Lost in the controversy of Monday night’s 14-12 Seattle Seahawks victory over the Green Bay Packers is the play of Seattle’s defense. This unit held one of the most talented offenses in the NFL to 12 points. Green Bay was only able to muster one touchdown and two field goals. Packers All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers was held without a touchdown pass.
Seattle held Green Bay’s offense scoreless through the first half. For the game they sacked Rodgers eight times and allowed only 268 total yards. The Packers did not cross the Seahawks goal line until the fourth quarter.
This is the second week in a row that the Seahawks have shut down a good team at home. In week two they held the Dallas Cowboys to 297 total yards and 7 points in a 27-7 victory. Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo was held to one touchdown pass.
The Seattle defense has given up 39 points in three games. They have allowed 641 yards passing and 176 rushing. The Seahawks have sacked opposing quarterbacks 10 times. In an era when offense has all of the advantages the Seattle defense is playing as well as anyone can under the rules. Of course, there are those who believe that they have benefited from replacement officials who seem more lenient in some of their calls.
Officials aside, the Seahawks have gotten the job done. They gave up 20 points on opening day to the Arizona Cardinals. This is more than Dallas and Green Bay scored combined. The Cardinals may not be thought of as a great offensive team, but they are 3-0 with victories over the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. Seattle is 2-1.
The Seahawks success can be attributed to their entire defense. The line led by defensive end Chris Clemons has gotten after quarterbacks and shut down the run. The linebackers have helped with the running game, rushed the quarterback and taken away underneath passes. The secondary has provided blanket coverage on receivers and tight ends.
Seattle’s defense must continue to play this way. In three games the offense has only scored 48 points or 16 a game. With a rookie at quarterback in Russell Wilson it will take a while before they get up to speed. This may not occur until next season.
In the meantime the Seahawks will rely on defense and a strong running game to win games. Head coach Pete Carroll believes he can be successful in the NFL using this formula. It has worked for years. Seattle’s NFC West division rival, the San Francisco 49ers, used this strategy to go 13-3 last year.
The story of Monday night’s game may not have been Seattle’s defense.
However, if they continue to shut down quality opponents this unit will be front page news soon enough.