Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 27-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night at CenturyLink Field:
For all of quarterback Russell Wilson’s head-scratching moments in this game — his awful overthrow of a wide-open Doug Baldwin in the end zone, his crazy forward lateral attempt to no one, his decision to catch his own batted pass for a minus-11 yard completion — he came through when it mattered most, engineering scoring drives on Seattle’s final two completed possessions. The Seahawks also continued to show their running game is back, as not only did Seattle gain 173 yards on the ground, the Seahawks ran for first downs to kill the clock at the end even though the Packers knew the run was coming. But what was up with the five false-start penalties?
It was a tale of two halves for Seattle’s defense. The Seahawks had all kinds of trouble early on, offering no resistance after Seattle fumbled on the game’s first play, and Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers seemed to be able to do anything he wanted en route to 21 first-half points. But the defense buckled down big time in the second half, limiting the Packers to 114 second-half yards and three second-half points. Seattle was also able to generate a pass rush, sacking Rodgers five times to often thwart Green Bay drives. And frankly, Rodgers made some ridiculous throws that no defense was going to stop.
Michael Dickson is a treasure, as Seattle’s punter continues to be a big factor in changing field position, averaging 52 yards per punt. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski made both his field goals, which considering Green Bay’s Mason Crosby missed one meant it his efforts provided the difference in the score. The only small issue was returner Tyler Lockett making a couple questionable decisions on whether or not to field kicks/punts.
The biggest thing the coaching staff deserves credit for is settling the team down after Seattle had as bad a start possible, with a fumble on the first play and a Packers TD three plays later. The Seahawks seemed to dial up the read option at all the right times. And no one seems to have a better handle on the new catch rules than Seattle coach Pete Carroll, who for the second time in three games was able to challenge an incomplete pass and have it overturned into a catch when it sure didn’t look like one.
This was about as do-or-die a game as one can find in Week 11, with whichever teams lost being a major longshot to make the playoffs. By winning this one the Seahawks got themselves back to .500 and remain in the hunt, and they finally won a close game against a good opponent. The road ahead remains difficult for getting into the postseason, but this victory meant Seattle is at least still on that road and not stuck in a roadside ditch.
– Nick Patterson, Herald writer