Seahawks still look like the class of the NFL after Week 1
What a strange opening week to the NFL season it’s been.
The Seahawks kicked off the year by dominating the Packers in front of tens of thousands of rabid 12s and all was well in The Emerald City. In the days that followed, the remaining 30 teams took the field to play their games, and when the whistles had faded and the arenas had been cleaned, the Seahawks looked even better than they did hammering Green Bay.
Being a complete team may well be the rarest feat in all of the NFL in 2014 and the Seahawks are the only team I watched that played four quarters in all three phases of the game (one Earl Thomas punt return aside).
After a full week of NFL action, the most remarkable part of the Seahawks’ win was that it was so predictable, so according to plan. You expected Marshawn Lynch to run hard and he did. You expected Russell Wilson to be efficient and he was. You expected the defense to punch Green Bay in the mouth and it did.
If there was a surprise to be found in Seattle’s win, it was the fact that Richard Sherman was a spectator for the evening without being targeted even once – not an entirely bad problem to have.
Now go ask fans of the 31 other teams if any of them are as content with their favorite franchise. Well, go ask the fans of 29 franchises – the folks in Dallas and St. Louis probably don’t need to be bothered with that question this week. Even the teams that won displayed potential warning signs that will bear further watching in the weeks to come.
The Seahawks, on the other hand, just went about handling their business the way that we’ve come to expect them to. The offense looked dynamic against an allegedly improved Green Bay defense. If there were any lingering doubts, yes, Percy Harvin really is that fast. The balanced attack and maturation of Wilson was immediately on display with eight targets throughout the course of the game. Lynch was running through even bigger holes than a year ago, registering 94 of his 110 yards between the tackles, with the improved play of the interior of the offensive line.
Defensively, the new-look defensive line created problems all day for one of the games best quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers. Kam Chancellor was Bam Bam Kam, making sure that any ball carrier felt him when they found themselves in his neighborhood. Sherman got the week off, but Byron Maxwell saw the resulting extra work and finished with an interception for his trouble.
When all was said and done, Green Bay’s 255 yards of offense was lower than any total from a game that Rodgers started in all of 2013. Oh, and where were all of the penalties that so many of the experts predicted would render Seattle’s secondary ineffective?
It was just all so predictable. Watching the rest of the NFL reminded me just how rare predictability is in this league.
Now then, the Seahawks only won the opening game. This them is only 1/16 of the way to the regular-season goal. I’m not suggesting that anyone should dig the parade confetti out of the garage or go get a preemptive Championship tattoo (never EVER do that, by the way) but the way this team goes about its business was made all the more remarkable when compared to the rest of the league.
Now, on to San Diego.