Coach Matt LaFleur praised his defense as, “playing at a championship level” after last weeks defeat. On Sunday, against the hated Seahawks, the defense took it up another notch, becoming the first team to keep Seattle scoreless since September 18, 2011. Just to emphasize this feat, Tavaris Jackson was the Seattle QB in that game. Since Russell Wilson took over, he has never been shut out. Until Sunday at Lambeau.
The defense had three sacks, two interceptions, five tackles for loss and five quarterback hits. Yes, the Seahawks have been struggling and Wilson is coming back from injury, but there are no asterisks in the NFL. The Seahawks ended the game with 208 total yards and lost the time of possession battle by over 18 minutes.
The Packer defensive backs all seemed to be a step ahead of the Seahawk wideouts. Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos both made huge plays during the game. Savage had a key breakup on a deep pass and Amos topped Savage’s play with an interception on a deep ball in the end zone. Kevin King also had a pick in the end zone that was upheld even though he dropped it after going to the ground.
The defense needed to shine because the Packer offense sputtered for most of the game. For three quarters there was only a 3 point difference in point production from last weeks failure with Jordan Love at QB. Whether it was due to his recent COVID bout, his missed practices, the Seattle defensive scheme or a bit of all three, Aaron Rodgers did not have his sharpest day. No touchdown passes, one end zone pick that was a bad decision under pressure, and a 75.5 QB rating failed to impress or score points. Thankfully, the Packers had A.J. Dillon. Dillon’s stats don’t do his Sunday work justice. Multiple times he bulled his way for a first down after being hit at the line of scrimmage. On the final touchdown drive he caught a short pass that he turned into a 50 yard spectacular spinning dance down the sidelines. Dillon had the ball in his hands on seven of the ten plays on the drive. Dillon capped off his 8 play destruction of the Seattle defense with a two yard driving touchdown surge into the middle of the Seahawks interior line, literally crushing the Hawks hopes for a late rally comeback.
Packer fans should be rejoicing but injuries to Aaron Jones, Rashan Gary and Whitney Mercilus could leave the Packers dangerously lacking impact players on both sides of the ball. Mason Crosby’s shank of another easy field goal continues to create distrust in the field goal unit. Next week’s battle in Minneapolis looms and another strong defensive showing will be needed. Let’s hope Packer fans feel even better next Sunday evening.