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Week 1 Game Recap: Seattle Seahawks 9, Green Bay Packers 17

What you need to know

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks defense and special teams are the only things that make this look like a remotely close game. The D did a great job of (mostly) shutting down Aaron Rodgers and Co., and in week 1, looks ready for prime time. The special teams unit kept giving the ball to Green Bay with terrible field position. Meanwhile, the offense struggled mightily. Most glaring was an offensive line that played a bit like a sieve, while QB Russell Wilson ran for his life. The running game did him no favors either, as they were not able to establish any presence on the ground. Seattle was miraculously up 3-0 at halftime, and only gave up a score after Wilson turned over the ball on their own 5 yard line in the 3rd quarter.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers are committed to Ty Montgomery in the backfield, but he’s already nicked up. So it’s worth keeping an eye on Jamaal Williams and seeing how they work him in as the season progresses. Williams is a solid back with some upside, so having him as a handcuff could be a smart move given there are concerns about Montgomery’s ability to stay healthy.

The other thing to note is how crowded the Packers receiving options are. Yes, Jordy Nelson will get the bulk of Aaron Rodgers’ love across the length of the season, but are we trusting that Randall Cobb continues to get consistent No. 2 targets? Or will we see Davante Adams emerge next week against Atlanta, only to get replaced by Martellus Bennett the following week? For NFL purposes, this is an embarrassment of riches, but for fantasy purposes, it’s a little bit of a mess.

Seattle Seahawks

QB Russell Wilson, 49 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 27 - 158 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 40 - 0
On the first play from scrimmage, Wilson had to scramble and threw incomplete. Second play was a complete pass for negative yardage, and third was a repeat of the first. And so it went. There was barely a drive in the entire game in which Wilson was not running for his life on passing plays. On the plus side, Wilson’s mobility is not in question, as he looked fast and nimble scrambling on the majority of passing plays – and on his two rushes. Wilson had a few chances at TD throws but was just off on each of them, and in most cases the throw seemed rushed. He spread the ball around, which will be one of the keys to a successful offense, but too often missed on the big throws. Despite the trouble with offensive line, the Seahawks first half schedule is relatively weak; expect a bounce back of some sort. The biggest blemish was his turnover at the Seahawks 5 yard line, which turned out to be a game changer.

RB Chris Carson, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 39 - 0, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets)
Carson has the most upside here and is worth taking a flyer on, but his rushing line of 6-39 should be taken with a grain of salt, as he gained 30 yards on one of those carries. Carson made a quick reverse cut and was able to get outside, showing good speed and elusiveness on the play, which is pretty much the best thing that can be said about any Seahawks running back in this game. Carson also looked impressive catching with his readiness, catching the ball out of the backfield with his QB under pressure. Depending on how Thomas Rawls looks upon his return, you can expect Carson to at least share the load in week 2 versus the 49ers.

RB Eddie Lacy, 7 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 3 - 0
With Thomas Rawls declared out, Lacy had a prime chance to prove his naysayers wrong, but he did nothing of the sort. He looked sluggish hitting the line and was not targeted as a receiver. It can’t be said enough that the Seahawks offensive line was atrocious, but compared to the other backs, Lacy paled in comparison. In the end, he gave way to both C.J. Prosise and rookie Chris Carson, finishing with a paltry 7 (yes, seven!) offensive snaps on the day. When Rawls returns it would be a surprise to no one if Lacy were benched completely, or even cut.

RB C.J. Prosise, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 11 - 0
Prosise has been touted as the 3rd down back but was under-utilized in the role this week. He had more playing time than Lacy and less than Carson. In theory, his workload shouldn’t be effected by theirs, but time will tell going forward as the RB shuffle works itself out.

WR Doug Baldwin, 43 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -3 - 0, Rec: 4 - 63 - 0 (4 targets)
Baldwin was held in check for most of the game, as was the entire Seattle offense. His first catch was early on, a quick hitch/screen pass which went exactly nowhere. In the 4th quarter, he caught one over the middle for a first down and followed up with a crossing route for about 7 yards before getting tackled. He is the undisputed number one on this team, and today’s mediocre showing was merely a reflection of the poor offensive game overall.

WR Paul Richardson, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 59 - 0 (7 targets)
Richardson looked good with his chances. Given the poor state of the O-line, he had to make a few quick turnaround catches, something that he did quite well. Wilson targeted Richardson near the goal line on one play, but the pass was off target. Of note is that Richardson played significantly more snaps than Tyler Lockett. If he retains that role, he should have some fantasy value on most weeks.

WR Tyler Lockett, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (3 targets)
Lockett’s snap count was presumably held back some as he is coming back from last season’s broken leg injury. He looked as though back to health in every way. It will be interesting to see if he comes back fully to the #2 WR role, or if the Seahawks will continue to use him purely as a slot/3rd receiver. Lockett looked dangerous on his kickoff returns – he appears to be back 100% from his broken leg. It’s hard to say from one game whether he will eventually fill the #2 WR shoes, but for now he is behind Paul Richardson on the depth chart.

