BY Art Thiel 11:19PM 09/04/2014

Thiel: Seahawks party is on, but no hangover

A sparkling variety of offensive weapons were unleashed around two big defensive plays that led to another dominant performance against a good team.

CB Byron Maxwell returned an interception 21 yards in the third quarter to set up a Seahawks field goal. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

As unofficial civic holidays go, Seattle and the Seahawks threw themselves a lustful bash Thursday. Now everyone can take off an 80-degree Friday, fire up a cigarette/vape, and talk about it: Championship banners, concerts, celebrities and the pro football nation voyeuring in on the love fest.

Then the climax moment, a 36-16 domination of a good Green Bay Packers team in a rocked-out Clink, was both satisfying and a tease to something more.

The fan base “just is nuts and crazy and can’t get enough,” coach Pete Carroll said. “It’s just a perfect match.”

Before readers recommend getting a room, it should be noted that every other NFL city is saying, “We’ll have what they’re having.”

More pragmatically, what the day offered was evidence that the great apprehension is so far unwarranted: No Super Bowl hangover. Not only did the Seahawks win persuasively, they also screwed up enough that Carroll will have his necessary teachable moments.

What was most illuminating for viewers who haven’t seen the Seahawks since they made horsemeat stew in the Meadowlands was startling variety of offensive weapons unleashed on the bewildered Packers. RB Marshawn Lynch (110 yards on 20 carries) was even more than the Beast of yore, WR Percy Harvin (59 yards receiving, 41 rushing) was so spread over the field that he may have been even two or three players, and QB Russell Wilson (191 yards passing, 29 rushing) was in even more command of himself and his teammates.

They collectively reintroduced heavy use of the read option that repeatedly gashed the Packers.

“We could not stop the run,” said a disheartened Mike McCarthy, Packers coach. “Lynch had a huge night. The play-action and the plays off of that were effective, and they were able to hit some down-field throws.”

Carroll flashed some of the changes in preseason, but seeing the starters together to sustain it against a quality defense had to have been unsettling for the rest of the NFL that tuned in.

“I hope you guys enjoyed the variety of things in the way it looked, and the speed of it,” Carroll said. “It was a good night.”

As attention-grabbing as was the offense’s pyro party, Carroll, ever the defense-first coach, cited a stop as the evening’s highlight. In the third quarter when they led 20-10 but by no means had the game in hand, Seahawks DE Cliff Avril sacked QB Aaron Rodgers on a fourth-and-five play at the Seattle 41-yard line.

“That time was when we really had chance to let them keep going or not,” Carroll said. “That was the play that really gave us the the momentum.”

The Seahawks didn’t do anything with the midfield opportunity, but after punting Green Bay back to the the 10-yard line, the defense seized another moment. Rodgers was strip-sacked on a rollout by Michael Bennett, and the fumble squirted into the end zone where it became a safety.

After a personal foul on the play backed up the Packers on the kickoff, the Seahawks ambled 59 yards, the key plays a 10-yard pass to Harvin and 13-yard scramble by Wilson, to set up a three-yard touchdown by Lynch on the first play of the fourth quarter. At 29-10, the outcome was all but secured and the decibel festival was beginning to rot Packers brains.

The nine points set up by big defensive plays created a familiar scenario from 2013, when the offense was often presented with short-field opportunities.

In fact, stretches of the contest were mindful of a game in February. No Golden Tate, No Breno Giacomini, no Red Bryant . . . nobody noticed.

“We played a good opponent and you saw how our formula works out,” said tight end Zach Miller. “We want to run the football and be smart when we throw it. Russell did a great job of that.”

Not that anyone would add scores from separate seasons, but the cumulative score of the past two games is 79-26. On a civic holiday, some of the rules are relaxed.


  • RadioGuy

    A dominant performance against a good team for the Seahawks. Nobody can blame this one on the refs. I think the only thing that prevents a Seattle repeat is injuries. Lynch was inspired, Wilson was clinical, Harvin was downright scary and the defense was able to abuse a Packers O-line that’s going to be a season-long concern in Green Bay. Kudos to the Hawks…the best team won.

    I’m just glad I can go back to wanting the Seahawks to win. As for the Packers, I’ll see you guys on November 9 against the Bears at Lambeau. Keep my seat warm and my beer cold. BTW, do shareholders get discounts on brats?

    • art thiel

      Ran into many of your fellow Packers fans on the streets of P Square. Chatted them up about their visits. Wonderful people and football fans. Felt a little bad for them.

      • RadioGuy

        Ahhh, no worries, Art. Going up against Seattle now is probably like going up against Green Bay in the Sixties, except you know what was coming from the Pack (more sweeps than a broom factory) while you never know what’s coming with Harvin out there.
        Enjoy this, guys. The Seahawks have “dynasty” written all over them and the only thing better than remembering how great your team was is witnessing how great they are now.

        • art thiel

          A fine sentiment, radio. But dynasty is a word I avoid because since 1994 with a hard salary cap, the NFL actively works against succcess for one team beyond two years. Once Wilson gets paid, the chance evaporates.

