SEA-GB Grades: Steady Rodgers, defense stifle Seahawks
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Seahawks-Packer game:
Green Bay Packers
— The primary job of an edge defender is to get after the quarterback, but Jayrone Elliott (+1.8) made two big fourth quarter plays for the Packers after Russell Wilson (+0.2) passed the ball. With a little less than seven minutes to play he sniffed out a screen and backed off of his pass rush to intercept Wilson in front of Marshawn Lynch (+1.0). That set up the Packers to stretch the lead to 10 and it was Elliott who sealed the win, stripping the ball from Fred Jackson (-1.6) in the final 30 seconds to send Green Bay to 2-0.
— On a night when his offensive tackles struggled to cope with the brutal physicality of the Seattle Seahawks’ edge rushers with their bullrush, Aaron Rodgers (+2.9) managed the pressure sublimely before dissecting the Seattle secondary. Pressured on 18 of his 39 dropbacks Rodgers threw both of his touchdowns on pressured dropbacks earning a PFF passing grade of +2.3 on his plays under pressure.
— The Seahawks’ weakness on the offensive line has been well documented early in the season and NT B.J. Raji (+2.8) continued his strong start to the season by bullying the interior of the Seattle offensive line, particularly in the first half. After collecting four pressures against the Bears last week Raji added another three hurries last night while adding his first three defensive stops of the season against the run.
QB Aaron Rodgers (+2.9)
OLB Jayrone Elliott (+1.8)
DE Datone Jones (+1.8)
CB Sam Shields (+1.6)
TE Richard Rodgers (+1.5)
— In the NFC Championship Game last season Marshawn Lynch (+1.0) rampaged for 157 yards on the Green Bay defense, breaking 14 tackles in the process. Last night Lynch broke five tackles on 15 carries but couldn’t even gain 3 yards per carry as the Seahawks’ subpar run blocking and swarming pursuit by the Packers defense limited him to 41 yards on 15 carries. Lynch did all he could, gaining 34 of his 41 yards after contact but when you’re only given seven yards before contact on 15 carries there’s only so much a running back can do.
— Back in January, both Michael Bennett (+0.2) and Cliff Avril (+4.8) earned negative pass rush grades against the Packers but they brought the heat to Rodgers last night combining for 15 pressures on a torrid night for tackles Don Barclay (-10.3) and David Bakhtiari (-7.3). Of those 15 pressures, seven came via bullrush which served to highlight their physical dominance but also played its part in the low conversion rate into hits and sacks which Rodgers was able to exploit by escaping while they were still engaged to keep the passing game moving.
— There would be no miraculous comeback for Russell Wilson (+0.2) and the Seattle Seahawks this time around as a solid performance never really looked like materializing into anything. Wilson hit on passes at every level of the Green Bay defense and kept the ball on five designed run plays, but with the Seahawks unable to get Marshawn Lynch (+1.0) loose Wilson was unable to contribute the telling play on his own to spark the stuttering Seahawks.
DE Cliff Avril (+4.8)
LT Russell Okung (+2.7)
DT Ahtyba Rubin (+2.7)
LB Bruce Irvin (+2.1)
SWR Doug Baldwin (+2.0)