The Green Bay Packers were able to squeak by Seattle in the end for the win. As always, here is the good, the bad, and the ugly from their performance.
For the most part this game really couldn’t have started any better for the Green Bay Packers than what it did. They scored a touchdown on their opening possession, took a 21-3 lead into half and were in control.
However, as we’ve seen in the past, you can never count out a Russell Wilson led Seattle team and they made this a close game in the end. But with a third down sack by Preston Smith and two huge third down conversions by the offense, the Packers were able to put this one away and move on to the NFC Championship game.
And as always, I bring you the good, the bad, and the ugly from Green Bay’s performance.
Coming into the game the Seattle Seahawks were one of the worst teams in the NFL in terms of covering the opposing team’s No. 1 wide receiver. And my goodness did Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams exploit that.
Even without Allen Lazard – who left with an injury – for much of the game to help even take a little of the focus off of Adams, it didn’t much matter. Davante had a huge game and what was perhaps the best game of his career. In total he hauled in 8 of 11 passes for 160 yards with two touchdown receptions.
Third down efficiency
This was a Green Bay Packers team that came into the Divisional round having spent most of the season in the middle to bottom half of the league when it came to third down efficiency. However last night, they were excellent.
Overall the offense would convert 9-14 third downs and this includes two crucial ones on their final drive with fantastic throws by Rodgers and great grabs by Adams and Jimmy Graham to help put the game away.
And speaking of Rodgers and Graham, those two, in particular, were very good on third downs. Rodgers was efficient and had some Rodgers-esque throws and all three of Grahams’ receptions came on third downs, which extended the drives.
The run game
Overall the Green Bay Packers played a fine game against a very good and resilient team, so I may have to be a bit picky in these next two categories. With that said, this was a Seattle run defense that was allowing over 160 rushing yards on average over the last five games, but it was tough sledding for Green Bay.
Aaron Jones totaled 62 yards and averaged just three yards per carry, and although Tyler Ervin had some success, as a team they’d averaged just 3.6 yards per rushing attempt. However, I will say that I loved how Matt LaFLeur stuck with the run game, despite the struggles that came along with it.
Jones still had 21 carries and we saw earlier in the season when running wasn’t necessarily easy, the offense would go away from it, which just hurt their overall performance. But not last night against Seattle, Green Bay was consistent in running the ball, especially inside the Seattle five yard line. Not to mention that Jones found the end zone twice as well.
Production from WR’s not named Adams
As we all know this has been an issue for a majority of the season. Outside of Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, the Green Bay Packers have struggled to get consistent production from the receiver position. And last night was no different. Of Aaron Rodgers 243 receiving yards, 209 went to either Adams or Graham. Hopefully, Lazard will be good to go for next week’s game.
As I mentioned above, I don’t have a lot that comes to mind for this category. The Packers’ containment on Russell Wilson could have been considered “ugly” but this is also just what he does on a weekly basis. And although Wilson got out of the pocket and extended plays, Green Bay still did a very good job at putting pressure on him as he was under duress on 42 percent of his drop backs.
Another potential “ugly” was the injuries that occurred. In 2019 this has been a very healthy Green Bay Packers team, but last night a number of players left with injuries. Fortunately, Preston Smith was able to return and made a third down sack which forced Seattle to punt at the end of the game.
Lastly, what maybe could fall into this category is how the game ended up close after Green bay had an 18 point lead at two different times in the second half. However, it’s the playoffs and it’s the Seahawks with Wilson, anything can happen as we saw. So while I’m sure many were nervous down the stretch, as we all know, a win is a win.