As the 2014 NFL season got underway, there was some concern over the NFL's mandate to crack down on defensive holding and illegal contact penalties. On Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014 the NFL's toughest defense showed no ill-effects from the tighter officiating, as the reigning Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks crushed the Green Bay Packers by a score of 36-16, in front of a sellout crowd at CenturyLink field in Seattle.
Green Bay did lead 7-3 at the end of the first quarter, but by halftime, Seattle led 17-10, and that was the beginning of the end. Seattle used a punishing ground game to gradually wear down the Green Bay defense, and set up well-timed passes from QB Russell Wilson. The other X-factor was speedy wideout Percy Harvin, who proved to be virtually unstoppable.
In the end, Seattle wound up with 207 rushing yards. Marshawn Lynch accounted for 110 of those yards, on 20 carries, with two TD's. Percy Harvin had 41 rushing yards on 4 carries, and also had 7 catches for 59 yards. If Harvin stays healthy, he is going add a dynamic element to the Seattle offense. On the night, the Seahawks were only penalized four times.
Green Bay did not play badly, but were up against an irresistible force. Running back Eddie Lacy was held to just 34 yards on 12 carries, as Seattle's front seven would not yield. RB James Stark did not fair much better, as he had 7 carries for 37 yards. On defense, OLB Julius Peppers, the newest addition to the team, had three solo tackles. Clay Matthews also had three solo tackles on the night.
This was only the first game of the season, but it looks as though the Seahawks have not skipped a beat. On the other side, it looks like the Packers may have the same problem which has plagued them the last few seasons, in that they are a solid team, but simply do not have the personnel to compete with the elite teams in the NFL.
In total yardage, Seattle outgained Green Bay, 398-255.