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GREEN BAY, Wis. — The first game of the 2017 season didn’t treat Seattle all too well, as the Seahawks fell to the Packers 17-9 at historic Lambeau Field on Sunday and were unable to win their first contest there since 1999.
Here are five rapid reactions to the game:
1. The offense had a tough outing.
Offensively, the Seahawks weren’t very efficient moving the ball on the ground or through the air against the Packers. The Seahawks tried to get things going with Eddie Lacy, C.J. Prosise and rookie Chris Carson, but ultimately, Carson was the only player to contribute as a runner. Carson added 39 yards with the majority of them coming on a big 30-yard carry he had in the second half. Russell Wilson picked up 40 himself, but collectively the Seahawks' running backs couldn't find production against the Packers.
Through the air, Wilson threw for 158 yards and was sacked three times in the game and didn’t have consistent protection against a good Packers defensive line.
The Seahawks started the game punting on their first five possessions and got all of their points from kicker Blair Walsh. The Packers outgained them in yardage 370 to 225 and recorded 26 first downs to Seattle’s 12.
2. Welcome Back, Earl Thomas
Watching Seahawks safety Earl Thomas return to the field was an extremely refreshing bright spot on Sunday. He definitely picked up right where he left off last season before his leg injury.
In the first half, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw a short pass to the flat for wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Thomas’ All-Pro instincts sniffed out the pass early and made a clean open field tackle on Nelson to limit the play to just one yard. In the second quarter, Thomas broke up a deep pass Rodgers threw intended for wide receiver Davante Adams and nearly recorded an interception. In the third, he shot down from the secondary and put a hard hit on Packers running back Ty Mongtomery that sent him flat on the ground. Thomas definitely looked like his old self.
3. Tyler Lockett Is Still Fast.
Much like Thomas, Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett made his return to regular-season action against the Packers. Lockett, who injured his leg on Dec. 24 against the Arizona Cardinals, only caught one pass for eight yards on Sunday, but his biggest contributions came on special teams as a returner, a spot that landed him Pro Bowl honors his rookie season. Lockett’s first return of the game was huge, going for 43 yards and giving the Seahawks possession on their 39. He returned three kickoffs against the Packers for 91 yards and one punt for seven yards. Beyond the numbers, Lockett looked really explosive and quick as a return man and figures to only keep building off this performance going forward.
4. The Defensive Line Brought The Heat.
Leading up to the game, I highlighted the Seahawks’ defensive line as a position to watch. As a whole, they certainly made a difference against the Packers by creating pressure despite the loss.
The Seahawks sacked Rodgers four times on the day with Michael Bennett leading the way with 1.5 sacks on his own. Cliff Avril and Terence Garvin recorded one sack, and Frank Clark contributed a half sack. The defensive line surely had more opportunities for sacks than the box score suggested, too. Additionally, rookie Nazair Jones made arguably the play of the day with his first quarter interception of Rodgers.
5. A Busy Day For Punters.
Neither offense in this game was able to generate much of anything early, making it a busy day for punters Jon Ryan and Justin Vogel. Before putting the first points of the game on the board with a 33-yard Blair Walsh field goal, the Seahawks punted five straight possessions to start. Following an interception on the opening drive, the Packers punted on five-straight before scoring a touchdown a play later after a fumble by Wilson. Ryan ended the game punting a total of six times for 275 yards with his longest kick going 59 yards. Vogel punted five times for 219 yards with his longest going 57. This wasn’t the best game for two clubs that have a lot of weapons on offense.