  • Sub 4.0

    Hey Art, who was that foreign guy at the post game pressers who was asking all the lame questions? Don’t the Seahawks have a press moderator to stop someone like that? Maybe it was just me, but it seemed that both Pete and Russell were getting a little annoyed with him.

    • art thiel

      I think he was a surprise to all of us. Hadn’t seen him before. But I thought Pete and Russell handled him all right. The Seahawks are a bit of a global phenomenon so they delivered the required patience with the lame questions.

      Get used to it. In 20 years, there will be more people here from there instead of here.

      • 1coolguy

        Do you know where he was from? I agree, it was odd.

      • RadioGuy

        Funny. We were saying that about Californians in 1980.

        • Jeff Shope

          and that worked out so well not

      • Jeff Shope

        And ya there is a press czar dave pearson ask jim moore about him :)

  • Gerald Turner

    What happened to Paul Richardson? A rookie on a SB champion team gets to ride the bench for a while I guess. Going to see him in SD?

    • jafabian

      Pretty much how it is on the Seahawks for rookies. It’s rare if one gets significant playing time, especially if there isn’t a need. Looks like Lockette is more than ready to go after riding the pine last year. It’s a system that works too. When the Hawks got old after Super Bowl XL they tried to patchwork the team into maintaining their level of play thru free agency. This time they’re promoting from within after they’re fully indoctrinated into their system. By the time Paul plays regularly he’ll know this system fully and run circles around any and all CB’s.

      • art thiel

        That’s accurate. Richardson needs to play special teams and pay dues.

        • Jeff Shope

          um I get the pay your dues thing but do we really want to see our fast wr who weighs about a buck ten on collision teams?

    • art thiel

      He has a lot to learn, and has better players ahead of him. Might be a kind of redshirt year for him.

  • Some of my favorite players are Packers. That was a tough loss for them, but I’ll bet they bounce right back and have a great season. The rest of the NFL may be figuring out that the Seahawks are for real.

    Oh, and Art, you failed to mention the fair-to-middling game management skills demonstrated by that short kid.

    • art thiel

      Many things worth of mention. Wilson did well, as usual. Regarding Psckers, I’m not sure they were as good as advertised. Even with Peppers, the D may be average at best.

  • K.j. Hinton

    I believe Aaron Rogers was discount double-decked.

    • art thiel

      He would have been more comfortable in the middle seat of a grill row.

  • sistaelle

    And here I thought 8 plus 16 was 24

  • 1coolguy

    Sherman – It doesn’t make sense to me to have a system where a cb only plays one side: Why don’t they use the system where the cb’s are matched to receivers?

    As we saw last night, they put Jordy Nelson, their best receiver, on the left side (Sherman plays the right side) all night. Why don’t the Hawks want their best cb on the other teams best receiver?

    I understand turning directions can be unbalancing for a cb, but that seems to be what most do.

    As an example, Deon Sanders would have NEVER stayed on one side, away from Irvin and Rice.

    • art thiel

      Pete addressed some of the CB situation Friday (see my later story). They still could switch Sherman, and have, but cutting off Rodgers’ favorite side sliced the Packers’ playbook, and didn’t hurt Seattle’s D.

  • lb

    Lynch is our best football player on either side of the ball, seems petty that we didn’t pay him more. Great to see RW at a new level, and Harvin played like he did in the Super Bowl. Miller was a stud, such a smart, sound TE in blocking and receiving. Looking at stats after the game it seemed like Rodgers and Lacey/Starks did so much more than the numbers show. The D is so fast, smart, technically sound, and mean spirited, they are just an awesome unit from front to back. Rodgers is the best right now, and we really clamped him down. That’s impressive. Special teams were great outside of one play, will be interesting to see what Pete does on the punt return unit. Does he save face for Earl and leave him in there, give Baldwin a chance to have a few more touches a game, or put Michael back there and give him some chances. Great start!

    • art thiel

      Lynch did pull an extra $1.5M in guaranteed $ out of the Seahawks, but it was money he was likely to have earned. The Seahawks avoided a total renegotiation, which would have complicated their deals with other players.

      • lb

        I hear what you are saying, but I also feel like Lynch isn’t any other player, he is the player. Anyways, glad he is healthy and playing at a high-level. Huge gap between him and Turbin, Michael to me seems like fool’s gold…Great article, btw

  • Warchild_70

    I really looked forward to this season to see if the Hawks could be a little lax boy howdy was I ever pleased with this game. I’m so glad to see the wide open play book for Russel. When the Jet Sweep was used I nearly choked on my Diet Coke! What a performance by all. As for Earl returning PLEASE give it to number 17 (I’m unsure of his name sorry.) or Percy to make them sweat. All in all the rest of the league have been put on notice, like the “Why not us.” opening theme “Because ya gotta go through us!” Bless their little hearts, GO HAWKS!!!

    • art thiel

      Earl will stay back there, but not all the time. He’s too eager. Returners need patience.

  • T.O. (the good one)

    Horsemeat Stew. Talk about a low blow. The truth, however, does need to be told so awesome job! Do you think any teams played good football today other than the 49ers?