Green Bay Packers dominate the field and start Seattle Seahawks off on the wrong foot

Now that the Seattle Seahawks are a few weeks into their 2017-2018 regular season, it’s about time to start putting together impressions of how the team came together in the offseason. To start the season in Green Bay it’s hard to balance the blame for their 17-9 loss to the Packers between some questionable referee calls and an outright poor performance from the Seahawks offense. The game started off promising, with defensive tackle Nazair Jones returning an interception for a 64 yard touchdown in the first Packers drive of the first quarter. However, this play was called back by two questionable penalty flags. The first one went to cornerback Jeremy Lane for what they called delivering a punch during the play, which in any form of the replay proved to be untrue. Lane was ejected from the game but the flag was declined for the other penalty, an illegal block in the back call on defensive end Cliff Avril. While not strictly wrong, it definitely looked like a stretch on the referee’s part. Rather than take the touchdown, the Seahawks were forced to start at midfield where they would not end up scoring at all. The only other event in the first half was a field goal for the Seahawks, ending the half with a 3-0 score in favor of Seattle. The rest of the game was downhill, with the Packers outscoring Seattle 17-9 in the entire second half and bringing up a lot of questions as to what happened to the squad who has looked Super Bowl level for the last five or so years.
The following weeks were hardly a ray of hope, with a narrow 12-9 win over a San Francisco 49er team that is currently fielding 15 rookies, the most in the NFL. Week three was more of the same with a 33-27 loss to the Tennessee Titans that had many asking where Seattle’s defense had gone.
The problems for the first three weeks often intertwined between the games. For the first two games, it was a definite lack on the offensive side of the football. In the Green Bay game in particular, the offensive line just would not show up. Over the course of the first two games, Russell Wilson was sacked six times for 40 yards. These stats are taken separately from the amount of times his finesse in the backfield has successfully avoided the pressure. While he hasn’t thrown an interception yet this season, Wilson has also been forced to fumble the ball four times already. These stats show that Wilson remains a quality quarterback who can avoid the pressure, keep the ball away from the opposing teams and highlight the offensive line as needed to step up their game.
Something else that springs to mind looking at these scores is how the defense could be allowing so many points. Seattle’s defense has been a focal point for their successful seasons and it doesn’t make sense for them to allow 33 points in their third game. The truth is that they’re probably just tired. Seattle’s defense was on the field for 40 minutes of game time on week one, compared to the 20 minutes of offense. This means that the defense was expected to do twice the amount of work on the side of Seattle versus Green Bay. In their week three game, the defense was on the field for 32 minutes versus Tennessee’s 27. In week two against the 49ers, who are currently 0-3 and are widely considered to be in their rebuilding stage and in a really poor spot right now, the Seahawks defense had to play 37 minutes versus San Francisco’s 23. The lack of time that the offensive line can put together to buy Seattle’s offense longer drives is proving to be brutal on the stamina of the defense.
In short, if the offensive line could solve their problems it would likely help stabilize the offense and in turn give the defense a bit of a break. If this happens, the Seahawks could put together a legitimate shot at the playoffs and ideally the Super Bowl.