Instant reaction: Seahawks defeat Packers 17-10

Check out the live blog I did during the game. These are just a few final thoughts.

– Penalties are still a huge issue for this team. 14/182 tonight. Pete Carroll demanded greater discipline this week, but he didn’t get it. Having said that, the ref’s haven’t helped during pre-season.

– Christine Michael needs to be the #2 running back. He was sensational today and needs touches. He’s the real deal. Robert Turbin isn’t close to Michael’s level of explosion. If pass protection is an issue, use Turbin on third downs. If Lynch is being spelled, I want to see Michael in there. He scored a 43-yard touchdown and looked like the best player on the field tonight.

– Tony McDaniel deserves to be named the starting three technique after his performance tonight. Sealver Siglia also had a solid debut. The run defense was lights out.

– Receiver Stephen Williams will make the roster and adds a dimension to the offense. He’s a big play threat and he’ll go up and take the ball. It’s something the Seahawks didn’t really have last year.

– Out of the fringe guys, did anyone stand out? I liked Mike Morgan’s performance. It was a quiet night for the likes of Allen Bradford and John Lotulelei. Winston Guy showed up with a nice turnover. Will Blackmon had an interception called back on a lousy call. Kyle Knox had another sack. In limited action he’s looked good. Practise squad for him I think.

– Michael Bennett is going to be huge for Seattle this year.

– I’m not sure Benson Mayowa truly warrants a spot in the 53, but I doubt he makes the practise squad. He’s a tough one. I want to root for him. But you might need to cut someone who genuinely contributes. For me, Mayowa needs a year. And yet with that year, he could be some player. It’s a dilemma.

– If you were doubting Michael Robinson’s importance, watch the tape again. Seattle compensated for his absence by using an extra tackle (Mike Person). The plan didn’t work. The Green Bay pass rush caused problems and often one blocker was stood watching. It didn’t help the run game either. And nobody looked ready to replace Robinson at full back. He’s going nowhere.

– Russell Wilson had an odd night. He started brilliantly, as did the entire offense. And just like the entire offense, he gradually got sloppy. I’m not really concerned. If the Seahawks play Green Bay this season, they’ll probably run the read-option all day long. And they ran it zero times tonight. If you want to know why they’d go read-option, watch the Packers-Niners playoff game again.

– Seattle will run with two quarterbacks again this year — Russell Wilson and Tarvaris Jackson. I fear Brady Quinn’s days are numbered.

– The Seahawks had 196 yards passing and 166 yards rushing. GreenBay had 201 yards total offense. Wilson played over a half for the Seahawks. Aaron Rodgers had one drive for Green Bay.


  1. JeffS

    The offensive line just isn’t good enough for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

    • Colin

      That is false.

    • Cameron

      I’d argue last years team was SB caliber. Same line this year.

    • Kyle

      Consider who was out. Robinson, Rice, etc. And the GB defense sure wasn’t worrying about Lynch much. But all that can be summed up in one word: Preseason.

    • JW

      They didn’t look good tonight

    • Rob Staton

      Green Bay blitzed a lot and were very creative. We ran for 160 odd yards.

      • Chris

        For what it’s worth, Carroll said in his post-game press conference that some of the blitzes Green Bay was using were pretty exotic and that at least some of the resposiblity for how effective they were rested with the (Seattle’s) coaching staff for not having better prepared the players.

      • A. Simmons

        It looked to me like they were trying a strategy to shut down a mobile QB by attacking him. That strategy failed given we weren’t gameplanning for dealing with it. They allowed us to put up 166 yards running without even trying hard. They are still porous against the run. If they try blitz happy attack during the regular season, they are going to get steamrolled.

  2. Travis

    Rob, been checkong your blog regularly now for about a year. First post. You’re right on. I actually picked up Micheal as a free agent in my fantasy league at half time. He’s too talented to keep off the field if Lynch isn’t in. Thanks for all the insights. Go hawks!

  3. Kyle

    What do you mean you “fear” Quinn’s days are numbered? I took a double swig of beer when Tavaris came in. I’m just being obnoxiously pedantic of course.

    I’m not going to say anything about all the penalties because what can I really say that has not been said already, but I could not be any happier that Christine Michael is a Seahawk. The guy is simply a freak of athletic nature. Bravo! I absolutely love this guy.

