy to get. He showed it first time out for DEN. It’s hilarious to read Packer fans arguing over whose at fault for this terrible defense: DC and his coaches; TT; or the players themselves. Answer: all three.

        Except for CMIII front 7 filled w misfits. Everyone wants to love Mike Daniels. He was smothered at DE by G J Carpenter. Daniels is a part-time player in nickel, nothing more. Guion, Boyd, et. al. aren’t much. And what happened to D Jones? Did he forget how to rush the QB when he traded his UCLA uniform for the green and gold? Or is it coaching? The questions are endless with this defense. The problem has been gaining momentum since 2010 despite a ton of high draft picks. I’m convinced there isn’t a personnel or coaching guy on the Pack that has a clue when it comes to defense. Kevin Greene was smart to bail. CMIII should have left as well. His career, like that of AROD, will be wasted in GB. Pack won’t even see a division title in weak division this year. 8 point favorite vs Jets is a gift.

  5. Ha Ha looked great as did most of the secondary not named Morgan Burnett. So did Peppers for the most part although they should have gave Perry more reps to keep him fresh. The offense will sort it’s issues out.

    That’s as positive as I can be right now.

    1. There were a couple blown coverages (that Seattle seemed to exploit every time), but I agree: the secondary play was pretty good.

    2. Agree – secondary looks really solid. Unfortunately, they spent most of the evening making tackles because no one was stopping Lynch and Harvin from getting into the secondary.

  6. The early report on Bulaga was a sprain and not a tear. With 10 days off for the Jets he and Lacy may very well be right back in there.

    1. God, I hope you’re right. Bulaga’s a great player but his knees appear to be made out of peanut brittle.

      1. I think he’s been unlucky as much as anything else. When the trash circulates around his legs, he gets it.

      2. He’s an adequate player… or rather he was the one single year he was able to play. As a 1st rounder he is producing like a 7th rounder.

        1. He was far, far better than adequate when uninjured. It would not have been a stretch to say he was close to a top five right tackle.

    2. A sprain is a tear. There are there levels of sprains, with Bulaga hopefully having the mildest form. From a sports medicine site: “A medial collateral· ligament (MCL) sprain is a tear of the soft tissue ligaments on the media (inside) of the knee.· “”

  7. I agree: that was a frustrating game to watch. This team shot itself in the foot way too many times to win, even if the tackling were cleaner and the discipline on defense were better. I’d like to say that if Brad Jones comes down with that pick early (nice play by Miller to poke that out) or Clinton-Dix catches what was almost a ‘fair-catch’ interception, maybe things swing a little more toward the green and gold, but I know better. I think Brad Jones is officially changing his name to “Holding, #59, Defense”.

    It certainly appears that this is a team that will struggle against power running games. I think the defense is built to play track meets: force opponents to put the ball in the air, and slow them down enough so your offense can outscore them. One thing is for certain: everyone is going to be running jet sweeps (and fakes) against the Packers until they show better discipline.

  8. Nice picture of TT looking clueless. It’s fitting, given that he passed on the best NT in this year’s draft, Louis Nix, in the second round as well as DaQuan Jones in the third. We could use either one in the middle.

    1. Hey Parmenides, enough with your TT bashing!! Keep it up and I’ll report you for unnecessary bashing of a living legend!! You want Tom Braatz or Mike Sherman knucklehead?
      Before you go crying about our middle, ah I think you are forgetting that it was TT that has our best kept secret weapon locked and loaded. I am talking Mike Pennel.

      Next week, TT will sign off on unleashing the beast and you will be here apologizing to me and the rest here. They held him back simply because he’s a rookie and thought Seattle wasn’t the best place to start the beast out. It was a mistake. Next week the Mike Pennel era starts. Trust me, he will make everyone on defense better. He’s the real deal!!

      1. So, our hopes for an effective defense against the run are with an UDFA from Colorado State Univ. – Pueblo. I love it! That TT sure is a genius. In fairness to Mike Pennel, he’s probably the best player to come out of CSU-Pueblo since Herman Heard, a RB who was drafted in 1984 by the Redskins in the 3rd round.

        1. Oops, my mistake. Heard was drafted by and played for the Chiefs. In my dotage, I often confuse those two “politically incorrect” named teams.

        2. Yep!! that’s what I said Parmenides. Ted couldn’t predict B.J. Raji’s injury but he covered his ass with an even better, younger, faster, and stronger player in Mike Pennel. He wanted some time for him to mature and learn but those days are over with now. It’s Mike Pennel time in Green Bay. The guy has Reggie White type brute strength. An absolute beast. Look for an entirely different defense next week and Mike Pennel is that reason. He’s a game changer. I can’t wait!!

  9. No doubt that there are a lot of things to shake your head at. We are missing some talent here or are injury depleted there will be common gripes as the season moves along. The thing that bothers me most is our coach staff inability to adjust and move the game in a different direction. While Capers has been in many people’s sights, I would argue that Mike McCarthy is negligent in coaching the team. I am not a fan of a guy burying his head in a play calling sheet while things unravel on multiple fronts. I am not a Pete Carroll fan but he at least sees the whole game and let’s talented coaches manage their disciplines. McCarthy never got his offense out of first gear and could only look perplexed as special teams ran around in disarray or our ILB disappeared into the pile.
    Hire good people and coach the team. That might involve letting Slocum and Winston Moss go.

  10. Everyone can complain about Capers all they want, but McCarthy was the worst coach on the field last night. Going back to the Giants playoff game in the 2011 season, every time the Packers go against a real good defense, our offense can’t move the ball. There’s no creativity. Everyone knows what’s coming and knows how to stop it, if they have the right players. Nothing changes.

    The points we did manage to score last night were gifts First, Seattle muffed a punt. Next series they committed a 40 yard pass interference penalty. Packers last TD seemed like Seattle was in prevent mode and just wanted to make the Pack eat up clock time, which they did.

    I thought McCarthy lining up Boykin with Sherman all night was a cowardly move that was never going to work. Jordy just got a big contract. Cobb’s looking to sign one. Make Sherman have to stop our elite receivers. Instead, the whole right side of the field went unused and their top notch safeties only had to help out on the left side which made it easy for them. It was a bonehead strategy that backfired.

    If the Packers don’t have a deep playoff run, they should be looking to hire Darrell Bevell as head coach. He could use Cobb like he uses Harvin, keeping defenses on their heels while Lacy and Nelson do damage. And there’s no way he would turn down a chance to coach Rodgers.

    1. I agree 100% with your first sentence – my feeling has always been that McCarthy gets outcoached in big spots. Harbaugh has had his number for years. To me, Harvin was the back breaker last night and you’re right on point asking why isn’t Cobb used like that – even a little?

  11. I would replace Morgan Burnett with Clinton-Dix. Just because TT made a bad decision and gave Burnett a new contract a couple of years ago does not mean he should be playing. Also, please get anybody in there besides Brad Jones!

  12. New year – same team. Rotten defense, rotten O-line. When will this formuyla stop?

    Answer: When a new management team is hired to replace Thompson/McCarthy/Capers.

    Well, at least I can save time this season. I’ve already seen this movie before. I know how it ends.

  13. To early to grade out the season on the first game! Especially when it’s the champs, who look in top form right off the get go. Maybe it’s just me but they just seemed prepared, and we looked like it was our second pre-season game. So many times last night our defense took themselves out of position. The offense was very vanilla, and I get that its Century Link field & the whole 12th man thing, but you have had more than enough time to get ready. We showed that we can win up there(#failed mary) . Maybe you just should have bit the bullit on Sherrod & moved on to greener pastures. Maybe some of these 1ST & 2ND rounders you have taken not named LACY & COBB over the years just aren’t that good which falls on TT&MM. With TT getting a new contract the thought of getting an innovating mind like a Darrell Bevall will never happen. With a QB like Rogers we are wasting his potential. By the way AR I wish you would finish out your scrammble and run for the obvious first down instead of trying to force a big time play. A fresh set of downs goes a long way

  14. Just great that we have TT and MM locked up for years to come. Can’t wait to enjoy more high school level football for the next 5 years. Not exactly sure what an assclown looks like, but if I had to guess, it was when they were showing TT looking perplexed about what was going on. And to all you Sherrod lovers out there, I told you so. I believe we found someone worse than Marshall Newhouse. Never seen anyone escort his opponet to the qb like that. He is like a one legged man in an ass kicking contest.
    Was I the only one that noticed how pissed off Rodgers was at MM. Rodgers may have to demand a trade if he ever wants another ring…

  15. Brad Jones better find the bench this week. Always tackles high. Get Barrington or Lattimore in. Could we see the return of Picket this week? Just need a NT that knows his only job is to hold ground in the middle. Conveniently, I’ll change my prediction to 15-1…. 🙂

  16. First consolation thought this morning was.well at least we got that out of
    the way, and still have a whole season left. Not as bad as the bad
    taste losing in the playoffs, and then having to wait a year?”

    But it just feels pointless. Barring, trades for a real NT, lots of OL help and an immediate overhaul of the ILB.

    Great article Loved the “”Brad Jones can’t start for a championship
    defense. You might not see a 3-4 inside linebacker (or any linebacker,
    for that matter) play a worse game all season”.

    Maybe now they will get it. Middle is a joke And to top it all
    off, combine that with Hawks sub mediocrity, and no matter how long the d
    hangs in there at some point you get this!

    All I want to see now is Lattimore,Pennel,and Elliot playing. and for McCarthy to open up the whole dam playbook!!!

