The Seahawks couldn't hang with the Packers in their season opener. Here are three quick thoughts after the game.
1. Let’s face it: A few big calls influenced the game
That’s what everyone will talk about, the calls that went against Seattle and altered the game.
There was the block in the back penalty on Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril that took away Nazair Jones’ interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter. Replays showed Avril lightly touched Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers during the return. Former NFL official and FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira questioned the call on Twitter during the game.
On that same play, Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane was ejected for throwing a punch after tangling up with Packers receiver Davante Adams. But once again replays at least didn’t show Lane throwing a punch.
Later in the game, on third down from the Packers’ 3-yard line, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson lobbed a pass to tight end Jimmy Graham in the back of the end zone. The ball sailed over Graham’s head, but Pereira tweeted that he thought the ball was catchable, and it looked as if two Green Bay defenders interfered with Graham.
The Seahawks had to settle for a field goal instead.
It’s too easy to blame officials for a loss — those calls were far, far from the only reason the Seahawks lost — but they were big.
2. The offensive line is, once again, a problem
There’s no other way around it. If you watched Sunday’s game, you saw it. It was that obvious. The offensive line rarely opened lanes for Seattle’s running backs, and quarterback Russell Wilson was pressured, often and quickly.
The problems were pretty much across the board. It can be difficult to assign specific blame on a play along the line, but let’s just say that at different times all five of Seattle’s starting offensive line had a hand in the chaos.
This was supposed to be an improved and more mature offensive line. The Seahawks added veteran Luke Joeckel, and Mark Glowinski, Justin Britt and Germain Ifedi all had a year of playing together.
The loss to left tackle George Fant hurt, and while his replacement Rees Odhiambo struggled, he alone wasn’t to blame for what went wrong.
The Seahawks often kept a running back or tight end — or both — to help block on passing plays, which helped but also left Wilson with fewer options. Other than one long Chris Carson run and a couple of improvised Wilson scrambles, the running game struggled. It was a bad day from the very beginning and stayed that way until the end.
3. Rookie RB Chris Carson was impressive in his debut
Carson, the Seahawks’ seventh-round draft pick, only got six carries on Sunday, but he was Seattle’s most effective running. He carried the ball six times for 39, which included an impressive 30-yard run. Carson also caught one pass for 10 yards.
Without injured running back Thomas Rawls, the Seahawks split carries between veteran Eddie Lacy and Carson. But it became clear during the game that Carson was the more effective of the two.
It’s tough to judge a running back off just six carries and especially so considering the offensive line’s struggles.
But if nothing else, Carson backed up all the hype he generated during training camp in the preseason.