    One thing that concerns me is that opponent blitzes are inordinately disruptive. This game reminded me somewhat of the second game vs. the Rams last year where Wilson was abused by the Rams blitz attack.

    • Rob Staton

      What I will say about the blitzing is Seattle clearly didn’t go OTT showing their hand on how they might combat it. They did a couple of screens. In a real game we’ll see read-option to take away some of the sting, plus other specific plays.

      • Colin

        I don’t find it that much of a concern. We saw a HORRIBLE Saints defense last year completely abuse the 49ers offensive line in a preseason game last year. Not a huge deal.

  4. Kyle

    Actually, I did want to mention Wilson’s 2nd interception. Yeah, it was a bad pass and all, but I can’t expel the thought of how hard that ball was thrown. I’ve seen 3 or 4 replays, and that is some extraordinary arm strength.

  5. brad canuck

    I’m a bit concerned about our four man rush = again ho hum.

    • Rob Staton

      No Clemons, No Avril, very little Bruce in fairness.

      • brad canuck

        Very, very true!

  6. Belgaron

    I loved seeing all the shortcomings here because they still have time to address them for week 1. Sweezy is getting educated on what they will call for holding, much better to happen now than later. Several players are learning the hard way what constitutes a late hit and pass interference.

    A playoff run would hopefully include Harvin, Rice, and Miller, i.e. 3/5ths of the offense’s most potent weapons; it makes everybody’s job easier to have those guys on the field. Kearse and Williams will benefit greatly from having those guys back to draw the attention of the defense.

    Lynch/Michael will be a two-headed monster, Turbin is a decent backup.

    TJack really is an asset. He could mean the difference between 1-2 wins if he’s needed. Think where they’d be if he was still in Buffalo.

    As long as Avril is not 100%, there’s no question Mowaya makes the team, how well he impresses until Avril’s back will determine if he’s cut after that. But if he gets a couple sacks next week, he could force the issue in his favor.

    They will definitely be looking at TE, FB, and maybe DS on the final cut lists from other teams. They could also grab a 3rd string development QB if one matches what they are looking for gets waived.

  7. CHawk Talker Eric

    I think GB had so much success with the blitz tonight because a lot of them were delayed blitzes. It’s a decent strategy — wait for the OLine to commit to their assignments, then bring the heat. It works well with a QB like Wilson, who has a tendency to wait on his passes because he can (usually) rely on his ability to scramble and extend the play to find the open receiver. That’s where Robinson comes in. He’s essentially indispensable to this team in that regard and that’s why he’s not going anywhere this season (among other reasons).

    Speaking of the backfield, Michael has completely outplayed Turbin this preseason, including tonight (the only game in which they both played). Turbin may be “2nd” on the depth chart, but Michael is the true backup to Lynch.

    I’m not sure Seattle can afford to carry 5 backs this year; there are just too many other positions that need the extra roster spot (DE, WR, TE, CB just to name a few). Or perhaps a better way to say it is that there are too many other players that this team could really benefit from keeping (think Mayowa, Harper, Brooks, several DBs as well) who wouldn’t make the PS because they’d get picked up by other teams.

    So if PC does decide to go with only 4 backs, the only 2 locks are Lynch and Robinson. I think the other 2 are likely to be Michael and Ware. Why Ware? Because to my eye, Ware’s running style is better suited to this team (and the ZBS) than Turbin’s. Also, Ware is the only one who realistically can back up at both RB and FB. Every team needs a backup FB, and since Ware can spell at both positions (and I think is – or will be – a better backup RB than Turbin), he makes a good case for earning a roster spot. As for Michael, like I said, he’s already a better runner than Turbin, and tonight he showed he can catch out of the backfield as well. I just don’t see there being a need for Turbin on this team, especially considering how many other positions could use an extra player. Perhaps he could be traded for a Rd3/Rd4 draft pick or maybe a decent TE prospect?

    A couple of miscellaneous thoughts:

    I’m having a hard time seeing how Mayowa doesn’t make this team. He’s still raw, but the kid simply has a nose for the QB. I think he could be a first rate DE by the end of the season, especially with Clemons on the PUP for now, and likely not able to play as many snaps as normal for a while after he returns. Plus, he played the run fairly well tonight.

