8:30 PM ET, September 4, 2014
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
And Richard Sherman? He was just bored.
The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks opened the same way they finished last season, with a blowout victory.
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"We'll always find something that we can do better," Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "That's why we're so good."
Lynch ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns, Harvin had 100 combined yards rushing and receiving, and the Seahawks dominated Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a 36-16 victory to kick off the regular season Thursday night.
The memories of last season were revisited, with the championship banner unveiled to celebrate Seattle's first title. But the ceremony was brief, a nod to putting last season behind and beginning the process of trying to become the first team in a decade to repeat.
The effort against the Packers -- a popular pick to contend in the NFC -- will only reinforce the belief that Seattle is still the favorite.
Wilson was outstanding in the first half, including a 33-yard touchdown pass to Ricardo Lockette. Harvin got touches as a receiver, running back and returner. He was used all over the field in different formations after never being fully healthy in his first season with Seattle.
Wilson finished 19-of-28 for 191 yards, while Lynch was at his best. Coach Pete Carroll said earlier this week that Lynch appeared to be in the best shape of his career, and it showed. Lynch averaged 5.5 yards per carry and topped 100 yards for the 20th time in the regular season since joining the Seahawks in 2010.
Lynch, who ran for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, barreled through a trio of Packers for a TD with 3:41 left before halftime to give the Seahawks a 17-10 lead and added a second scoring run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
"Obviously, we were the more physical team today, offensively and defensively. I saw supposedly some of the best players in the league not want to tackle Marshawn Lynch," Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett said. "Of course, nobody is going to say nothing about that, but I seen a lot of guys whiff on tackles that should have been 2-yard gains, and they're supposed to be the best."
Lynch's Big Night
Marshawn Lynch rushed for 110 yards against the Packers, including 94 yards between the tackles, his highest total since the beginning of last season (including the playoffs).
|Inside Tackles||Outside Tackles|
|Yds per rush||6.3||3.2|
|YAC per rush*||2.3||1.2|
|*Yards after contact per rush|
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
Seattle had 207 yards rushing as a team and won for the 18th time in its past 20 regular-season home games. Harvin finished with 11 offensive touches, including four rushes for 41 yards.
"If we already peaked this game, we're going to be in trouble," Harvin said. "I hope we can just take this game and build on it."
Rodgers was 23-of-33 for 189 yards and was isolated to one side of the field. He looked almost exclusively for Jordy Nelson matched up against Byron Maxwell and never threw in Sherman's direction. Nelson finished with nine receptions, but Maxwell came up with a third-quarter interception on a pass that deflected off Nelson's hands.
But Seattle's defenders did their part. They sacked Rodgers three times, taking advantage of a knee injury suffered by right tackle Bryan Bulaga in the second quarter. His replacement, Derek Sherrod, gave up a fourth-down sack to Cliff Avril to end one drive inside Seattle territory.
Following a Seattle punt, Sherrod was beaten by Bennett on Green Bay's next offensive snap. Rodgers was stripped, and Sherrod fell on the fumble in the end zone for a safety and a 22-10 score.
"I think that you get wake-up calls and then you get drill-sergeant-kick-you-out-the-bed calls, and I think we just got kicked out the bed onto a cement floor, and it hurt," Green Bay defensive lineman Mike Daniels said.
SportsNation: A Seahawks repeat?
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Eddie Lacy was mostly a nonfactor with 34 yards rushing on 12 carries and left in the fourth quarter with a concussion. And despite holding the Packers to 255 total yards -- the third-fewest by Green Bay since the start of 2012 -- Sherman felt the job wasn't up to standard.
"It wasn't dominant at all. We have a lot of things to clean up," Sherman said. "We missed some opportunities on some turnovers. We missed some tackles on key drives we could have stopped; we had some key penalties. These are all things we need to clean up because we have a really high standard."
Lynch's second TD put Seattle up 29-10. Rodgers threw a 3-yard scoring pass to Randall Cobb in the fourth quarter, but Wilson closed out the victory with a 13-play drive that ate up seven minutes and was capped by a 15-yard TD pass to Derrick Coleman on fourth down with 2:31 left.
Former Seattle LT Walter Jones was presented with his Hall of Fame ring during a halftime ceremony that featured fellow Seattle Hall of Famers Steve Largent and Cortez Kennedy. The trio raised the "12th Man Flag" prior to kickoff. ... Wagner tied a career high with 14 tackles. ... Reserve James Starks led Green Bay with 37 yards rushing.
SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks signs autographs before the game...(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||4.5||6.0|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-3||3-5|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
|FG||6:03||Steven Hauschka 35 Yd Field Goal |
Drive info: 11 plays, 48 yds, 5:50
|TD||1:25||John Kuhn 2 Yd Run (Mason Crosby Kick)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 34 yds, 3:07
|TD||13:00||Ricardo Lockette 33 Yd pass from Russell Wilson (Steven Hauschka Kick)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yds, 3:25
|FG||6:52||Mason Crosby 23 Yd Field Goal |
Drive info: 12 plays, 79 yds, 6:08
|TD||3:41||Marshawn Lynch 9 Yd Run (Steven Hauschka Kick)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 70 yds, 3:11
|FG||10:28||Steven Hauschka 20 Yd Field Goal |
Drive info: 4 plays, 6 yds, 1:26
|SF||4:42||Derek Sherrod Tackled In End Zone By Tony McDaniel|
Drive info: 1 plays, -10 yds, 0:11
|TD||14:55||Marshawn Lynch 3 Yd Run (Steven Hauschka Kick)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 53 yds, 4:47
|TD||9:31||Randall Cobb 3 Yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 82 yds, 5:24
|TD||2:31||Derrick Coleman 15 Yd pass from Russell Wilson (Steven Hauschka Kick)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 80 yds, 7:00
Aaron Rodgers did not throw Richard Sherman's way once on Thursday. Rodgers completed 5-of-7 passes for 6 yards to the right side, with Randall Cobb's 3-yard touchdown reception the only completion to a wide receiver. He did not attempt a pass to a wide receiver outside the right painted numbers, where Sherman was lined up.