WR Amara Darboh, 5 offensive snaps (1 targets)
After a terrible pre-season, the Seahawks want to see what Darboh is capable of. In this one, he made one pretty spectacular catch near the goal line. Only problem? He was airborne and with 3 defenders on him already, had zero chance of landing in bounds.

WR Tanner McEvoy, 9 offensive snaps (2 targets)
McEvoy is an afterthought in the offense, but gets mention because he was targeted in the end zone. He’s a big man but was strangely thrown to very low. He was in position to catch it, too, but the pass was underthrown.

TE Jimmy Graham, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 8 - 0 (7 targets)
Graham was targeted often but still finished with a subpar line. He was too often the check down option on 3rd and long – and too often left blocking to help out the porous offensive line. He showed uncharacteristically bad hands with a couple of drops that shouldn’t have been. The saving grace here is that he was a top target, something that you couldn’t say last season for every game. That, and he remains a key red zone target for Russell Wilson.

Green Bay Packers

QB Aaron Rodgers, 82 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 42 - 311 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 7 - 21 - 0
The Packers offense has started slow the last few years and things looked to be going that way again early in this game., but Aaron Rodgers hung in there and eventually his receivers woke up. Rodgers did see a lot of pressure throughout the game, and was sacked four times, three of them coming in the second quarter. The offensive line did a better job in the second half, though, and between Rodgers’ ability with his legs and the improved line play, the passing offense really took off. There were signs it was primed to, as despite the pressure Rodgers managed to pass for 153 yards and, more critically, eight first downs. He was picked off once, but that was balanced out by Rodgers’ consistent ability to bark the aggressive Seahawks defensive line offsides and get a free play. Eventually, Rodgers had chipped away enough at the Seattle defense to where they gave up a touchdown to Jordy Nelson. It actually came on one of Rodgers’ free plays as well, as he caught the Seahawks with too many men on the field and risked a deep throw down the middle of the field where he got the ball to Nelson for the score. One thing to note about Rodgers’ ending stats. While he only ended the day with one pick, he had two nullified by penalties. While they were a credit to the defense the Seahawks plays, it is unusual to see Rodgers dodge that many bullets in a game and a sign that, in some ways, Rodgers and the passing offense seemed just as off as they were early last year.

RB Ty Montgomery, 74 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 54 - 1, Rec: 4 - 39 - 0 (4 targets)
This was Montgomery’s chance to prove he should have the full load of carries, but his paltry 2.8 yards per carry is a little concerning. Still, the Packers look like they are dedicated to making him the main back, and gave him 23 touches to erase any doubt observers had. The Seahawks are a tough run defense though, and they hit him at the line regularly and swarmed him on the rare occasions when he got free. He did look good running the ball on his touchdown, which came after the defense forced a fumble during a sack of Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. That score showed you a couple of things to like as Montgomery was quick to get the ball, showed good vision to find the seam, then a nice ability to get skinny and get through early traffic. Montgomery was stopped at about the one and bulled his way over the goal line for the first Packers touchdown of the year. Montgomery did leave the game briefly with an ankle or foot issue, but came back in.

RB Jamaal Williams, 6 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 9 - 0
Williams only got some carries when Ty Montgomery was briefly sidelined with an ankle injury. He’s clearly the next man up if something happens to Montgomery, but aside from that it doesn’t appear he will get much work if that doesn’t happen

WR Randall Cobb, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 85 - 0 (13 targets)
Things got off to a better start for Cobb this year, as he was targeted almost as much in the first game as he maxed out with in any one game last year. He caught most of them too, so perhaps he has put a train-wreck of a 2016 behind him. Cobb looked confident and sharp throughout the game and was absolutely Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target of the day. Head coach Mike McCarthy told everyone in preseason that he wanted Cobb to see the ball more, and it is very clear he meant it.

WR Jordy Nelson, 76 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 79 - 1 (8 targets)
While Nelson didn’t see as many targets as Randall Cobb, he made the most critical one. His touchdown came near the end of the third quarter when Aaron Rodgers, as Aaron Rodgers does, saw the Seahawks had too many men on the field and sent Nelson on a seam route downfield. Nelson got open, made the catch and stretched the Packers’ lead to eight points, which turned out to be insurmountable.

WR Davante Adams, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 47 - 0 (7 targets)
Adams was third in the pecking order among Packers wide receivers and struggled at times to reel in his targets. Overall he looked as good as he normally does—his routes are fine and he has speed—but he has to do better than miss half his targets especially with the amount of choices Aaron Rodgers has to throw to.

TE Martellus Bennett, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 43 - 0 (6 targets)
Bennett had some good moments—a 26-yard reception to ice the game in the fourth quarter—and some bad ones, such as when he drew an unnecessary roughness penalty near the end of the third quarter. For what it’s worth, he was protecting Aaron Rodgers, who took a hit while sliding near the sideline and that’s one of those penalties most coaches and fans are OK with.

TE Lance Kendricks, 21 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (4 targets)
Kendricks actually saw four targets which is more than we expected from a guy who will primarily be a blocker.