Green Bay at Seattle started out as a relatively close game, with both teams making good stops, bad penalties, and taking the lead at various points in the first half. The second half, however, was all Seattle’s. But was this Seattle the same one that was so dominant last year? I don’t think so.
Throughout the first half, the general feeling of the Seattle secondary was that they were just a step or two behind. Yes, they avoided giving up the big plays, but they could have made some big plays of their own if they had been more ahead. This Seattle was just not the same one that thrashed Denver, at least defensively. Offensively, Seattle looked as good as it has ever been. Marshawn Lynch ran through Green Bay defenders for over 100 yards and two TDs. That, however, is just Lynch being Lynch. More significant, I think, was the play of Seattle’s receivers. Harvin in particular made more than one great play that turned a short yard play, or in one case in the first half, a bad play by Wilson, into some nice gains. What is also interesting is how well Seattle did against Lacy. Last season Lacy distinguished himself as one of the best ‘backs in the game as a rookie, but he did not look to be the offensive rookie of the year and pro bowler in this game.
Essentially, it looks like this Seattle switched specialties. Seattle’s secondary was manipulated well by the Green Bay play callers, utilizing Seattle’s strategy of having Sherman play only left side to put Jordy Nelson, the Packers’ number one receiver, against a lesser corner. (As an aside, this is why many people say Sherman is not nearly as good as his stats would say. Any team worth its salt in terms of play calling will simply put their number one receiver on the right side, knowing Sherman only plays the left, as Green Bay did.) In contrast to this secondary that did not live up the bar set up last year, their run defense was phenomenal, and their offense looked potent to boot at receiver and running back. Despite this, I would have to say that if the Seattle that showed up versus Green Bay had played Denver in the Superbowl, Manning would have another ring.