O’Neil: Offense, not result, concerning in Seahawks’ loss to Packers
GREEN BAY, Wisc. – New season, same old story.
A defense that was at times dominant, and an offense that was largely dormant in a 17-9 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
It’s not the result that was concerning.
The Seahawks have won their road opener only once in Pete Carroll’s eight seasons as coach. Not only that, they were playing at Green Bay, where they haven’t won since 1999.
The problem is that the Seahawks looked every bit as inept offensively as they did on the road in 2016, and this time you couldn’t point to the injuries that Russell Wilson had suffered to his ankle or his knee or his pectoral muscle.
Seattle’s quarterback was healthy. The offense, however, was not.
The running game that was going to be revitalized instead ran into problems. With Thomas Rawls inactive, Eddie Lacy gained all of 3 yards on his five carries. Tight end Jimmy Graham caught three passes, which doesn’t sound all that bad, but those went for a total of 8 yards, which is awful.
On Seattle’s first five possessions it gained 25 yards, had one first down and failed to score a single point. Not only did the Seahawks manage just three field goals, but their offense pretty much gift-wrapped the Packers’ first touchdown for them when Seattle’s enduring inability to protect Wilson resulted in a fumble that gave Green Bay possession at the Seattle 6 early in the third quarter.
The Seahawks defense didn’t play bad. In fact, it played pretty darn well, holding the Packers without points in the first half.
But they couldn’t sustain that. Not after the Packers had the ball for more than 20 of the 30 minutes in the first half.
The Seahawks had their chances in this game. They even had some complaints about the officiating. A questionable block-in-the-back call negated a touchdown on Nazair Jones’ interception return in the first quarter, and then in the third quarter there was no flag for pass interference despite obvious contact against Graham in the end zone.
But it wasn’t calls that doomed the Seahawks, it was the offense.
The same offense that failed to score a touchdown in three of its eight regular-season road games last season never did get the ball into the end zone against Green Bay.
The same offense that ranked No. 27 in the league when it came to red-zone scoring efficiency settled for field goals both times it had the ball inside the Green Bay 20.
So while it may have been a new season for the Seahawks, it was the same old story for Seattle’s offense.