The Seattle Seahawks believed their offensive line could be better this season, even with the loss of starting left tackle George Fant and only one significant addition in left guard Luke Joeckel.
Whatever improvement the Seahawks were expecting or hoping to see was nowhere to be found Sunday at Lambeau Field. Green Bay’s defense had its way with Seattle up front, leaving Russell Wilson running for his life and keeping the Seahawks’ passing game from ever really finding any consistent rhythm.
Eddie Lacy and the Seattle offense struggled to consistently move the ball on
That, more than anything, was why the Seahawks lost their opener, 17-9.
It certainly wasn’t because of their defense, which kept Aaron Rodgers mostly in check despite some challenging circumstances. The Seahawks lost starting cornerback Jeremy Lane to an ejection in the first quarter. That elevated rookie Shaquill Griffin into the No. 2 role in his first NFL game, while it also forced Justin Coleman into the nickel role only nine days after he was acquired in a trade. The Seahawks held Green Bay scoreless in the first half and didn’t yield any points until the Packers took over on the doorstep of the end zone following a sack-fumble early in the third quarter.
Griffin more than held his own despite being in Rodgers’ crosshairs all game. Free safety Earl Thomas looked like Earl Thomas, validating observations from the preseason that suggested he’s all the way back to form after a broken leg. And the pass rush that now might be the envy of every defense in the NFL following the addition of Sheldon Richardson looked as good as advertised, sacking Rodgers four times and moving him off his spot several others.
It’s hard to ask a defense to do anything more than what Seattle’s did Sunday, especially against Rodgers at Lambeau Field.
Pete Carroll will have a few gripes about the officiating in this game. Lane’s ejection was questionable, as was a non-call of what may have been a pass interference against Jimmy Graham in the end zone.
That play was a missed opportunity for Seattle, as was another play in the first half when Wilson overthrew an open Tyler Lockett, who had a step behind the secondary.
Wilson was sacked three times, which doesn’t even begin to tell the story of how much pressure he was under.
And so a new season begins with a familiar storyline for the Seahawks. Their offensive line has been a weak point for several seasons, and if one game is any indication — it’s all we have at this point — it’s going to again be a challenge for Seattle up front.