Russell Wilson, Percy Harvin, and Marshawn Lynch led the Seahawks to a 36-16 win over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night’s NFL season opener.
Seattle’s defense has been the talk of the NFL for well over a year now, and deservedly so. Thursday night, however, Seattle’s offense proved that they are nothing to sneeze at either.
Lynch rushed for 110 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. Harvin posted 100 combined rushing and receiving yards. Wilson threw for 191 yards and two scores.
The stars came out in front of the home crowd and the Seahawks showed the world, yet again, why they are the best team in the NFL.
Seattle opened the scoring early in the first quarter with a 35-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka, putting the Seahawks up 3-0. That drive would have resulted in a Seahawks punt. However, Green Bay committed a “roughing the punter” penalty, allowing the drive to continue.
The one blip in the Seahawk’s execution came late in the first quarter. Seattle’s defense forced a three and out, resulting in a punt. Newly assigned punt returner Earl Thomas III, who is also an all-pro safety, failed to call fair catch, and failed to catch the ball at all, allowing the Packers to recover the loose ball.
On the ensuing drive RB John Kuhn rushed for a two yard score and Mason Crosby tacked on the extra point, giving the Packers a 7-3 lead.
That would be the last time the Packers held the lead on Thursday.
Wilson marched the Seahawks 85 yards down the field in under three and a half minutes to open the second quarter, scoring on a crafty read option play action pass to WR Ricardo Lockette. Hauschka would add the extra point, making the score 10-7.
The Packers showed some fight after giving up the lead. They also put together a fairly solid drive with 12 plays, 79 yards in 6:08. The drive was heavily aided by a pass interference penalty by Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner, which put the Packers inside the 10-yard line. The Seahawk’s defense, however was able to force a field goal, and Crosby made a 23-yarder to tie the game at 10 a piece.
Then, things got lopsided as Lynch rushed for the first of his two scores to conclude a 6-play, 70-yard drive at the end of the first half, giving the Seahawks a 17-10 lead.
Seattle was forced to punt on their first drive of the second half. Then, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers threw an interception on the first play of the following drive to CB Byron Maxwell. Rodgers, who did not look comfortable all night was 23 of 33 for 189 yards and one touchdown.
After the interception, Hauschka punched his second field goal through the uprights, making it a 20-10 game.
Seattle’s defense was able to sack Rodgers three times Thursday night. One of the sacks forced a fumble which was recovered by the Packers in the endzone and resulted in a safety. Seattle added on to their lead, making the score 22-10.
Seattle’s next drive resulted, yet again, in more points. Lynch capped off a 9-play, 53-yard drive at the start of the fourth quarter with a three yard touchdown run. Hauschka added the extra point and the Seahawks took a commanding 29-10 lead.
Lynch’s performance in the season opener was nothing short of the “beast mode” attack that he has shown since he became a Seahawk in the middle of the 2010 season. The running back on the away side, though, was almost nonexistent.
Packers starting RB Eddie Lacy had 12 rushes for only 34 yards Thursday night, averaging 2.8 yards per carry, which is substantially less than the 4.1 yards-per-carry mark he had last season. Lacy’s bad night did not end there. He suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter and was replaced by RB James Starks.
Rodgers threw his lone touchdown pass late in the game to WR Randall Cobb and the Packers failed an attempted two-point conversion making the score 29-16.
The Seahawks concluded the scoring with another late touchdown on a 4th and one conversion. Wilson completed a pass to FB Derrick Coleman in the flat who picked up some blockers down the left side and found his way into the endzone. Hauschka added another extra point, finishing the scoring at 36-16.
Billy Reardon is a third-year student majoring in communications with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at WR783095@wcupa.edu