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.
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 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
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
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.
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
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——————
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.