    And cant anyone else start instead of Burnett? What the hell.

  17. What pass rush? I seen one time Peppers and Matthews got to Wilson and that’s because his receiver got held and he could not release the ball fast enough! What smash in the mouth football by Daniels? “All Talk!” Only time we heard his name was on a running into kicker penalty! Hawk and Jones let me see if I can remember ever seeing them in this game Hmmmmm oh yeah Jones had a pop up handed to him and he dropped it! Time for Lattimore and Barrington to have their chance in the middle because Hawk/Jones is and always will be the weak link in the middle. Capers is old school its time for some fresh ideas from a new set of eyes because he has had 4 years to correct the defense and it is not working. Capers is a coach for the 90’s they need one for the 21st century. As for Aaron it was a sad day in Green Bay when the QB basically admits he is scared of a CB because by him not throwing the ball at Sherman ONCE the whole game he should have just walked over at the start of the game and kisses his cleats and tell him I am scared please do not intercept my passes!!! He not only made himself look bad by doing this he made the team look bad. I sure hope he can look at himself in the mirror and not see a beak forming on his face! Bawk Bawk

  18. i know this was the first game, but it was against a team you have to be able to beat to get to the Super Bowl. Year after year this team falls short against must win games. The Giants beat them in the playoffs, the 49ers beat them in the play offs, and not only beat them but handed them their ass just like in Thursday’s game. The number of first round busts the Packers has makes me think Thompson isn’t all that. Look at Sherrod. Keeping players like Brad Jones, and Burnette. And the coaching has to be the biggest reason the Packers will never be in the Super Bowl 4th and five???? be serious. Then we hear from the coach that we need to fix that and it never gets fixed, or he is going to help Capers with his defense and the defense still sucks. Their won’t be another Packer Super Bowl visit with this crew in charge.

  19. Is it JUST ME, or on the fake handoff to the RB that Wilson threw the TD pass to Lockett, wasn’t half the O-line PAST the line of scrimmage? That means O-lineman downfield was past line of scrimmage and the pass was ILLEGAL! Just saying, the refs should’a been watching the line of scrimmage better than they were. Wouldn’t make a lot of difference but that’s why they have so many rules!

  20. Outcoached and OUTPLAYED, McCarthy waited too long to realize Hawks were flying to the line and shutting down the pounder Lacy who is not fast hitting the holes and tends to run east/west on cuts against aggressive defenses. Starks/Harris hit the hole quicker, were slightly better because they were faster into hole and defense. McCarthy failed to adjust once he saw what little Hawks were giving–the short dink and dunk game will open up the mid-long pass game provided Pack moves the ball consistently without mistakes. This Packers O-line CANNOT RUN BLOCK against better D-lines, that means moving the pocket, being creative, change snap counts, alternate signals–NFL is also MENTAL as much as physical–McCarthy failed to make the Hawks think about his offense–quick snap counts, line up and snap on silent count, etc…get Hawks anticipating instead of knowing counts. Despite the no-huddle, defense was off at the snap just as if they knew Packers signals. Once the Packers couldn’t get much offensive production, it was just a matter of time wearing down their defense for the Hawks. When a Seattle player got his arms on a Packers ball carrier, end of play, while Packers missed first, second, and sometimes THIRD tackles on plays–that’s on Capers and defensive coaches–FUNDAMENTAL football that every play understands but Packers coaches don’t get from their unit.

  21. After watching the ALL-22 a few things became clear:

    Letroy Guion played WAY better than national pundits state. Guion made the exact same amount of plays Raji would’ve made but for $3 million less. Both Guion and M. Daniels wore down by the 4th quarter due to a stagnant offense.

    Brad Jones replaced Nick Barnett and became Nick Barnett 2.0. Lacks aggression/ tackles 5-7 yards down the field/Only makes plays against lesser competition/ lacks instincts/ go on and on… He simply cannot “stack & scrape” across the line.

    Richard Rogers cannot run inline run block. Words cannot express how bad his run blocking has been since the preseason. For some reason pundits have convinced packer nation he’s an average run blocker. 7 plays he was blown off the block after he engaged. Rogers needs time in the weight room and it won’t happen this year. Calling Ryan Taylor!

    Corey Linsley may be the permanent center from here on out. Keyword maybe.

    J. Peppers has no interest in run defense but he still brings the juice when it comes to pass rush. Capers needs to play N. Perry on obvious run downs and Peppers on pass plays. Nick Perry is a powerful man and he made it clear on film. Simple solution.

    Mike Neal is an enigma. One minute he makes a play the next he’s gets engulfed by a Tight End. Too good to release not good enough to start

    A.J Hawk how many times can you watch film and say wow he’s slow.

    Josh Sitton is the 2nd best interior lineman in the league. And it’s been that way for 3 years.

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