--The Seahawks held Eddie Lacy to 34 rushing yards (2.8 yards per rush) Thursday night. Last season, Lacy was 4th in the NFL with 531 rushing yards after contact, but was limited to 16 yards after contact against the Seahawks. The Packers were 0-3 last season in games when Lacy was limited to less than 3.0 yards per rush. --Both of Wilson's touchdown passes Thursday also came when the Packers sent five or more pass rushers. Wilson completed 8-of-13 passes for 104 yards against the blitz. --The Seahawks sacked Aaron Rodgers three times Thursday, all with four or fewer pass rushers. In their 2012 meeting, Rodgers was sacked a career-high tying eight times, seven of which came via standard pressure.
The Seahawks improve to 8-0 under Pete Carroll in home prime time games. The only game decided by single digits was the Fail Mary game in 2012. Since that game, Seattle has won its home night games by an average of 26 points.[+]
Seattle in Home Night Games under Pete Carroll
The Seahawks' last two opponents featured the top two quarterbacks since 2010 in terms of Total QBR. Their defense held both Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers to subpar performances.[+]
Percy Harvin combined for 100 total yards in his first full regular-season game since joining the Seahawks. Harvin led all receivers with 35 yards after the catch (as many as Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb combined for the Packers). Harvin was also featured in the running game, turning four rushes outside the tackles into 41 yards. Seattle wide receivers combined for 35 rushing yards during the entire 2013 regular season.
Marshawn Lynch rushed for 110 yards against the Packers Thursday. Lynch's 94 yards between the tackles is his highest total since the beginning of last season (including playoffs).[+]
--The Packers were unable to bring down Lynch once contacting him, allowing 2.0 yards after contact per rush. They gave up the most yards after contact per rush (1.8) last season.
Marshawn Lynch Rushing, Thursday vs Packers
In the first half, Russell Wilson was 5-for-5 for 78 yards and a TD against 5+ pass rushers. He completed 64% of his passes against the blitz last season, 4th best in the NFL.
All 7 of Marshawn Lynch's rushes (for 59 yards) came between the tackles. Last season, Lynch was 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards between the tackles (995), trailing only McCoy and Peterson.
The Seahawks will try to become the first team to successfully defended their Super Bowl title since the 2004 Patriots. The streak of nine consecutive seasons without a back-to-back champion is tied for the longest in the 94-year history of the NFL.[+]
Most Consecutive Seasons Without Back-to-Back Champion - NFL History
Percy Harvin's 3 receptions in the 1st quarter were more than he had in the entire 2013 season (1).
In the 1st quarter, Aaron Rodgers completed 6-of-6 passes thrown 10 yards or fewer downfield, but was 0-for-2 on passes longer than 10 yards.
Ricardo Lockette's 33-yard touchdown reception was the second of his career and first since Week 17 of 2011.
The Seahawks sacked Aaron Rodgers eight times in Week 3 of the 2012 season, with seven of those sacks coming when sending four or fewer pass rushers. Rodgers was much better against standard pressure last season, leading the NFL with 8.9 yards per attempt against four or fewer pass rushers.[+]
Aaron Rodgers By No. of Pass Rushers Last Season
Corey Linsley will be the 6th rookie center to start his team's season opener in the last 5 seasons (not including any rookie center that could start Sunday). Of the previous 5 players, only Jason Kelce was drafted later than Linsley, and each center's team committed at least 1 false start penalty in the game.[+]
In the first half, Aaron Rodgers was 14-of-15 on throws 10 yards or fewer downfield, and 0-of-3 on throws 11+ yards downfield.
Aaron Rodgers' average pass in the first half traveled 5.1 yards downfield. Rodgers has had two games in his career with a shorter average pass, one of which was the loss in Seattle in 2012 (4.8).
This is Marshawn Lynch's 5th straight game with a rush touchdown (including playoffs). Lynch has a TD in 7 of his last 8 games.
On Tuesday Russell Wilson spoke about making improvements ... "My goal is still to get the ball to the right guy at the right time ... I'm getting so quick on my reads. I'm reading the coverage so quickly and protections and all that. I've really grown a lot. He's on the right track, because in his first 2 seasons in the NFL, he has been the slowest quarterback in the league at getting rid of the ball, and has been sacked at the highest rate.[+]
Russell Wilson Last 2 Seasons
Green Bay rookie center Corey Linsley was thrown into a starting role when J.C. Tretter went down with a knee injury during training camp. That's bad news for the Packers, especially going against the defending champs who are dominant at home. Seattle is 17-1 at home in the last 2 seasons (including the playoffs) and have won by an average of 15.8 points. The lone loss was to the Cardinals, a 17-10 in Week 16 last season. Arizona scored a touchdown with 2 minutes left and converted a 2-point conversion. The Seahawks margin of victory is the highest in the NFL since 2012.[+]
Highest PPG Diff at Home - Since 2012 (Including Playoffs)
With rookie Corey Linsley starting for the Packers tonight in Seattle... Linsley started all 26 games at center for Ohio State in 2012 and 2013 including 4 ROAD games at Michigan State, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan... In those 4 road contests, Ohio State committed a TOTAL of 3 false start/offensive holding/delay of game penalties and rushed for an average of 242.5 yards per game (5.3 yds/rush).
The Seahawks rushed for 207 yards Thursday night, their most ever in a season opener.[+]
Most Rush Yds in Season Opener
ESPN Stats & Information