Photo Credit: Sporting News
Seattle gets tested right out of the gate on Sunday as they face the NFC favorite Green Bay Packers. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers will test the Seahawks secondary and new cornerback Shaquill Griffin in his first NFL game.
Green Bay’s offense has been very good at getting the ball out quickly against aggressive defenses, in an attempt to protect its quarterback. Watch in the below .GIF how the Lions bring seven to get to Rodgers, but the receiver runs a crisp slant route to take advantage of the hole left by the blitzing outside linebacker.
Since Richard Sherman usually plays the right side of the defense (from the quarterback’s perspective), so don’t be surprised to see Rodgers picking on his left side; where Griffin is starting and Jeremy Lane as his back-up. By not throwing the ball in Sherman’s direction, the Packers are not wasting pass attempts and downs…while still moving the ball down field.
Randall Cobb is the big name in the Packers’ receiver corps, in 2016 Cobb was targeted 84 times and pulled in the catch 60 times. It’s likely that we’ll see the six-year veteran will line up against Griffin more than anyone else will on Sunday afternoon. The Packers will probably toss several short, quick passes, to get the offense in rhythm and to lure the rookie corner towards the line of scrimmage before trying to stretch the field.
It’ll be up to Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor to back up the rookie and make sure they’re ready to pick any potential receivers that slip past him on the deep shots down field.
Offensively, the Seahawks offensive line will be going up against an aggressive defense that is based on disrupting timing and getting into the backfield. Watch below how the defense pushes through the center of the offensive line and the linebackers move to cover the gaps, especially Clay Matthews, left by the defensive line.
The Lions show how best to beat the Packers defensive scheme and that’s get outside of the pocket and stretch the field horizontally. Green Bay likes to plug the middle of the line and grind everything to a halt.
Fortunately for Seattle, quarterback Russell Wilson’s ankle sprain is in the past and he’ll be able to move the pocket as he needs. It’ll be interesting to see how offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell schemes to handle the Packers’ aggressive front seven, especially with Eddie Lacey and Thomas Rawls (if healthy) in the back field.
The Packers are able to successfully sucker Griffin in on a couple of short passes and runs before stretching the field with a deep passes on play action pass; still recovering his leg injury Thomas will be a couple steps off and Green Bay starts off with a 7-0 lead.
Seattle’s offense sputters behind a weakened offensive line and some poor play calling that doesn’t allow Wilson to stretch the field horizontally. Which causes a couple of four and outs putting more pressure on Seattle’s’ defense. Fortunately the front seven rises to the challenge and is able to continually pressure Rodgers while forcing him to consistently check the ball down or chuck it out of bounds.
Wilson and Baldwin will find their groove in the second half at the same time the Packers offense hits its groove…and now we’re off to the races in an all out aerial assault. Rodgers and the Packers offense is far more equipped for that kind of game than Seattle’s is.
Seattle Seahawks 28
Green Bay Packers 35
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Proud alum of Washington State University, crazy sports nut, and drinker of beer.