Seahawks Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on shutout loss to Packers
The Seattle Seahawks suffered their first shutout loss since drafting Russell Wilson in 2012, losing to the Packers 17-0 in snowy Green Bay on Sunday in Wilson’s first game back from October finger surgery.
As we do after each Seahawks game, we have collected the instant reactions from the voices of 710 ESPN Seattle. See what they have to say below, and tune in to the station all week for full Seahawks coverage beginning at 6 a.m. Monday with The Mike Salk Show and the weekly Pete Carroll Show with the Seahawks head coach at 9:30 a.m.
If you want to win NFL football games, you better have great play at quarterback. And with Russell Wilson just returning from his finger injury, the Seahawks certainly did not get that in Green Bay.
Any idea that Russell would be his old self was quickly squashed. The legs worked, but he looked indecisive and inaccurate – two absolute non-starters at that position. The completion percentage hovered near 50%, nowhere near what you’d expect even in a bad game. The two turnovers were demoralizing. They not only ended threatening drives but gave a struggling Packers offense the energy it had been unable to generate by itself. It isn’t an accident Green Bay scored the game’s only touchdowns on the ensuing drives.
There was good news. The defense played at a level that will win more than its fair share of NFL games. It contained Aaron Rodgers, made big plays, and gave its weary offense a shot.
And the league is keeping the Seahawks alive, but just barely. At 3-6, there may still be a chance they could sneak into the playoffs, but that is only because the other NFC teams refuse to seize the chance to put them away. They are only one game behind the seventh playoff team, and with eight games to play, there’s no reason to quit.
That was ugly! While I didn’t expect the Seahawks to win this game, I did expect to see some sign of life from the offense. We didn’t see that.
The defense played 3 1/2 quarters of fantastic football. They held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to just three points on their home field during that time. Jamal Adams picked off Rodgers in the end zone for his first interception as a Seahawk. Rasheem Green and Alton Robinson came up with big plays. But with the offense producing absolutely nothing and the defense forced to be on the field twice as long as the Packers’ defense, the collapse at the end of the game was predictable. This defense deserved better today.
We knew it would be a tough day for the offense being on the road, with Russell not at 100%, and the Packers’ defense ranking in the top 10 in most categories. What I didn’t expect was to see Russell Wilson make horrific decisions the way that he did. The O-line was a turnstile. Very little of what they did offensively was effective on any level. They couldn’t sustain drives. Russell threw two terrible interceptions and he was under pressure for the majority of the game. I give him credit for his tenacity in battling back so quickly after his surgery, but after what we watched in this game, was it worth it?
Much like last year, the defense seems to have turned things around at the halfway point of the season. Also like last season, the offense is falling flat. But unlike last year when the offense played the first half of the season at scorching pace, they have never really found a rhythm or identity in 2021. I’m still waiting to see the creativity we kept hearing about when talking about offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s approach to this season. Hopefully we’ll see it before it’s too late, if it isn’t already.
The Groz – Host emeritus, 710 ESPN Seattle
My instant reaction is that just because Russell Wilson could come back from his finger injury in three weeks doesn’t mean that he should. After the fact, it’s clear you would have had a better chance today with Geno Smith.
Everything about Russell Wilson was rusty, including his decision making, as the Seahawks were shut out by the Packers 17-0. Green Bay has a great defense and the lack of Chris Carson hurt Seattle, as well. Wilson will likely be back to normal soon, but he sure wasn’t on Sunday.
Had to fault the effort by the D. It was especially good to see Jamal Adams have his best day of the year, but considering the offense couldn’t move the ball, it was inevitable that they would grow fatigued.
DK Metcalf showed the rest of the league that he has rabbit ears and can be goaded into penalties. He made his own life more difficult as guys will try and get him to make mistakes. Carlos Dunlap, you just scratch your head. What on earth was he thinking?
You will hear a lot of “We’re still in it” talk, and I suppose that is true. But did this look like a playoff-caliber team to you? At 3-6, we can all agree they don’t have much room to maneuver.
When Russell Wilson said he was ready, there was no way to tell him “No,” but the finger clearly was affecting him out there. An overthrown ball to a wide-open Tyler Lockett and an underthrown deep ball down the sideline were uncharacteristic misses from one of the most accurate passers in the league.
You can’t help but wonder in the excitement and urgency to get back on the field if Wilson was pressing too much, trying to make the big plays to win the game like on the inexplicable end zone interception. With how much of a struggle it was to sustain drives, and after the deepest foray into Packers territory all game, giving away three points was a deflating blow.
The lack of offense takes away from the terrific effort from the defense, far and away the best performance of the season. The defense did more than enough to put the Seahawks in position to win the game by holding Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense to just a field goal through three quarters. The cornerback position, which seemed like the biggest liability on defense earlier in the year, has stabilized behind D.J. Reed and Tre Brown. The rookie looks like a star in the making and continues to come up with big plays in critical moments.
However, even the Packers going for it on fourth down underscored the contrast with what the Seahawks did not do. In a game where points were at a premium, the Seahawks opted to not go for it on fourth-and-1 early and then later in the first half on a fourth-and-short in Packers territory.
There were some decent moments for the offense, especially the tight ends getting involved more, and with the fickle nature of the NFL (the P.J. Walker-led Panthers destroyed the Cardinals today), all is not lost in a playoff push. Perhaps another week to repair the finger will help Russell Wilson get back in rhythm and build the offense up to a unit that can compliment a much-improved defense.
Justin Barnes – Producer, The Mike Salk Show
22 years and counting.
The stage was set for the return of two future Hall of Famers, and we all expected them to deliver another epic Rodgers vs. Russell battle in Lambeau. But in a Seahawks-Packers series where Green Bay has won every matchup at home for over two decades, chalk another one up to fate. Oh yeah, and a severely sputtering Seahawk offense that gave the Packers a two to one advantage on time of possession, plus a couple costly turnovers resulting in the first goose-egg of Russell’s career.
Was Russell rusty? No question. Were there a few questionable calls? Absolutely. Did the defense show flashes of life? Yup. Were the Seahawks missing Chris Carson? Obviously. But this game just didn’t feel right from the start, and I’m not sure why.
We’re not used to seeing a game in which Lockett and Metcalf combine for less than 50 yards, and we’re certainly not used to seeing Russell only complete half of his throws, but this man just returned early from having surgery on his throwing hand. You can’t help but admire his commitment and dedication to the team, but you can certainly question if he might have been a bit overzealous on his return. I don’t think anyone would have preferred to see No. 7 on the field ahead of Wilson, but just like a closer in baseball, when you don’t have it, you don’t have it.
I’m doing my best to keep everything in perspective and stop myself from becoming a prisoner of the moment, and I hope you are doing the same. In summation: It ain’t over until it’s over, and we’ve got 10 years of evidence to show why you never count Russell out. Go Hawks.