What we learned from the Seahawks’ win over Green Bay

Sep 5, 2014, 11:32 AM | Updated: 5:56 pm
Concerns about Marshawn Lynch seem overblown after his performance against Green Bay. (AP)...
Concerns about Marshawn Lynch seem overblown after his performance against Green Bay. (AP)

It looked a lot like a preseason game Thursday night at CenturyLink Field. That’s a good thing consider that Seattle won its pair of home preseason contests by a combined score of 75-20.

There were plenty of lessons to be learned from Seattle’s season-opening victory over Green Bay and a few things we’re still trying to figure out.

Three things we learned:

1. Rumors of Marshawn Lynch’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Yes, he turned 28 in the offseason. But until we see some tangible sign that he has slowed down under the weight of his previous workload, let’s go ahead and stop assuming that this is some sort of swan song in Seattle. If he keeps running the way he did Thursday night, he’s not going anywhere. The vision he has on the field, the understanding he has in this running game and that unteachable toughness and desire for contact make him essential to this offense. In baseball, he would the out pitch summoned in those situations to put an opponent away, and his 124 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns served as a reminder of that.

2. Rumors of Percy Harvin’s impact have not been overstated.

More coverage of the Seahawks’ Week-1 win over Green Bay

Recap | Stats | Photos | Interviews | Carroll Show
O’Neil: Lynch, Harvin spark Seahawks’ offense
Henderson: Avril, Bennett supply the pressure
Henderson: Packers steer clear of Sherman
Stecker: Packers’ running game stumbles
Moore: Seahawks looked unstoppable

This was not Harvin’s Seahawks debut. He played in three games for the team last season. The game was his unveiling, though, because after an offseason or work and a full month of training camp, we saw how Seattle had hoped to incorporate him into the offense a year ago. He led the team in receptions with seven, had almost as many yards rushing (41) as he did receiving (59) and the threat of his speed going laterally is going to soften up the middle of defenses for Seattle’s power running game. Harvin is going to be used unlike any player in franchise history, giving the defending champs an X-factor that opponents must account for.

3. Quarterbacks best not taunt defensive end Michael Bennett.

At least not if they want to remain upright. After Green Bay scored its first-quarter touchdown on a 2-yard run by John Kuhn, quarterback Aaron Rodgers wound up jawing with Bennett. Well, in the third quarter, Bennett got to Rodgers twice. The first was a strip-sack that resulted in a safety when backup right tackle Derek Sherrod – the guy Bennett ran around as if he were a traffic cone – was considerate enough to recover the ball in the end zone. The second was Bennett’s block, which put Rodgers on his back as he pursued Byron Maxwell during his third-quarter interception return.

Three things we’re still trying to figure out:

1. Can Richard Sherman be named an All-Pro if no one ever throws in his direction?

He should, right? After all, it would mean he’s such a good cornerback that opponents would just prefer to completely disregard one-third of the field rather than risk a pass in his direction. But the fact that Rodgers – a guy considered by most to be the best in this quarterbacking business – didn’t go his way once demonstrates as much fear as it does respect. As a side note, if opponents truly are going to steer away from Sherman, can we at least mic him up every game? I mean, if we can’t be entertained by his performance, at least let us hear Sherman tell the opposing receiver, “Your team must really hate you, to put you over here on my side of the field where they’re not going to throw it. You must stink to get ignored like that.”

2. Is Seattle’s depth at cornerback a concern?

Six days ago, Marcus Burley was a former undrafted rookie about to be released for the second time in 2014. On Thursday, Burley was on the field playing cornerback for the defense that allowed the fewest points in the league the last two seasons. It’s a remarkable fact for both Burley and the Seahawks, whose seemingly limitless depth of talent has seemingly reached a limit behind starters Sherman and Maxwell. Jeremy Lane – the team’s No. 3 corner – aggravated a groin injury for the second time in two weeks, and Tharold Simon was headed toward arthroscopic surgery to clean out his knee last we heard from coach Pete Carroll. That leaves Burley, the guy Seattle traded a sixth-round pick to acquire, not just on Seattle’s roster but getting meaningful time. It’s a situation that bears scrutiny going forward.

3. Did those seismometers near CenturyLink Field pick up the fourth-quarter collision between Kam Chancellor and Eddie Lacy?

Whoa. That was something that a physics student could spend a semester trying to sort out in terms of who hit whom hardest. The end result of that fourth-quarter collision was a first down for the Packers, but Lacy subsequently left the game to be evaluated for a concussion. It was an incredible intersection of two unyieldingly physical football players.

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What we learned from the Seahawks’ win over Green Bay