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.



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.




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


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


Follow Jersey Al:

                    Add to Circleson Google+

Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, 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


102 thoughts on “Packers Vs. Seahawks First Impressions – 2014 NFC Championship

  1. I can try to be the ray of sunshine here for a minute and you can all roast the hell out of me. Don’t get me wrong: the outcome sucked and we’ll all be hurting for a while. But by and large this team played its ass off and led the defending SB champs–and arguably the hottest team in the league–for all but a couple minutes in one of the hardest venues in which to play in all of sports. Far better than most of us here gave them credit for going into the game.

    This team will get a year older with some key young players, shed some dead weight, and come back better next season.

    1. no one cares about next year. I remember after the super bowl I kept thinking that getting finley back the following year would make us better and instead our D collapsed and the whole year was shot. Playoff’s are 1 and done and if you done you’re out. Nothing is guaranteed and nobody gives a shit about next year

      1. Actually, now that this season is over, next season is all that’s left to care about.

      2. yup, who’s to say we won’t have several injuries at key positions, anything can happen…next year sucks…

  2. At least now that the season is over, we can get back to complaining about TT and his lack of offseason moves….

  3. After Burnett INT, which he should have run with, the Packers had the ball on their on 43 yard line with 5:04 to go. Seattle had 3 time outs. Just one first down after that probably ices the game. Seattle knows the Packers are going to run they had 7-8 men up waiting for Lacy. Just one misdirection play and the game is over. Even so, 25 things had to go Seattle’s way for them to win and everything just went their way. The first thing was another bad punt by Masthay. What happen to this guy? He was terrible again today.

    BTW Lynch had 120 yards in the second half.

    Packers dominated the entire game for 54 minutes and 56 seconds, if my math is correct, unfortunately the game is 60 min.

    Tough one right my green and gold Brothers ?

  4. Even though the defense blew it at the end. I was talking to Bill from NJ at the half and said that GB need to score at least 10 points in the second half. Then Seattle would need 28 to win in regulation. The Packers, even with five TO’s did not put enough points on the board. So it was a total team collapse and if indeed that is the case it has to be coaching as everyone just stopped playing.

  5. I think that the better team won. If only, if only (Aaron Rodgers was healthy; there was no wind/rain, Starks catches the TD pass but there were lots of drops out there probably due to the rain, etc. etc.). Still, Seattle made a ton of mistakes and it was there to take, and winners capitalize. Really too bad, because I would have liked GB’s chances against either NE or Indy.

    My only comment on personnel at this time: Yes, Tramon was in coverage on the game winning TD. Someone below said that Tramon won’t be here next year like that is a good thing. There is no CB better than Tramon on this roster other than Shields.

    1. I said it. Williams is old and expensive. He’s solid for stretches and then he blows a critical coverage or tackle! House is younger and could become a similar player with more experience. There is nothing wrong with starting the transition away from Williams. He can’t play forever!

      1. Problem is that House is a FA too. GB has Shields, Goodson, Hayward (who can not play man coverage) and Hyde (who I suggest would be a downgrade at outside CB from Williams) under contract for 2015. There is no starting caliber outside CB opposite Shields under contract. The choices are re-signing House (a bit of gulp for me given his inconsistent play), re-sign Williams, buy a FA CB, or draft a CB high.

        We are probably in agreement actually: Williams is getting old & expensive. We may have to transition away from Williams, but I want to win a SB next year, and if House doesn’t pan out, that would be a big hole for Capers to cover up. It depends for me on what kind of contract Williams (and for that matter, House as well) can command. For Williams, 2 yrs for $9/$10 million and for House 3yrs for $10 million might tempt me, maybe w some incentives.

        As a note, on the play Williams got beat by Kearse to end (lose) the game, GB played Cover Zero so that there was no safety help. The safeties were busy trying to stop Lynch, who ran for 120 yards in the 2nd half. If Capers is going to run Cover 0 or a single high safety a lot, he has to have 2 CBs who can play on an island. This past year, we had Shields, Williams (for the most part) and we could hope that House would have a good game. Next year there is only Shields under contract. TT will have to roll up his sleeves on this. Rolle for depth still irks me.

        1. Great points! Yes we are in agreement. I thought the brought Rolle back for the practice squad? He seemed to have a great camp last year? I would take House and his few years of knowledge in the system than a rookie. Williams probably has a few seasons left but as you point out, the number and its structure need to be reasonable. House is considerably younger than Tramon and I believe he has all of the physical tools to be a solid outside corner. I believe his consistency will improve with more experience. That is how the Packers develop their corners. We haven’t had a “splash” corner in a very long time. I would like GB to keep as much of this group together as possible on both sides of the ball. Someone wrote an article on here stating that they could pretty easily re-sign almost everyone because of our cap health. The draft is always the wild card but should not be relied upon too heavily for immediate returns if they are gonna make a run for the SB in the next 2 years. This year was a pleasant surprise as far as rookie contributions go:)

  6. From –

    Rodgers hinted strongly at regretting the conservative posture the Packers chose in trying to kill the clock while holding a 19-7 lead in the fourth quarter.

    “We weren’t playing as aggressive as we usually are,” Rodgers said, referring to two, three-and-out possessions, at a time when the Seahawks’ ship was listing and vulnerable to being sunk for good.

    Please do not post that Rodgers does not know what he is talking about, Please don’t you dare!

    1. yup, like New England is doing…no come backs possible there..45 – 7 and still hammering away..

  7. From the Green Bay Press Gazette –

    “If you want to question my play calling — I’m not questioning it,” McCarthy said.

    “I came in here to run the ball. The one statistic I had as far as a target to hit was 20 rushing attempts in the second half, I thought that would be a very important target to hit for our offense.”