    Bradford is an absolute beast. Like Mayowa, he’s pretty raw and often misses the tackle because he’s out of position. Plus he’s pretty awful in coverage. But man can that guy hit. Besides, he’s just learning to play LB and should improve with experience.

    Lotulelei will probably make the team, but his contribution most likely will be limited to ST for this season (and maybe even beyond). I really like his energy, enthusiasm and physicality at LB, but he’s just all over the place in a bad way. He’s a penalty machine waiting to happen, and I think he makes Bradford look like a seasoned vet.

    So happy to see McDaniel play tonight. What a relief to see his skills on display after watching Williams all but hobble on one leg because of his bum knee against DEN and with Hill getting injured this week in practice. Also, I think McDonald pretty much assured himself of staying on the team with a dependable, if not standout, backup performance.

    • Tomahawk

      Yes, McDaniel looked great and was such a pleasant surprise in this game. In just one preseason game, he already looks like an upgrade to Alan Branch. I think McDaniel is a lock to start next to Mebane.

      • SunPathPaul

        To imagine Turbin not on the team is difficult…but I can see where you are going. Ware over him, plus a draft pick through trade would be a nice addition since we have no 3rd this year. Plus we do need to keep 6 WR I believe…Rice, Tate, Baldwin, Kearse, S.Williams, & our 4th Chris Harper. At least until Harvin returns…

        I wonder if J. Williams makes the team with so much doubt and inconsistency with his knee… Glad we have McDonald and Mayowa… We shall C!

    • Aaron

      I don’t necessarily disagree with your point about keeping four running backs (although I don’t feel strongly either way) but where I do have to disagree is with the notion of going out of your way to reserve a roster spot for Chris Harper. The guy has not shown anything in practice or in the games. He was a counterintuitive, essentially experimental draft pick to begin with. If PC is to stay true to his mantra of competition, there is no way he deserves to make the team. I could name at least three other receivers that have done more to earn a spot than Harper. I’m at the point where I will be highly annoyed if he does make the team.

      I get that he was a fourth round pick. But this year the UDFAs have proven to be more valuable to the team than the draft picks. That’s not a criticism, but a tribute to the Seahawks’ scouts. I don’t blame them for going outside the box by drafting Harper, but he hasn’t panned out, so just cut him and move on.

      (I realize he is only one of many guys you included on your hypothetical list. I’m just making the point that I don’t agree he belongs in that category.)

      • Rob Staton

        I think we, again, need to ease off on criticising Chris Harper. I feel like we’ve had this conversation a lot. We cannot expect every rookie to hit the ground running, especially at receiver. They drafted him for a reason and to just write him off after one pre-season would be ludicrous IMO. If every rookie receiver needed to be productive immediately, there’d be about 10 in the game.

        • Aaron

          I must have missed all the talk about Harper here. I thought he’s cruised extraordinarily under the radar, especially given all the talk and ramped-up expectations surrounding this team.

          I agree it wouldn’t be fair to write off a 4th round pick after one pre-season, but the problem is that, as you know, there’s an extreme level of competition on this roster, particularly at the WR position. Also, they’ve done it before. The fourth round seems to be a bit of a bugaboo for PC/JS.

          • Rob Staton

            In fairness I think the only players they’ve cut this soon was a 5th round pick in Mark LeGree, who just looked out of his depth. He was from Appalachian State so a small school and he just couldn’t step up. The other was E.J. Wilson, with all sorts of rumours about why that pick didn’t work.

            Overall they’ve actually been pretty patient. They gave Jaye Howard a whole red shirt year last season as a former fourth round pick. They essentially red shirted Kam Chancellor in 2010 but had him on special teams. They’ve kept a handful of young defensive backs that they’ve drafted and stashed.

            So while the roster is deep and very competitive, I think we also have to appreciate that they’ll probably draft players who they see as more long term prospects. Receiver is notoriously difficult to learn after all. They drafted Harper for a reason and there’s little chance IMO that he’ll make it through waivers. So I expect they’ll carry six wide outs and he’ll be one of them.

