SEA-GB Grades: Steady Rodgers, defense stifle Seahawks

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Seahawks-Packers game.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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.

Top performers:

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)

Seattle Seahawks

— 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.

Top performers:

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)

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • sikologik

    The Packers provided the script to beat the Seahawks last night: Swarm Marshawn and keep him moving in the first direction he chooses (ie, don’t let him cut back) and keep Russell Wilson in the pocket. On the 2 successful drives the Seahawks put together last night in the 3rd, the Packers were consistently failing to set the edge on Wilson and he consistently burned them. Once they got back to edge contain, the Seahawks offense sputtered and stalled.

    • Mike McGee

      Agreed. When Mike Neal FINALLY stayed at home and tackled Wilson on the last designed run I literally jumped and applauded. Do your job and let your teammates chase Marshawn Lynch.

    • JudoPrince

      Take away the silly offside penalties and the Hawks could have easily won this game. I’m sure every team tries its best to ‘swarm’ Lynch and keep Wilson from extending the pocket, but that’s much easier said than done. They are great players.

      • smuggler

        Didn’t a silly offsides penalty get the Seahawks a touchdown on a drive where they otherwise would have been left with a field goal? And another silly offsides penalty get them the ball back on a fumbled handoff exchange?

        • Kevin

          My exact thought when reading that comment.

          There are always IF’s after every game and what is silly is to play that game of my team would have won if this and this happened.

          I’d be willing to bet that GB fans have a lot of IF’s also that would of resulted in a blowout if you ask them. What if Jones wasn’t raped or it was at least flagged on the td called back after his butt hit the ground first. 4 more points. Hhcd should of caught the int on Seattle’s td drive. Minus 7 from Sea. Clearly this game was more of a blowout than people thought.

          • Tim Edell

            If its and buts were candy and all have a merry Christmas!

        • Cant FixStupid

          Yes, yes it did.

      • Cant FixStupid

        The offsides penalty didn’t cause Sherman to get beat for a TD. The offsides didn’t force Sherman to PI Montgomery. The offsides penalties didn’t help Green Bay outplay Seattle last night. But a weak questionable offsides did extend a drive for Seattle that resulted in a TD. Green Bay outplayed Seattle last night and for the 2nd straight meeting showed to be the better team. Get over it!

        • Brandon

          Had the seahawks won last night you sound like you would be the first person lining up to whine about the uncalled penalties. Hell, you won and you were already lining up to call foul.

          Fact of the matter is, win or lose, these refs did a terrible job. Its getting to be the case every time the packers and hawks play. All their games have been terribly officiated.

          • Crewthief

            I disagree.

          • jjthetraveler

            Oh come on. The Hawks have received many questionable calls their way so quit crying. I remember an interception that would have won the game but we didn’t get a fair call. EVERYONE on the planet knows that was a BS call. So now the shoe seems to pinch, get over it.

          • Cant FixStupid

            WTF are you talking about?? The only reason i had anything to say was because your fellow whiny Hawks fan had this ignorant comment to make. “Take away the silly offside penalties and the Hawks could have easily won this game.” Oh yeah?? BS!! The Packers won because they were better, not because of the refs. And what was so terribly officiated about last nights game???

        • Griffonian

          How can you be the better team in a championship game when you utterly collapse at the end? That was one for the ages.

          • jjthetraveler

            That was last year buddy. I used to live in Everett and I’ve told everyone the Graham trade was a bad trade. JG can’t block and for a running team with a weak O-line that’s going to kill you. He’s already crying. With AZ and even the Rams looking good the Hawks will not make the playoffs this year. MN will probably be the wildcard. You do know how difficult making the playoffs will be starting 0-2.

      • RealistLogic

        Then again, if The Packers had Bulaga, Jordy and Lacy in the game.
        And if Devante and Cobb weren’t banged up.

        Doubt the Hawks even make it competitive.

        • Ghazi

          True Story, really wasn’t as close as a lot of people want it to be. We lost the lead for a short period of time, then got it back, and then ended the game. The Pack Showed off their depth at WR, and RB and OL. The Tackles didn’t look all that good, but then again, they didn’t do poorly enough to really disrupt the Passing game. Montgomery is going to be a Stud and will be a starter for this team in a year or so, as will Adams. We have luxury problems at RB, WR, QB, and even DB. It’s nice to see.

      • Brandon Piccione

        Those offside calls happen to every team in lambeau. Rodgers cadence is the best in the game, that’s a huge reason he’s so dangerous at home.

    • Foppas21

      The Packers didn’t write anything. They took a page from what the Rams did to them in week 1.

      • Crewthief

        The Rams allowed 31 points, Packers 17. What page did they take, exactly?

        • Foppas21

          Umm, how to put 8 in the box to stop the run, the Seahawks bread and butter the last two seasons. The Pack D looked human, if you will, after Wilson started running some play action and some read keeps in the third.

          • Cant FixStupid

            For 2 drives, He had 2 positive drives, after those 2 positive drives to start the 3rd, it was done.

        • Foppas21

          While I appreciate your overly simplistic explanation, minus a special teams punt return for a touchdown and a defensive return for a touchdown the Rams and the Packers defense allowed the same number of points to the Seahawks, 17. I only point this out because the statement was made the Packers defense wrote the script on how to stop the Seahawks, which is a little bit of a stretch. I know this doesn’t fit in with the narrative that you want to believe, but stats do not lie.

          • Crewthief

            You make alot of assumptions here about what I want to believe, you know what making assumptions makes you, right? I’m sorry I disagreed with you and you had to come in here and cry all over the place though…

          • Foppas21

            C’mon man, I come with facts and that is all you have, it’s rather pathetic. You, apparently have a difficult time with English comprehension. No assumptions were made, facts only.

            Fact 1: Lockett returns a punt against STL for 7.

            Fact 2: Williams returns a fumble against STL for 7.

            Take those away and GB allows the same number of points as STL. I responded to sikologic’s post about the GB defense writing the script to stop the Seahawks, to which he agreed, later acknowledging the script was provided rather than written. So do me a favor next time, read the context of the post on which you wish to opine first and you will do so with said comprehension in hand.

          • Crewthief

            OK. You feel better now?

      • sikologik

        Fine: the Rams provided the script. I’m okay with that. The point is, the script has been provided.

  • Kevin

    Honest question. Did anyone else notice two of the Packers injuries- Boyd and Adams- happened during some very questionable actions by Seattle.

    JR Sweezy appeared to take Boyd down away from the action and Boyd ended up with broken bones and torn ligaments in his ankle.

    The more obvious one was Adams being twisted backwards by multiple Hawks even after the whistle. Luckily for him Lang came from behind to hit the pile and straighten Adams back into a more comfortable looking position. I’m pretty sure most people saw this one but may not have realized Adams actually came up injured and had to go the locker room.

    • NY PIGEON #FlockGang

      What? Injuries happens in football games and especially when you’re playing a physical team like Seattle. The Seattle hangover is REAL

    • SeattleSteve

      Yeah, Sweezy tries that crap all the time.
      Unlike Suh, he just ain’t good enough to justify that crap.

    • wiguyinmn

      I didn’t see the Adams injury, but Boyd has the refs to blame for his broken ankle (and potentially finished NFL career). Ever heard of FWD progress being stopped? Their inability to blow the whistle caused Seahawks players to push a clearly-stopped Lynch for extra yardage trapping Boyd at an awkward angle underneath the pile.