    How about a scoreboard target – let’s say 14? Score fourteen points in second half and no miracle at Century Link. Way to go MM. Way to go!

    1. After the Seahorks scored the go-ahead TD, the Packers seemed content to kick a field goal. I get that they wanted to run the clock down, but still, it’s playing not to lose. A little tighter with the clock management and they could have taken another shot or two towards the end zone.

      1. Don’t think it was a matter of running the clock down, I think it was more poor clock management by MM. The Packers still had two time outs left when Crosby kicked the tying field goal. Thought that MM should have called time out AFTER the Cobb catch. Think there was 54 seconds left. Call time out regroup and score a TD. Just more bonehead stuff by MM.

        MM great prep coach terrible game day, think on your feet, or not think on your feet coach.

  8. Packers obviously have some real dumb players on the team…when your told to block on the onside kick and let people like Jordy catch the ball, then do that, when you get an interception you don’t inexplicably slide down when you have open field ahead of you and five mins left, a two point hail mary goes uncontested with a player standing there watching it all happen…come on man…look at what the Patriots are doing tonight, still trying to score even when way up…putting the hammer down…thats where McCarthy wants to be, at that level….he aint there yet….

    1. Exactly, giving the ball to Kuhn on second and goal. Really? Play action to tight end TD. Different game. After INT, play action double move TD ball game over. Playing scared is real ugly.

  9. Just watched Burnett’s INT again. Saw it from end zone view. There was one guy to beat, maybe two and it is a pick six. At the very least they are in Seattle territory. Who does that with 5 min left? Under a min sure. Can not believe that all of the Packers, both players and coaches, just fell apart. I am still in shock.

    1. I think it’s safe to say that Burnett, Bostick & MM are not the sharpest tools in the shed.

  10. Great year, ended too soon. The team progressively improved throughout the season. Most players topped last year’s performance. Contributors were found or confirmed in Adams, Bahk, Linsley, R. Rodgers, Barrington, Perry, Neal, Datone, Burnett, Hyde and HHCD. Keep the core together, make another run next year.

  11. Is there a bigger momentum killer than McCarthy’s play calling? Time and time again the team decelerates in the second half – thereby neutralizing Rodgers – while the opposing teams loads up the box – to greet and meet Eddie Lacey (usually for a loss). What is maddening is that virtually the whole world knows this – yet McCarthy continues to do so. Does Belichick ‘leash’ Brady in this way. Or when was the last time the Seattle defense ever played to run the clock out? Co-incidentally both are now in the Super Bowl. I like McCarthy – he is a good coach but not a great one. And today he was outcoached. However let us not forget that it is Aaron Rodgers – not Mike McCarthy – who is mainly responsible for the Green Bay Packers successes of the last few years. As Aaron goes – so does the team. However, McCarthy does have a nasty habit – every once in a while – of getting in the way. So now as the curtain descends on another happy packer season – but with a most unhappy ending. Can we all be a little bit grateful that we are not Brandon Bostick for today?

    1. Aaron didn’t have his greatest day today. Tough opponent for sure, but he’s supposed to be the best. Fans will say he buries opponents early so he doesn’t need 4Q comebacks. Well, today the had the chance to bury the Seahorks early and didn’t. He was one of the many Packers who didn’t get the job done.

  12. Typical Packers. The mentality comes from the coaches. Play great football for 45 minutes, then hold back. Yeah, I agree with other poster; 21 points left on the field in the first quarter. Game should have been over then and there (13 yards passing in 1st half). Are you kidding me. That stat alone is a historical indictment against the coaches. You can’t lose a game with that and 4 INTs; and only have 16 points.
    Boneheads: Quarless; I’ve seen enough of him.
    Get some real tightends along with RIchard Rodgers. Clean that house out.
    Burnett after INT. Jeeze, what clock was he looking at?
    But the packer classic, 2nd-and-31, and you let the convert. That was the point of the game, that my gut said, its gonna go bad. There was no killer instinct left.
    Packers were humiliated, and so are us fans who now have to read about Wilson the hero, and all the emotion crap, and watch our fav Seattle coach chewing gum with his smircky grin.

  13. Yepp…heck of a ball game. Credit to the Pack they were the better team for at least 55 minutes of play. What happened after that Burnett INT? Losing the game with 12 points ahead and the ball with five minutes left? My idea is that you guys can’t win a big one without courtesy of the officiating. Darn, the beer tasted good, watching the Pack fold on the river with four aces. Dez Bryant will haunt you guys forever…

  14. After reading this whole thread, I’m feeling satisfied. After having felt agonized for “the call” last week- the worst and most corrupt call in NFL history- it’s a special pleasent pleasure for me and probably of the Cowboy Nation maniacs to raise my glass. Very well done GB, one of the most exiting play off moments ever. It’s feels even sweeter than what I was wishing before the game srarted. Officials taking away your tickets for SB49. No need for that you guys accomplished exiting all by yourself!!! Hats up…

  15. Have to agree that the front 7 played well, at least until they started to wear down in the 2nd half (Lynch gained about 120 yards in the 2nd half). Remember, we only have 4 defensive linemen (Jones, Daniels, Guion, and Boyd) since Gaston isn’t ready and Pennel has fallen into the dog house. Boyd and Datone are average minus. Guion is maybe average and Daniels is the only good defensive lineman. CMIII and Peppers are our only good LBs, and Peppers is only good for half of a game. Neal and Perry are probably roughly almost average, Barrington is average minus, and Hawk and Brad Jones are below average. I would give the defense and Capers kudos in general. Yeah, hate the prevent defense that doesn’t stop big plays and quick scores. On Seattle’s first 11 drives, only one would have resulted in probable points (the fake field goal). The problem was the offense.

  16. “…….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….”

    Truer words could not be spoken. MM is Mike Sherman all over again.

Comments are closed.