            Now things could change in 9-10 weeks when Percy Harvin is getting closer to a possible return. If by that point Stephen Williams and Jermaine Kearse are flying and the other guys are healthy, it could put Harper in danger if he isn’t showing any signs of being able to take the field. But even then that would depend on a full bill of clean health at the position and Harvin being reactivated. Carrying six WR’s is likely for me whatever the circumstance and with Rice, Tate, Baldwin, Williams and Kearse I think you can feel comfortable stashing Harper. I just cannot see him being cut.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        I agree with you Aaron, particularly because Harper hasn’t done anything to distinguish himself this preseason. I guess I listed him mainly because WR is a difficult position and he did cost a 4th round pick. But if I’m being as fair to him as possible, he hasn’t really had the opportunities to show us much of anything this preseason, and I think that’s intentional on the part of PC.

        Here’s why: there’s no doubt that Harper is a project – if he does end up being a productive WR for SEA, it’ll take some time before he gets there. That’s not only because WR is one of the more difficult positions to learn at the pro level, but also because Harper was a QB in high school and for his first 2 years of college. He’s been a WR for only a couple of seasons. Fortunately, the emergence of SWilliams and JKearse makes the loss of Harvin less of a problem, and alleviates the pressure on Harper to step up now. (Side point: Kearse already gives SEA much of what they must have wanted from Harper – a big bodied WR who can block down field as well as catch. He may not be quite as big as Harper, but 6-1 and 210lbs is hardly small. Moreover, he’s quicker than Harper, has much more experience at WR than Harper, including a year at the pro level and going back to college, and has valuable KR skills).

        So if PC wants to keep Harper around (on the PS) to develop him over time, it makes sense to limit his preseason exposure as much as possible to avoid any other team from getting a good look at him and possibly picking him up if/when SEA cuts him. That way there’s a much better chance he’ll be around to make the PS. It may not be fair to Harper, but business is business.

        For the record, there are 2 other rookie WRs I’d prefer over Harper at this point: Arceto Clark and Perez Ashford. Both have had a couple of nice catches (against 2nds and 3rds perhaps, but they’re rookies so I guess that evens things out), and both have made decent contributions on ST.

        As for other players that I think could be more valuable to us than Turbin (in no particular order): Will Blackmon, DeShawn Shead, Kyle Knox, Ty Powell, Mike Brooks, Ryan Seymour and Jared Smith. I won’t relist Mayowa here because I think he’s going to make the team regardless.

        Finally, not that I’m hating on Turbin, but at this point if we did keep 5 RBs, I’d prefer DColeman in addition to the 4 I mentioned in my OP.

        • Aaron

          Very interesting point about PC possibly being strategic about the playing time he gives Harper in hopes of increasing his chances of clearing waivers. I do think it’s plausible at the very least that he could squeak through and be available for our practice squad.

          I very much agree with your point about business being business in the NFL. That’s going to be made very clear in the next couple of weeks, unfortunately for a lot of these very talented players.

          Finally, just to go back to Rob’s response to my original comment, I agree that Harper is a project, and was drafted to be a project. I’m just not sure we have room on our 53 for a project at WR at this point (or any point in the foreseeable future) particularly given the emergence of Kearse and S.Williams, as you mentioned.

          • Colin

            You have room if you believe the juice is worth the squeeze.

        • A. Simmons

          Kearse and Wiliams are the 4th and 5th receivers for me. They can both backup Tate and Rice. If Baldwin gets hurt, you can shift Golden into the slot and put Kearse or Williams outside.

  8. A. Simmons

    Christine Michael sounds awesome. Can’t wait to see him play when it counts.

    It almost feels like our defense is purposely holding back on the pass rush. I wonder if this is some kind of stealth move by Carroll and Quinn. Play it vanilla all preseason. Then unleash in the regular season.

  9. JW

    1. The new add on the D line highlighted the impact for a massive body on the inside. I’ve felt since last season the hawks needed to add more bulk inside. Real bulk…like Hankins/Jenkins/Brandon Williams/Kwame Gaethers type bulk…I was disappointed to not see them go for that more in the draft (Jesse williams is that type, but his knee is shot for now).

