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Richardson, Lockett, Thomas among bright spots in Seahawks’ opener

The Seahawks defense recorded 4.0 sacks against Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (AP).

The Seahawks’ season-opening 17-9 loss against the Packers Sunday has drawn plenty of criticism from fans and analysts alike, in particular for the performance of Seattle’s offensive line. Sunday’s game still yielded some positives, though, including encouraging outings from Tyler Lockett, Earl Thomas and Sheldon Richardson – good news, considering two of those players are returning from season-ending injuries and the other has been a member of the team for less than a week.

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710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Groz and Tom took a look a the standout players from the Week 1 matchup.

“Earl we got a pretty good taste of in preseason, but I was just curious, ‘Alright, is he going to look like the same guy?’” Bob Stelton said. “He was flying. He had some big hits, he was flying all over the place, he didn’t look a smidge different than he has in the past. And by that, I mean he looked very good.”

Thomas, in his first regular season game since suffering a broken leg, finished with 11 combined tackles (seven solo) and caught what would have been an interception had it not come on a free play for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers following a Seattle offsides penalty.

Likewise, wide receiver Tyler Lockett looked good in his return from a broken tibia and fibula. After missing all four preseason games, he opened the Seahawks’ Week 1 contest with a 43-yard kickoff return. It was perhaps the team’s most electric moment in what would eventually be a game with their fewest yards (225) since 2014.

“He had his burst, he didn’t look hesitant,” Stelton said. “That made me feel a lot better seeing that.”

Co-hosts Tom Wassell and Dave Grosby were happy with what they saw from the defense. New Seahawks defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson recorded four solo tackles and one quarterback hit. Seattle’s defense as a whole played well, considering it was on the field for nearly 40 minutes and held Rodgers and the Packers’ offense to a scoreless first half at Lambeau Field.

Even though Richardson was a positive, it sounds like head coach Pete Carroll is expecting even more out of him this season.

“I thought he was just solid,” Carroll said of Richardson’s debut. “He didn’t get clean on any of his rushes, although he did draw two holding penalties which is really a big deal. He played very tough. I think we’ll see him find his way in pass-rush more so as we move forward. But he played a good, solid game for the first time out. Shoot, he’s been with us for four or five days. So, I’m really pleased that he played like he did.”