Monday, September 24, 2012
Welcome to the West, where defense reigns
By Mike Sando
SEATTLE -- This is increasingly how football is played in the NFC West: on defense, behind the line of scrimmage and relentlessly.
The eight first-half sacks the Seattle Seahawks collected against the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers have come one day after the Arizona Cardinals put an all-time pounding on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. We all know how San Francisco plays defense, Week 3 notwithstanding. And if you've been watching the St. Louis Rams this season, you know they've got something going on defense as well.
I would expect to see heavy doses of Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch in the second half, same last week against Dallas. It's so improbable to think the Packers' offense will go a full game without getting anything going. I do get the sense, however, that a field goal from Seattle, added to the Seahawks' current 7-0 lead, might be enough to win this game.
The Packers don't have a traditional running game featuring a running back carrying the football regularly and gaining positive yardage on occasion. They have no answer for the Seattle Seahawks' pass-rushers. Chris Clemons has four sacks, Brandon Mebane has two and Bruce Irvin also has two.
Can there be adjustments for the type of dominance Seattle's defense has shown at the line of scrimmage?
Update: The Packers have opened the second half in heavier personnel on offense. Their running game has responded initially. That will put them right back in the game offensively if it continues.