    2. Christine Michael is the real deal.

    3. O line still looks shaky to me. Sorry. It just does. There’s some statistical evidence that can be used to say otherwise but that’s mostly about RW and Beast being special. They’re still a work in progress.

    4. Russell had a bad day. Not a big deal.

    • Belgaron

      While I agree that the OLine needs improvement, the are really about the unit, especially on the interior. Finalizing the first string guards and getting them in the trenches together on every play is key to building cohesion, working together, and looking more sound as an offense. Losing Carpenter for so long with the foot injury and the protracted competition for Sweezy cost them in terms of building their foundation. It can not be understated as well how much not having Miller hurts this offense, particularly because they don’t have a backup of similar stature. Willson is a great joker prospect but he doesn’t yet block like Miller. This team lacks true clones of Miller and ET, or even poor men’s versions.

  10. Aussie Rich

    I get the feeling that Mayowa was getting run with the 1st’s in order for him to get a good exposure for a potential trade. What is his trade value? A 3rd?

    • Rob Staton

      I’d say a 5th or 6th at best.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Actually Rich, that’s what I was thinking about both Quinn and Turbin. Turbin got a lot of looks last night, which I suppose was in large part to limit Lynch’s carries (we all know what Beast can do so there’s no need to risk him getting injured). Then again, Michael could’ve played more downs than he did, and we could’ve also seen some of Ware and Coleman. Why so much Turbin? To give him exposure for a potential trade. (Incidentally, I suspect that’s probably why we didn’t see Coleman at all – to limit his exposure so he could make the PS).

      Same thing for Quinn. Why did Quinn take snaps with the 2nds when we all know TJack will backup RW? To give him exposure for a potential trade. TJack clearly beat out Quinn for the backup spot, but it’s not like Quinn has sucked this preseason. If anything, I’ve been rather surprised by his play. Granted it’s come against 2nds and 3rds, but then he’s throwing to 2nd and 3rd WRs behind 2nd and 3rd OLines, so it all kind of balances out. I think there are a few teams out there for which Quinn would be an upgrade at 2nd QB, and perhaps even one or 2 teams that he could legitimately compete for the starting spot.

      • Aussie Rich

        I definitely agree with you on the Quinn trade, however the Turbin one doesn’t make much sense to me. Turbin is still on his rookie contract, so he’s not getting payed enough to justify trading for financial reasons, plus I don’t think that his trade value would be very high considering he is a 3rd string. He is also coming back from injuries so getting him so extra snaps will be worthwhile, seeing as he missed a large chunk of camp.

      • Belgaron

        Quinn got snaps because the competition was not yet officially over and by giving him time to showcase his skills for a potential gig with another team makes the Seahawks a more attractive destination for future free agents. Players talk to each other and the better the Seahawks get, the tougher it will be to get guys to want to choose Seattle over other teams to come compete for roster spots. This is also why they will continue to try to stockpile 7th rounders so they can snag the talent they like at the end of the draft instead of lose potential UDFAs to lesser clubs.

    • Belgaron

      Nah, they saw Moyowa having great success against scrubs and wanted to see if it would translate immediately against the bigs. The fact that it hasn’t is not the end of the world and they will definitely keep him until the DLine is more healthy, beyond that is up to him. And if/when they do cut him, I expect they’d have some offers.

  11. bdawg17

    For a game we won everyone seems to be somewhat frazzled. And Rob you are the voice of reason, it is the preseason and we weren’t (that) bad. We’re working out some kinks and we had some points where we were hitting on all cylinders. It’s just hard to play perfect football, like we did at the end of the regular season last year. The O-line clearly had some trouble with pressure, but that’s also the beauty of Russell as a quarterback. He makes so many plays while scrambling — to the extent where the last time we saw someone with his ability was nearly 4 decades ago (Fran Tarkenton).

    No doubt Russell would like to have his 2nd interception back and the first, well, tip interceptions are just frustrating. But we ran all over the Packers D and it looks like the Packers may go another entire season without a 1000 yard rusher. We won a game where we clearly did not play our best and let’s face it, our depth is phenomenal. Good learning experience for the 1st and 2nd year players on our team. Can’t wait for 9/8.

  12. SunPathPaul

    The NFL is a business…

    I just have to say as I re-watch the game today that– the referees were horrible!!!!

