I have not written a Postgame Schadenfreude blog about the Seahawks before now, but the Seahawks certainly have become a major Packer rival, thanks to, in rough chronological order:
- Mike Holmgren’s ego getting in the way and his leaving Green Bay for Seattle.
- “We want the ball and we’re gonna score.”
- Fail Mary.
- Whatever unprintable terms you’d like to use for last season’s NFC championship game.
So it is enjoyable this morning to read the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and its chronicle of things that went (from its perspective) wrong in the Packers’ 27-17 win last night:
Since 1990, teams that begin 0-2 have made the playoffs 12 percent of the time, according to ESPN.
Granted, the Seahawks began the season with back-to-back road games, so it’s hard to know if mistakes that have surfaced against St. Louis and Green Bay are here to stay or not.
But the penalties (six for 92 yards Sunday) and the fact the Seahawks have blown fourth-quarter leads in three consecutive games dating to Super Bowl XLIX is worrisome — especially for a team that’s prided itself on finishing games.
“We got to get out of our own way right now,” coach Pete Carroll said after the Seahawks dropped to last place in the NFC West.
Here’s what we learned from Sunday night’s loss. …
The decision to start DeShawn Shead at strong safety seemed to help the Legion of Boom after Dion Bailey struggled there last week filling in for Kam Chancellor. Shead had eight tackles (five solo) and rarely got burned by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
But after two games, new defensive coordinator Kris Richard’s unit hasn’t been dominant, let alone formidable, after leading the league the past three seasons in points allowed, tying an NFL record set by the Minnesota Vikings from 1969-71. (They also led the league in yards allowed the past two seasons).
Chancellor’s holdout isn’t doing either side any favors. He is facing more than $2 million in fines, and the Seahawks secondary has yet to record an interception through the first two weeks.
On Sunday, Rodgers went 25-for-33 for 249 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Packers outscore the Seahawks 11-0 in the fourth quarter. …
Carroll maintained post-game the staff called plays to get Jimmy Graham involved in the offense, it just didn’t work out for one reason or another.
Graham was targeted twice, catching one pass for 11 yards.
If they can’t figure out a way to integrate Graham, it will fall on offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. The tight end was one of the most electric players in the NFL when he played for the Saints, and the Seahawks last offseason gave up perhaps their best player (center Max Unger) at their weakest position group (offensive line), along with a first-round pick, for Graham and a fourth-round selection in this year’s draft. …
Since Carroll arrived in Seattle, the Seahawks have always struggled avoiding penalties, seemingly viewing it as a fair trade-off for playing an aggressive style.
But Sunday that aggressiveness hurt them. Defensive tackle Michael Bennett jumped offsides on three occasions, all of which were costly because of the free play that followed, despite the fact they’d prepared for Rodgers’ hard count, according to Carroll.
Linebacker K.J. Wright was ejected in the second half for allegedly ripping the helmet off Packers tight end Richard Rodgers. The Seahawks also lost the turnover battle (2-1) with a Fred Jackson fumble and Wilson interception.
In addition to the Seahawks’ historically dire playoff chances now, only two teams, the Troy Aikman/Emmitt Smith/Michael Irvin-era Cowboys and the first Patriots Super Bowl winner, have ever won the Super Bowl after an 0-2 start. (The Cowboys’ start resulted from Smith’s holdout, which ended after loss number two; the Patriots’ first two 2001 losses were with Drew Bledsoe, not Tom Brady, at quarterback.) When it comes to championships, the NFL really does stand for Not For Long.
The Seattle Times’ Larry Stone asks:
What happened to the team that always found a way? The team that not only grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat, but strangled it into submission? The team that knew, with a deeply held conviction, that once they took the lead, they would never give it back.
And knew their opponents knew it, too.
What happened to the team that seemed to have an edge over its opposition merely by dint of being the Seattle Seahawks? The team with a swagger and edge and the chips on their shoulder stacked so high it could reach the top of Mount Rainier?
What we saw Sunday was a Seahawks team that coughed up a fourth-quarter lead (again). And not only did they lose for the second straight time to open the 2015 season, they lost their composure, with linebacker K.J. Wright getting ejected after letting Green Bay tight end Richard Rodgers get under his skin. …
Not since the 2011 season had Seattle lost by 10 points or more. And what made it more depressing was that the Seahawks led when the fourth quarter began. But as was the case last week against the Rams, when they couldn’t hold a 31-24 lead with less than five minutes left, they let the Packers seize back the momentum, and salt away the game. …
It’s time to figure out why they are playing so sloppily, at times even stupidly. There were too many inopportune penalties, two huge turnovers. The Packers had too many free plays because of offside penalties, allowing the game to degenerate into what Sherman termed “backyard football.”