Posted on September 10, 2017, by Travis Pulver
NFL fans want two things when they watch games on Sunday. They want to see their team win and they want to see a good, close, hard-fought game. Fans of the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks knew their team would have to play a good, hard-fought game in order to beat the other.
Both played hard-fought games. But in the end, only one played well enough to win— the Green Bay Packers.
For the Seattle Seahawks, the game was vaguely reminiscent of last year’s season opener. The offensive line struggled to open holes for the running game and protect Russell Wilson. But despite the Packers defensive dominance in the first half, Seattle was the only team to get on the board.
The scoring drive came at the end of the half. Seattle looked content to run out the clock and go into halftime with the game tied at 0-0. But after Green Bay took a couple of time outs and they got a first down, they decided to go for points.
A deep ball to Daniel Baldwin and a 29-yard scramble by Russell Wilson got them into field goal range before the Green Bay defense stiffened up. But at that point, it looked like a field goal could win the game, so they were happy to take it.
But the problem with such a slim lead is that it doesn’t take much to lose it. With how poor the Seattle offense was playing their defense was on the field a lot. When that happens, it is not unusual to see a defense wear down.
With Aaron Rodgers on the other team, you can’t afford to make mistakes because you’re tired.
Seattle’s offense provided that first big mistake when Russell Wilson fumbled deep in Seattle’s territory after getting sacked. Green Bay recovered and a play later Ty Montgomery scored the go-ahead touchdown for the Packers.
Wilson was able to get the Seattle offense moving on their next drive but was unable to get into the end zone. With fourth and goal on the three, Pete Carroll decided to trim the deficit to one point and kick a 21-yard field goal.
But then Rodgers responded with a touchdown drive that ended with Jordy Nelson catching a 32-yard touchdown pass followed by a field goal drive. The play came when Rodgers caught Seattle with 12 players on the field. Knowing he had a free play, he went deep and hit pay dirt.
“You give him a free play, he’s going downtown. Everybody in the league knows it, too,” Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril told USA TODAY Sports after the game.
Seattle would manage to kick another field goal to make the final score 17-9, Green Bay.
The Packers offense looked much like it did last season. Ty Montgomery made a valiant effort to give the Packers a running game. But he managed just 54 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Rodgers stuck with a lot of short/intermediate routes to Randall Cobb (nine receptions, 85 yards) and Davante Adams (three receptions, 47 yards).
Seattle has had rough starts in the past. More often than not, they figure out how to fix their issues and get on track before it’s too late. But the offensive line struggled last year, too. They will face a much easier opponent next week in their home opener against the 49ers (kickoff at 4:25 PM ET).
Green Bay will travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons on Sunday Night Football (kickoff at 8:30 PM ET).