    MANY MANY BAD CALLS! Why are their 65-70 year old men trying to be good referees in such a fast game. Pathetic! Really, Pathetic!

    They kept trying to give this game to the packers. If they hadn’t, we would have won more convincingly…

    OK, done…

    • Colin

      For what it’s worth, the preseason officials are not a part of the regular season crews. The officiating will clean up.

  13. John_s

    Totally agree with you Rob, Turbin does not have the explosiveness to be a #1 RB. Micheal it’s amazing to see him go 0-60 in 1 step. It seemed at times and it could be because of the field but he had to slow down and catch his steps and got tackled because of it. Once he learns to be patient and runs under control he will be a bigger beast than he is now.

    It’s going to be very interesting with the final cuts. I wonder how many trades JS will pull on cut day and get a late round pick for a player instead of cutting them.

    • Belgaron

      It’s not just that Turbin lacks the explosiveness, he occasionally just stops in the backfield and lacks the power that Lynch brings and the breakaway speed Michael has. I still think he’s a good backup and could run for over 1k with a good offensive line and a potent alternative passing attack. But with those same carries, Lynch/Michael could do 2k+.

  14. sdcoug

    Way too many sloppy penalties…but I’m almost wondering if a good portion are a result of players selling out in a ‘do anything possible’ attempt to make a play and earn a roster spot.

  15. dave crockett

    I left the game a LOT less frightened of GB.

    They’re obviously a factor. But, I see them as similar to NO’s super bowl team. The offense should be fantastic. The defense will be boom and bust, sometimes on the same play. They will need several things to go their way, including homefield throughout. They will need to generate a TON of turnovers, like the Saints did.

    All that is to say, that defense looks awful. And Johnny Jolly looks better than I’d have anticipated.

  16. A. Simmons

    That second interception seemed to be Russell forcing the ball to Tate. I think they wanted to make something happen against Green Bay to send a message about the Fail Mary. They couldn’t make it happen. Oh well. I don’t think we’ll see Russell make a throw like that in the regular season. The tip passed is just one of those things that happens.

    Russell does need to get the ball out of his hands quicker. They are going to use that trait against him this year. I don’t think defensive lineman want to look like the fools they looked like last year chasing him. I think they’ll do a lot more delayed blitzes to corral him and bring him down.

    • Rob Staton

      The second pick was actually aimed to Doug Baldwin. It was a very tight window Russell was throwing into, unusual for him. But at the same time Baldwin hesitated for a split second on his route. If he runs through it I don’t think the pick is made. It’s either a catch or incomplete.

      • t59is1

        It looked Like Dougy fresh got bumped off his route a bit on that play. with all the flags flying in the game, I’m a little surprised illegal contact wasn”t called on that play.

  17. Milwaukee hawk

    Okay for the talk of cutting Turbin: we can’t forget what he did in the REGULAR season. Last year he was a decent, albeit not great 3rd down back that made some nice plays both running and catching passes out of the backfield. I think it’s much more likely if they carry 4 rb’s for Ware to be the odd man out with a possibility he makes it to the practice squad to work on being the RB/FB hybrid.

    As far as the Winston Guy forced fumble-that was one of the worst tackle attempts I have ever seen. If he doesn’t miraculously his the ball with his shoulder, that’s a td as there wasn’t even a try to wrap up. His time in Seattle is done.

    • t59is1

      I couldn’t agree with u more on both accounts. Turbo’s catching ability and size make me think they might try to transition him to fullback this year and make Mike Rob expendable next year. He needs to do some squats tho. lol catch that lower body up to the upper body and put on 10-15 lbs of muscle down there

  18. James

    Pete Bar-B-Que’d his butt over penalties, but upon a second viewing, JR Sweezey had the play of the day with his perfect block on Christine Michael’s long TD run. Siliga looked like a keeper….a legit 350 lb behemoth who can penetrate the backfiled, plays hard, and is in shape. I loved the intensity of the Seahawks, which they will need as they navigate this season’s difficult road schedule. Now, if Pete will protect all the key players and sit them for the Rainers, let’s get ready to explode on Carolina and run Beast Mode right over Luke Kuechly.

    • Rob Staton

      Sweezy, overall, had a very good game.

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