Looking at some stats and numbers from Sunday's game from Pro Football Focus.
So which offensive lineman graded out the best and worst for the Seahawks on Sunday? And how did the Packers attack Seattle’s secondary once Jeremy Lane was ejected on the first series?
Here are some answers with a lot of help via Pro Football Focus.
First, the secondary. Lane played just eight snaps forcing Seattle to have to go the rest of the way with rookie Shaquill Griffin as the other base cornerback opposite Richard Sherman and Justin Coleman as the nickel.
Aaron Rodgers in 2014 famously didn’t throw a single pass Sherman’s way so it only made sense he’d look the other way Sunday even more once Lane was ejected.
Lane was targeted twice on the first possession, giving up a pass interference and then a completion for 14 yards. Griffin was also targeted once on the first series when Lane was still in the game.
Interestingly, the first pass Rodgers threw to a receiver once Lane was ejected was to a receiver being defended by Sherman — Randall Cobb, who made the catch for a 10-yard gain.
But the rest of the way he did mostly stay away from Sherman.
Sherman ultimately was thrown at three times, giving up two receptions for 16 yards and a 79.9 passer rating, according to PFF. That’s a little above the 60.2 passer rating Sherman has allowed the last three years, according to PFF. But the small number of receptions and targets obviously shows Sherman did his job.
According to PFF, Griffin was targeted nine times and allowed six receptions for 52 yards, credited with pass defenses on two others, for an 81.7 passer rating. Griffin, though, did not get a good grade from PFF since he was also called for two defensive holding penalties which accounted for two of the six first downs he gave up. PFF also judged that another pass against him would have been completed had not Rodgers overthrown it. Griffin had 44.9 overall grade (a grade in the 70s is considered average with anything above that elite and anything below that is, well, below average).
Coleman was targeted seven times allowing four receptions for 43 yards, according to PFF, for a 75.3 passer rating. Of his 25 coverage snaps (he had 41 overall), 23 came in the slot. On those snaps he was targeted six times allowing three receptions for 48 yards and a 70.1 rating.
Rodgers finished with an overall passer rating of 86.5 including a touchdown pass that came against a zone coverage (PFF had Bobby Wagner and Earl Thomas sharing responsibility for the TD).
As for the offensive line, PFF graded the five starters — who were the only five who played other than two snaps for Matt Tobin as a sixth OL and officially pass eligible on each play — this way: center Justin Britt 75.1, right tackle Germain Ifedi 44.5, left guard Luke Joeckel 42.9, right guard Mark Glowinski 36.8 and left tackle Rees Odhiambo 26.3.
Again, the PFF grades are subjective and like any observation by anyone outside the team, also come without knowing with 100 percent certainty a player’s specific responsibility on each play (players will tell you this is why outside observations often come up short since without knowing the playbook it’s easy to make assumptions about who was supposed to do what that end up being wrong).
Regardless, the grades would seem to pretty accurately reflect the conventional wisdom of how the line played. Britt’s grade is considered average and was the ninth-highest of any center in the NFL this week.
The rest are all markedly below average grades.
As for who allowed what, PFF assessed it this way — Ifedi: three hurries; Odhiambo: one sack, one hit, two hurries; Glowinski: one sack, one hit; Joeckel: one sack, two hurries; Britt: one hit.
QB Russell Wilson was officially sacked three times with the Packers officially given seven quarterback hits.
While it’s not a new point, it may be worth remembering that many of the Seattle offensive linemen are young players. Odhiambo was making his first career start and for Ifedi and Glowinski it was their first career starts at those specific positions — Ifedi played RT last year and Glowinski LG.
PFF gave its highest grade of the game for the Seahawks to Earl Thomas, also no surprise to anyone watching. In its “Refocused’’ post, which takes a closer look at the film afterward, Thomas received an 86.8 grade writing: “Thomas was all over the field, making plays close to the line of scrimmage when lined up in the box and doing his usual fine work when patrolling center field on the back end. He picked up a team-high five stops, closing quickly on underneath passes while getting dirty in the run game. Thomas nearly came down with an interception on an errant Rodgers’ deep ball and he ensured that Rodgers’ free play late in the fourth quarter was not completed as he tracked it down for the negated interception.’’
The top-rated offensive player was receiver Doug Baldwin, who had four receptions on four targets for 63 yards.