ReFo: SEA @ GB, Preseason WK 3

Khaled Elsayed took in the Seahawks' trip to Green Bay, and found plenty of interest within this preseason warm-up.

| 4 years ago

ReFo: SEA @ GB, Preseason WK 3

In a game where the officials were intent on not missing an opportunity to throw the flag on punt plays, the Seahawks and Packers exchanged jabs and gave each other a small taster of what they’ve got in store for the season ahead.

It was a game characterized by the Packers’ inability to get anything going on the ground as an aggressive Seahawks front swarmed all over them. Far from having it all their own way, Seattle themselves struggled on offense with some uncharacteristically sloppy play from Russell Wilson in the first half being something of a disappointment.

Delving deeper, it’s time to get stuck into the performances that stuck out.

Seahawks – Three Performances of Note

You Shall Not Pass

When you can hold the opposing offense to just 2 yards per carry on designed runs, you know you’ve had a good day. There were a number of guys who can be happy with their work, but perhaps none more so then Tony McDaniel (+2.5) and Clinton McDonald (+2.1).

The journeymen McDaniel would get in for three defensive stops in the run game, and has the kind of frame and ability to suggest he could fit in very nicely after the departure of Alan Branch. What’s more, he wasn’t doing this against the backups. After getting the start, he gave the usually excellent Josh Sitton plenty of problems, including with 13:17 to go in Q2. He stood up the Packer before shedding and making the tackle for a short gain.

Unlike McDaniel, McDonald did do some of his work against the backups but still earned the highest run defense grade for the team, despite featuring on only 10 running plays. His highlight-reel play saw him beat Greg Van Roten for a 7-yard loss with 8:16 to go in Q3.

The QB Competition

While Russell Wilson (-1.7) won’t have to start worrying about his starting job any time soon, Seattle fans will have to start worrying about him if he takes some of the careless throws he made in this one into the regular season. Twice, on consecutive plays, he tried to force balls into coverage and, while he was lucky to avoid an interception with 1:28 remaining in the first half, at 1:23 he wasn’t so fortunate when trying to fit a pass between Packers defenders that was never on.

Elsewhere, the competition between Brady Quinn (-0.9) and Tarvaris Jackson (-0.1) will be decided in the fourth preseason game and on the practice field. Jackson had very little chance to do anything, and while Quinn walked away with a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating on aimed passes, he can thank Stephen Williams for turning an underthrown deep ball into a touchdown.

The Good and the Bad

Let’s start with where it didn’t go right for Christine Michael (+0.9). At this point in time he is at best a work in progress in pass protection. On eight occasions he was asked to pass block and on two of those he gave up a sack and a hurry.

In better news he looks a devastating runner, particularly in the open field. With the kind of feet and speed that turns every run play into a possible cutback, he exploited any space in an aggressive Packers defense. Turning 11 carries into 97 yards, he didn’t need to make defenders miss to make them pay. The only downside is that with some of his blocking being inconsistent (the interior especially) he was a little too keen at times to bounce things outside, not helping his blockers keep their leverage on blocks.

Packers – Three Performances of Note

Wrapping Rodgers in Cotton Wool

While some left the game impressed by the performance of Vince Young (-1.8), his PFF grade tells a different story. Of course he did have those two impressive runs, but let’s try not to get overly distracted by those. Instead, why don’t we look at his terrible decision to throw with 8:21 to go in Q3? If Allen Bradford doesn’t drop that, are we looking at things differently?

That wasn’t his only issue with ball security as he fumbled a snap and he didn’t show off an accurate arm (not that the Packers called plays that would test him). He has only joined the team in recent weeks so he’s far from in-sync with his teammates yet, but this wasn’t a screaming endorsement for him to be the teams’ backup.

The good news for him is that, with a more expansive set of plays, Graham Harrell (-1.6) was equally unimpressive. Outside of a well thrown back-shoulder ball that was dropped by Jermichael Finley (Q2, 1:17) he displayed the kind of accuracy that isn’t going to ‘wow’ you and averaged just 3.8 yards per drop-back.

The Left Tackle Situation

With David Bakhtiari (+0.3) starting again, he looks set to be the man the Packers turn to when it comes to protecting the backside of Aaron Rodgers. When Rodgers was in, the team had him throwing relatively quickly by his standards with over half his drop-backs seeing him get rid of the ball in under 2.5 seconds.

But Bakhtiari still impressed, with the only blot on his copybook being how he allowed Michael Morgan to move past his inside shoulder and bat a Harrell pass, resulting in an incompletion. A good day then (even accounting for the penalty he gave up in the running game), especially as Marshall Newhouse (-0.9) didn’t have the best game of his career.

Depth on the Defensive Line

The Packers did more than just draft Datone Jones (-0.2) this year as they aim to improve the output of their defensive line. They also brought back the reformed Johnny Jolly (+0.7) to show they’re prepared to do what it takes to improve.

Neither man had the kind of game that would really grab the eye, instead that fell to last year’s fourth-round pick Mike Daniels (+3.5). Grading positively against the run and pass, he was unfortunate to have a sack and forced fumble called back for a defensive offsides on Jones, while picking up a pressure (12:05 in Q4) on Lemuel Jeanpierre that also saw the Seahawk center called for a holding penalty. He’ll be looking to build on his 280 snaps from 2012.

Game Notes

– Despite rushing the passer 42 times combined, Benson Mayowa and O’Brien Schofield managed just one quarterback disruption each.

– The highest grade for Seattle belonged to Walter Thurmond (+3.3). He saw 38 snaps and allowed the two balls into his coverage to go for just 15 yards, while also breaking up another pass that was called back for a defensive penalty on his teammate.

