The Seattle Seahawks came up shy in their comeback bid at Lambeau Field on Sunday, falling to the Green Bay Packers, 28-23. The Seahawks trailed 21-3 at halftime but got back in the game with three second-half touchdown drives of 10, 12 and nine plays, respectively.
Where that offense was in the first half is anyone’s guess.
“Their unwillingness to cut Russell Wilson loose and to do what works for them offensively in the first half is very, very frustrating,” CBS Sports NFL writer Will Brinson said on The DA Show. “I don’t want to accuse them of wasting Russ’ prime, but we talk about it with Aaron Rodgers; we should talk about it with Russell Wilson.”
Wilson finished 21-of-31 for 277 yards and a touchdown against Green Bay. He also ran seven times for 64 yards, repeatedly keeping drives alive with his feet.
In the first half, however, the Seahawks seemed content with letting Marshawn Lynch bang up the gut.
“If you get out of Russell Wilson’s career with one Super Bowl, that’s a disappointment,” Brinson said. “That’s the bottom line. Russell Wilson is a Hall of Fame quarterback who makes magic happen. They were one Marshawn jump away from having back-to-back Super Bowls, but if they come out in the first half and open up the game with read-option, there is a zero percent chance Mike Pettine and the Packers would have been prepared. It would have thrown their game-plan completely off.”
The Packers sacked Wilson five times. Non-Wilson rushers carried 17 times for 46 yards (2.7 yards per carry).
“Do that for the first quarter,” Brinson said of the read-option. “See how it works. Get some yards with Russell’s legs. Use Travis Homer instead of Marshawn Lynch in those spots. You’re going to get your drives moving, you’re probably going to score a couple touchdowns, you’re going to get Russ in a rhythm, the receivers are going to feel confident, Clowney is going to be able to pin his ears back. Instead they’re down 21-3 and that’s when they’re like, ‘OK, I guess we got to take the reins off Russ.’ It’s such a bizarre way to coach knowing that you constantly find yourself in these deficits and Russ has to work his magic to create a comeback when it would be so much easier to just be aggressive offensively out of the gate.”
The Seahawks had a chance to take the lead late in the fourth, but Pete Carroll punted on 4th-and-11 from his 36-yard- line with 2:41 to go.
Wilson never touched the ball again.
“I was fine with the decision to punt,” Brinson said. “I thought the Seahawks, with their timeouts, could certainly get a stop. They had multiple opportunities on third-and-long.”
Rodgers finished 16-of-27 for 243 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle and was masterful on third down, going 9-of-11 for 121 yards, one touchdown and a 155.8 QB rating.
“All credit in the world to Aaron Rodgers,” Brinson said. “I thought the Seahawks did a very poor job of game-planning. Hey, maybe don’t let Davante Adams get singled up in slot coverage against your third- or fourth-best cornerback on a critical third-and-long – because he’s going to be beat you. We just saw Adams put on a route-running clinic, and he got wide open. Rodgers made some big throws. It just felt like Seattle’s defense lacked in the big moments.”