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.
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.
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 AllGreenBayPackers.com 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 CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke