Seahawks vs. Packers: Game Balls & Lame Calls

The Green Bay Packers got a big win against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field Sunday night.  It was the Packers' home opener and while it's still early in the season, it would give Green Bay a tie breaker over the Seahawks if it comes down to that later in the year.  The win also, in some ways, atoned for the previous three meetings between the team, all of which were won by Seattle and usually in dramatic fashion.  The teams change from year to year, but this one seemed to be a very satisfying outcome for both Packers fans and players.  

If you look at the box score, these two teams played a very evenly-matched game.  And while it seemed like the Packers were getting flagged for nearly everything, both teams ended the night with six penalties each.  Seattle actually was penalized more yards overall.  The Seahawks tried their best to get the Packers off their game during the fourth quarter by jawing and bullying after the play, but the Packers held firm.  Green Bay's ability to hang with more physical teams has been questioned in the past, myself included.  They definitely took a step forward in that department.

Let's get on with the game balls and lame calls.

Game Balls

Aaron Rodgers

It seems as though we can probably put his name in this category every week.  Copy/paste.  But it's important to appreciate what Rodgers does for and is worth to this team.  On many occasions, Rodgers escaped trouble and kept plays alive with his mobility.  His head is always up looking down field for a play to be made.  He did just that on his first touchdown of the night, a pinpoint accurate laser beam to James Jones with a streaking Richard Sherman on the coverage.  

Rodgers' famous hard count drew the Seahawks offside on a few occasions and allowed for some big gains early on.  Seattle adjusted and didn't fall for it in the second half, but Rodgers made hay with it for as long as it was working.  He's always been a savvy and cerebral player, but Rodgers continues to be one of the more mentally adept players in the league.  During the Packers last drive, Rodgers had a little grin in the huddle.  The game was far from over at that point, but they were knocking on the door and already in field goal range.  He seemed to know tonight's outcome would be different.  That demeanor is contagious and it's a good thing for the young guys on this team.  It builds confidence.  While the Seahawks were losing players because of dumb penalties, the Packers kept their cool and carried on.. . all the way to victory behind #12.

James Starks

Starks wasn't flashy.  95 yards rushing and he lost a fumble, but after replacing Eddie Lacy early in the game, he remained steady and reliable, as he's been for the past five seasons.  Starks added four catches for 11 yards and kept the outlet pass alive.  The Packers stuck with the run despite a lack of production and Starks did just enough to make it work.  He still runs hard and was jawing at Seattle defenders.  You like to see some grit from your running backs.  Lacy is likely to miss some time and Starks will be needed.  After tonight, it appears as though he's up to the task and hopefully he can stay healthy.  

Jayrone Elliott

Easy game ball here.  Elliott has moved up the depth chart and made the most of his time on the field.  He came up with a critical interception of Russell Wilson in the fourth quarter when the defense needed a big play most.  He did lose the ball but the Packers were able to recover and the offense marched down and made it a two-score game.  Elliott had the big interception and forced the fumble to give the ball back to the Packers and effectively end the game.  Many of us have been hoping he would make the type of impact during the regular season that he's made during the last two preseasons.  After these first two games, he may be on his way to doing just that.

Randall Cobb

A game high nine catches and 116 yards.  Cobb is still playing through his shoulder sprain and is as effective as ever.  His route running is crisp and he gets open.  He garners a lot of attention from defenses when he's in the backfield and creates good things for both himself and the team.  When Davante Adams went down with an ankle injury, Cobb was flanked by James Jones, Ty Montgomery and Richard Rodgers most of the night.  He still got his catches and found openings in the Seattle defense.  Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor may want to send Cobb and thank you note, as Cobb made due tonight in the space that Chancellor often occupies. 

When we talk about toughness on this Packers team, we have to acknowledge Cobb, going out and playing through pain and discomfort because he knows this team needs him.  While he didn't get a game ball, same to Adams, who returned to action despite being less than 100%.

Lame Calls

Casey Hayward

Hayward seemed out of place a few times tonight and may have also lacked help over the top, which isn't entirely his fault.  Unfortunately, on a night when there weren't many really bad performances by the Packers, someone has to be on this side of the coin and Hayward gets the nod.  He hasn't flashed much on the outside during these first two weeks, but he also hasn't had his name said much either.  He's been moving inside in some of the nickel packages and he will eventually do some good things.  Yes, it's a lame call this week, but not by a ton.

Clock Management

I'm reaching here, but was anyone else irritated by the fact that the Packers had burned through all of their first-half timeouts before the end of the first quarter?  This is a trend that carries over from the past few seasons.  The offense can't get set up, too many changes at the line and they're forced to use a timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty.  It's not as bad during the first half, as there's plenty of game left, but with no timeouts, the Packers then can't challenge a play, if needed.  It didn't come back to bite them tonight, but had they not been able to review a questionable call or missed a chance at points because they couldn't stop the clock, we'd be having a deeper discussion about this issue.

Honorable Mention

Since I don't have many Lame Calls and this was a big win, I want to mention a few who didn't make the good list, but made some nice contributions

  • Don Barclay - Simply because we were all worried (come on, admit it, you were) that he would get lit up by Seattle's front and, for the most part, he held his own
  • Mike Daniels - Tough, gritty, nasty and right in the middle of a scrum when you need him.  Love that he's on the Packers' side of things
  • Damarious Randall - One pass break up on the night but it was nicely played deep ball and he got his head turned around to avoid the flag.  A veteran play by the youngster who continues to impress
  • Run defense - Marshawn Lynch had just 41 yards on 15 carries and no touchdowns.  He wasn't used much in the second half at all and the Packers had a good game plan to bottle him up, FINALLY
  • Nick Perry - Speaking of run defense, Perry had just three tackles on the night, but he got Lynch down on a few occasions before Beast Mode could get into Beast Mode.  Good to see you, Nick!
  • Kick coverage units - Tyler Lockett is the type of player that has destroyed the Packers' coverage units in the past.  Cheers to Ron Zook for having his guys ready and disciplined to cover the lanes
  • Davante Adams - Another shout out to Adams for trying to return after hurting his ankle.  He was visibly limping and slow, but his presence no doubt helped open things up for Ty Montgomery and Richard Rodgers later in the game

Here's hoping for some better news about Lacy's ankle and we're on to Kansas City!

 

 

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (35)

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Evan's picture

September 21, 2015 at 08:19 am

"The interception was Elliott's only play of the game..."

Uhhh...the forced fumble?

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Big_Mel_75's picture

September 21, 2015 at 08:35 am

Jayrone Elliott tomahawk chopped the ball out of Fred Jackson arms at the end of the game... Kind of a Huge deal there.....

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DrealynWilliams's picture

September 21, 2015 at 10:31 am

Reminded me of Derrick Johnson of the Chiefs

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joepacker's picture

September 21, 2015 at 08:54 am

I'm not done with the post, and immediately scrolled down to mention that tomahawk strip. But, I see others have been here already. Two outstanding plays. (now back to the post)...

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jasonperone's picture

September 21, 2015 at 10:42 am

Evan, Klitz and Joe. .I wrote this as the game was finishing and hadn't looked at the box score. Updated with Elliott's OTHER play of the game.

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dobber's picture

September 21, 2015 at 09:09 am

With the volume of snaps that CMIII is absorbing inside, they need someone to step up on the outside...maybe this is the start of better things for Nick Perry. Still, he seems to be a situational run-down guy. Even Mike Neal flashed a couple times last night.

It says a lot that Jayrone Elliott was getting some of those key snaps late in the game. It says more that he was able to do something with them.

More and more it looks like this might be Casey Hayward's last season in GB. Big cushions in coverage on the outside, slow to react, and I don't think he'll be worth what he'll be asking as a slot/nickel CB.

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Gianich's picture

September 21, 2015 at 09:16 am

Hayward gave up 3 huge conversions on 3rd and long. I would like to see more Randall and less Hayward. Randall's flashes are good, Hayward's flashes are broken and soft coverage. The rotation at OLB is productive!!

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NickPerry's picture

September 21, 2015 at 10:11 pm

Hayward seemed to be trailing his man all night, hard to believe Rollins wasn't even active. Can't remember the last time I saw a 2nd round pick not even active.

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WKUPackFan's picture

September 21, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Glad to see some acknowledgement for Neal and Perry. Perry had a shoestring tackle on Wilson that saved probably 15 yards. Neal had a great play in position in the 2nd half.

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WKUPackFan's picture

September 21, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Glad to see some acknowledgement for Neal and Perry. Perry had a shoestring tackle on Wilson that saved probably 15 yards. Neal had a great play in position in the 2nd half.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 21, 2015 at 09:18 am

"Seattle adjusted and didn't fall for it in the second half, but Rodgers made hay with it for as long as it was working."

I think he hard calls were still disruptive in the second half even though Seattle didn't jump. They definitely were not able to pin their ears back on passing downs.

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LeagueObsrvr's picture

September 21, 2015 at 09:57 am

Huge win obviously, and Dallas losing Tony Romo and Dez Bryant to injury, Green Bay is effectively in the drivers seat in the NFC and should remain there assuming they're able to avoid the injury bug themselves.

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Portland Mark's picture

September 21, 2015 at 01:38 pm

Arizona looks good if Carson Palmer stays healthy. I wish that their post Christmas game was at Green Bay. Hopefully the Seahawks will regroup a little and knock AZ around. It would be great to have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

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egbertsouse's picture

September 21, 2015 at 10:00 am

Two guys I always bitch about had pretty good games, Nick Perry and Don Barclay. I think that Barclay outplayed Bahktiari. Granted Bahks' job was tougher but Barclay was a pleasant surprise.

I had to work today so I couldn't watch First Take and hear Skip Bayless' latest reasons as to why Aaron Rodgers sucks. Anybody know?

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DrealynWilliams's picture

September 21, 2015 at 10:34 am

Eff Skip. I been stopped watching First Take years ago.

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egbertsouse's picture

September 21, 2015 at 02:55 pm

I love watching Skip to get a good laugh and hear the reports from the bizarre universe that he inhabits. You know, the one where everything is reversed and Aaron Rodgers sucks and Tim Tebow is great.

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4thand1's picture

September 21, 2015 at 03:22 pm

Ol Skippy does it just for ratings. No journalist could be as fucking dumb as he portrays to be.

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4thand1's picture

September 21, 2015 at 06:16 pm

Lmao, some troll likes ol skippy.

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Since'61's picture

September 21, 2015 at 10:08 am

I would give game balls to the OL and to BJ Raji. The OL did a great job in run and pass blocking, especially when you consider the quality of the Seattle DL. Raji was a one man wrecking crew against the middle of the Seattle OL and the result was that Lynch was not a factor in the game. Honorable mention to the entire defense for finally showing a sense of urgency and even a nasty attitude on many of the stops. Kudos to a fine Special Teams effort as well. As for the time outs I wasn't happy with that situation either but with an up tempo offense that will happen from time to time and Clements is still a new play caller. I would rather take a time out than have a drive killed with either a penalty or turnover due a missed assignment or incorrect personnel package. It is a situation that will improve as the season goes on, we are still in September football mode in some aspects. Anyone else think that the Eagles peaked during the preseason? On to KC. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

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DrealynWilliams's picture

September 21, 2015 at 10:37 am

I was thinking the same thing when it came to the early TOs. Better to call them then than to end up with a bad play that could've led to a turnover.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 22, 2015 at 04:30 am

Wise as always. I'm with you on this observation!

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J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

September 21, 2015 at 12:07 pm

I am so proud of the D line, they looking great last night. BJ Raji consistently won his matchups, he sure put on a show. Wasn't Cow (or similar troll) saying Lynch would have 200+yds on the ground last night? Marvelous run D. They even limited the option, somewhat.
I thought Randall played well last night. Seattle picked on Hyde during on of their drives, almost exclusively. I sure would like to see Q Rollins get snaps on D in Hyde's place.
Rodgers is phenomenal. That 4th Quarter was disgustingly efficient.

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porupack's picture

September 21, 2015 at 12:09 pm

I would suggest a game ball to Mason Crosby, not just every time he hits 4 of 4 field goals, but putting up those points were like jabs at Seattle. And, if nothing else, for all of us that endured Crosby during 2013, how great it is to give him the game ball. To think McCarthy stuck with Crosby that year was remarkable, and if Crosby continues this trend, it will be almost a legendary stroke of brilliance by McCarthy.

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4thand1's picture

September 21, 2015 at 03:22 pm

Did you see him do the belt?

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CheeseDog's picture

September 21, 2015 at 03:47 pm

Indeed ... and it was amusing.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

September 21, 2015 at 04:39 pm

Think they had a blast last night and so did we.

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ray nichkee's picture

September 21, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Three guys ive been hoping to see around the ball showed up last night were neal, perry and jones. Each made contributions that have not been seen much in the past. Raji keeps improving and i did not recognize the defense the way they were tackling.

There is plenty room for improvement but what a difference in defense from week one to week two.

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ES 1957's picture

September 21, 2015 at 01:29 pm

Sorry Ray, I typed before I read your post. Agree completely.

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gr7070's picture

September 21, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Raji played great.

Barclay, compared to (low) expectations, played very well.

Bahktiari played quite poorly.

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Mojo's picture

September 21, 2015 at 12:50 pm

I thought that having no timeouts near the end of the first half did come back to bite GB. I believe they had the ball down within the one yard line after Cobb's reception with a first down.

With so little time on the clock the Pack were forced to abandon the run. It made it much easier for Seattle to defend the pass. Ended up with a short Crosby FG. With at least one TO they could have tried to punch it in on the ground or at least a play action. Instead ARod was in the shotgun.

No guarantee they score a TD there, but I bet the odds go way up when you can run your entire offense. The lack of TO's might have cost GB an additional four points.

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4thand1's picture

September 21, 2015 at 03:24 pm

That and the mugging of Jones on the non catch.

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ES 1957's picture

September 21, 2015 at 01:27 pm

As many that post here have long ago written them off as busts, it was good to see Jones Perry and Neal contributing to a a big win.

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ES 1957's picture

September 21, 2015 at 01:32 pm

Deleted

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ES 1957's picture

September 21, 2015 at 01:32 pm

Deleted

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Otto's picture

September 21, 2015 at 05:01 pm

The interior offensive line is as good as it gets. They were awesome.

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