– Eddie Lacy finished the day with -5 yards rushing, despite picking up 7 yards after contact. He did have an 11-yard run called back after a penalty.

Game Ball

The biggest story in this game was how the Packers’ run game was shut down. It was a group effort, so picking one person who stood out is almost unfair, but I’ll go with Tony McDaniel.


Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled

  • Brandon Purdy

    Good write up.

  • Moog

    Young 6-7 for 1 TD, no picks, and you give him a negative rating? WTH

    • moronhater

      Mr Elsayed just spent two paragraphs explaining why and you, who either can’t read, or don’t care to read write this.

      Most people who come to this website do because it raises their standard of football intelligence. Boy, have the PFF team got their work cut out with you.

      • Moog

        He didn’t explain a damn thing, jackass. That’s the point

        “While some left the game impressed by the performance of Vince Young (-1.8), his PFF grade tells a different story. Of course he did have those two
        impressive runs, but let’s try not to get overly distracted by those.
        Instead, why don’t we look at his terrible decision to throw with 8:21
        to go in Q3? That wasn’t his only issue with ball security as he fumbled a snap and he didn’t show off an accurate arm”

        As if 6-7 wasn’t accurate. Okay, he fumbled a snap. That’s one bad play BFD. Khaled, didn’t explain a damn thing. You don’t have to kiss his arse just because he writes for PFF. Unless that’s all you’re good for.

        • uh…

          You do realize that it’s possible to be inaccurate and still go 6-7, right? Stats aren’t everything. I don’t know, but those 7 passes could have been dump offs, or passes that didnt hit the receivers in stride.

          • [email protected]

            I wonder about the stats sometimes. Its not as easy as you might think to tell whether a pass is ‘on target’. Often you want to throw it low or behind the receiver to save them from getting killed or lead them into run after the catch.

          • [email protected]

            Or a lot of big receivers love the ball high and short. They’ll get that almost every time.

        • Michael Terry

          He fumbled and threw a dropped pick, which is pretty bad for limited play.

  • Kevin

    Once Rodgers exited the game how often were the Hawks stacking the box? As a Packer fan it seemed much more than normal. GB’s Oline was dominated but I have a feeling that had a little to do with Harrell being in at QB.

    • David Hofstedt

      Well I guess we’ll see come playoffs won’t we. Harrell is far and away the worst backup in the NFL. You didn’t have to worry about Cobb, Nelson , Jones, Finley, or Rodgers. Play that way against Rodgers and see where it gets you! “Are you mad Bro”? You better believe you’d be mad. Of coarse I’d be mad and frankly a little scared that my offense, playing 2nd and 3rd stringers and still getting only 3 by halftime!! LMAO!!! You won’t have that freak Easley as your 13th man.

      • Kevin

        Did you even read what I had typed? I clearly said I was a GB fan and after Rodgers went out the Hawks defense was clearly stacking the box every play because of no fear of the pass.

        Your comment embarrasses me as a Packers fan that another Packer fan could have be this.. simply stupid.

        • [email protected]

          Our D-line just pass rushes with Rodgers in the game. Eddy Lacy all by himself isnt going to stop this. I dont think GB has any linemen who can run block.

  • GBPFan

    Only our oline can have a Running back pick up 7 yards after contact and still wind up with negative 5 yards rushing in the game – smh.

  • Leo

    I thought Brad Jones had a nice game, with a few splashy plays. Did he got a positive grade? He was our “Secret Superstar” last season afterall.

  • NoBamalinenosoup

    Eddie Lacy look heavy and cumbersome. By comparison lad Michaels looked like Usain Bolt.

    • Bob

      Usain Bolt would look heavy and cumbersome with a backup Oline – Graham Harrell at QB up against Seattle’s First String D.

      • [email protected]

        This is the third preseason game. You’re supposed to play starters into the third quarter. Rodgers decided to take himself out of the game after 1 series. Thats on you.

        • Kevin

          That was Rodgers decision? How do you know this, everything I’ve read talks about Mike M. plan for Rodgers this offseason.

          There is no written rule that teams are supposed to play starters into the third quarter. I don’t remember the last time GB played their starters more than a half.

          It is what it is, but there is no way any Seattle fan should be hating on Lacy when he was running against Sea’s starting front 7 behind GB’s 2nd and 3rd string OL. Same can be said about Michael running behind his 1st string OL against GB’s 2nd string defense. Half the players Lacy was running behind aren’t even on the roster anymore and once again same can be said for Michael going against defenders not even on a 53.

  • Just Wondering

    Seattle media keeps missing how bad the pass rush is.
    Mayowa and Schofield are 3rd stringers.
    If Avril and Clemons can’t go, D is going to be in big trouble when the other teams first unit isn’t done after a quarter.

    • Michael Terry

      Seattle had no pass rush last year and finished first in scoring defense.

      • Just Wondering

        How’d having no pass rush work out at the end of the Atlanta game?
        The goal this year was to win a Super Bowl … not be a wild card team.

        • [email protected]

          Lack of pass rush wasnt the main problem. Atlanta shouldnt have been able to run on us, we were having health issues with our run stoppers aka Red Bryant and our D-line in general. For the most part we were stopping their passing game ok.

          • Just Wondering

            The Falcons did not run the ball once on their game winning drive.
            Please pay attention if you’re going to comment.

          • [email protected]

            If we had stopped the run in the first half, we wouldnt have needed to make that stop. Atlanta did the same exact thing to the Carolina Panthers and they have an excellent pass rush.

          • Just Wondering

            Now you’re a persistent idiot.
            You misread the post and are wrong.
            Next time, read carefully and you won’t look so stupid.