Great Not Good Enough For Seahawks

Here's a scary thought for the Packers and the rest of the NFL: The impression left from Thursday night was that Seattle didn't play its best and still won easily.

RENTON, Wash. — Richard Sherman stood at his locker going through all the areas that he believed needed work: tackling, capitalizing on potential turnovers, avoiding big penalties.

This after the Seattle Seahawks opened defense of their Super Bowl title with a 20-point win over Green Bay, an expected contender in the NFC.

The Seahawks came away from Thursday night's season opener believing they didn't impress anyone, most of all themselves.

"It was off. We weren't up to par. We weren't up to snuff, and I think everyone feels that way," Sherman said after the victory. "We've got to play better."

There didn't seem to be anything overwhelming about Seattle's season-opening win over the Packers, other than the final score.

Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns, but he's had more efficient games. Marshawn Lynch ran for 110 yards and two scores, but he's had more memorable nights. The Packers were held to 255 total yards on offense, but Seattle's defense didn't seem to dominate in the same way as its Super Bowl win over Denver.

The impression left from Thursday night was that Seattle didn't play its best and still won easily. And that could be a scary thought for everyone else in the NFC trying to catch the Seahawks.

"We were really impressed with how hard the guys played across the board, all three phases were really aggressive. And the effort was really there. And they were really excited to play on opening night," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said on Friday. "It turned out to be a terrific effort in general. That really jumped out."

The Seahawks should be pleased with how they played, especially on defense and in the run game. The 255 total yards were the third-fewest for Green Bay since the start of the 2012 season. Aaron Rodgers was held under 200 yards passing for just the 13th time in his career when attempting at least 15 passes.

Notable was Rodgers' never throwing a pass Sherman's direction. Sherman remained as the left cornerback all night, and Rodgers never dared go that way. According to STATS Inc., Rodgers attempted passes to the right side of the offense — where Sherman was playing — 52 percent of the time last season.

"If a team lets you know they're not throwing the ball to one side of the field, it helps everybody that is playing in pass defense. If it's not going over there, it's going over here," Carroll said.

"We can't bank on that totally, but after a while in a game it's pretty clear," he said.

On the other side, Lynch looked fit and spry with his 20th 100-yard rushing game since the start of the 2011 season. Seattle's front bullied Green Bay's defensive line, including a solid first performance by rookie right tackle Justin Britt.

The one injury concern for Seattle coming out of the opener was a groin injury suffered by cornerback Jeremy Lane. Carroll did not go into specifics on how long Lane might be out, other than saying "he's going to be down for a while."

Between Lane's injury and backup cornerback Tharold Simon having minor knee surgery to repair cartilage damage, the Seahawks depth in the secondary is suddenly a little thin. Seattle hopes Simon will be back in about four weeks.

"There is some stuff that we'll be working on here," Carroll said.

Lane's spot as the third cornerback was going to be important early in the season with Seattle opening against pass-happy offenses in Green Bay, San Diego and Denver before getting to its bye in Week 4. For now that role belongs to Marcus Burley, acquired in a trade with Indianapolis late last week.

"We really liked the kid coming in and did a fantastic job of being ready to play in that game down the stretch. We're really pleased," Carroll said. "He'll play for Jeremy at this time. We have no other alternatives that we would think of at this point, but we were really happy with what he did."

NOTES: Asked if Earl Thomas would remain his punt returner, Carroll said, "sure." Thomas fumbled a punt in traffic in the first half. ... Carroll said OL Lemuel Jeanpierre was placed on injured reserve earlier this week because of a nerve problem in his neck. ... LB Bruce Irvin (hip) was in for 19 plays, and the goal is for him to play half the game in Week 2.



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