Seahawks dominate Green Bay 36-16 to begin 2014
SEATTLE (AP) — Russell Wilson made sure everyone knew Percy Harvin was healthy. Marshawn Lynch bullied his way to another 100-yard rushing performance.
And Richard Sherman? He was just bored.
The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks opened the same way they finished last season, with a blowout victory.
“We’ll always find something that we can do better,” Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “That’s why we’re so good.”
Lynch ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns, Harvin had 100 combined yards rushing and receiving, and the Seahawks dominated Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a 36-16 victory to kick off the regular season Thursday night.
The memories of last season were revisited, with the championship banner unveiled celebrating Seattle’s first title. But the ceremony was brief, a nod to putting last season behind and beginning the process of trying to become the first team in a decade to repeat.
Their effort against the Packers — a popular pick to contend in the NFC — will only reinforce the belief Seattle is still the favorite.
Wilson was outstanding in the first half, including a 33-yard touchdown pass to Ricardo Lockette. Harvin got touches as a receiver, running back and returner. He was used all over the field in different formations after never being fully healthy in his first season with Seattle.
Wilson finished 19 of 28 for 191 yards, while Lynch was at his best. Pete Carroll said earlier this week that Lynch appeared in the best shape of his career, and it showed. Lynch averaged 5.5 yards per carry and topped 100 yards for the 20th time in the regular season since joining the Seahawks in 2010.
Lynch, who ran for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, barreled through a trio of Packers for a TD with 3:41 left before halftime to give the Seahawks a 17-10 lead and added a second scoring run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
“Obviously, we were the more physical team today, offensively and defensively. I saw supposedly some of the best players in the league not want to tackle Marshawn Lynch,” Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett said. “Of course, nobody is going to say nothing about that, but I seen a lot of guys whiff on tackles that should have been 2-yard gains and they’re supposed to be the best.”
Seattle had 207 yards rushing as a team and won for the 18th time in its last 20 regular- season home games. Harvin finished with 11 offensive touches, including four rushes for 41 yards.
“If we already peaked this game we’re going to be in trouble,” Harvin said. “I hope we can just take this game and build on it.”
Rodgers was 23 of 33 for 189 yards and was isolated to one side of the field. He looked almost exclusively for Jordy Nelson matched up against Byron Maxwell and never threw in Sherman’s direction. Nelson finished with nine receptions, but Maxwell came up with a third-quarter interception on a pass that deflected off Nelson’s hands.
The most action for Sherman came in the first half when he accidently blocked Davon House into Earl Thomas on a punt return causing a fumble recovered by the Packers.
But Seattle’s defenders did their part. They sacked Rodgers three times, taking advantage of a knee injury suffered by right tackle Bryan Bulaga in the second quarter. His replacement, Derek Sherrod, gave up a fourth-down sack to Cliff Avril to end one drive inside Seattle territory.
Following a Seattle punt, Sherrod was beaten by Michael Bennett on Green Bay’s next offensive snap. Rodgers was stripped and Sherrod fell on the fumble in the end zone for a safety and a 22-10 lead.
“I think that you get wake up calls and then you get drill sergeant kick you out the bed calls and I think we just got kicked out the bed onto a cement floor, and it hurt,” Green Bay defensive lineman Mike Daniels said.
Eddie Lacy was mostly a non-factor with 34 yards rushing on 12 carries and left in the fourth quarter with a concussion. And despite holding the Packers to 255 total yards — the third fewest by Green Bay since the start of 2012 — Sherman felt the job wasn’t up to standard.
“It wasn’t dominant at all. We have a lot of things to clean up,” Sherman said. “We missed some opportunities on some turnovers. We missed some tackles on key drives we could have stopped we had some key penalties. These are all things we need to clean up because we have a really high standard.”
Lynch’s second TD put Seattle up 29-10. Rodgers threw a 3-yard scoring pass to Randall Cobb in the fourth quarter, but Wilson closed out the victory with a 13-play drive that ate up 7 minutes and was capped by a 15-yard TD pass to Derrick Coleman on fourth down with 2:31 left.
NOTES: Former Seattle LT Walter Jones was presented his Hall of Fame ring during a halftime ceremony that featured fellow Seattle Hall of Famers Steve Largent and Cortez Kennedy. The trio raised the “12th Man Flag” prior to kickoff. ... Wagner tied a career high with 14 tackles. ... Reserve James Starks led Green Bay with 37 yards rushing.