The Green Bay Packers remain flying high after their big season-opening win over the Seattle Seahawks. Not everything went right for the team -- namely an offense that turned the ball over on its opening possession and produced just 17 points -- but a defense that entered the year with significant questions finished Sunday's game looking mightily improved. That unit has many more tests to face before it proves itself Super Bowl-caliber, but right now nearly everyone is singing its praises.
A lot of things had to come together for the Packers defense to keep the Seahawks out of the end zone for the entirety of Sunday's game. The secondary had to hold up despite working in several new starters. Clay Matthews and Nick Perry needed to handle most of the work off the edge. And, as we've noted before on this site, Mike Daniels had to provide the interior pass rush to collapse the pocket and disrupt the play design. The Packers face a bigger challenge next week during their rematch of last season's NFC title game.
The members of the Packers defense heard much of the criticism thrown at them over the past few seasons, and they claim to have channeled it into motivation. Head coach Mike McCarthy lavished praise on the unit during his postgame press conference: "You hold an offense to nine points in today's NFL and that speaks volumes. I thought they were playing at a real high level coming out of the preseason, so very impressed with our defense. Started at the line of scrimmage. We were in the backfield a bunch. Got the big plays."
Former Acme Packing Company writer Aron Yohannes offers some insight into Sunday's game from the Seahawks' perspective. Of greatest interest to Packers fans: Seattle has lost eight consecutive regular-season games at Lambeau, a streak that dates back to 1999.
Since signing his big extension after a breakout 2014 season, Randall Cobb has fallen short of delivering the type of production the Packers expected to get from the Pro Bowl wideout. That could change this year, and McCarthy clearly made an effort to utilize Cobb against a Seahawks defense that seemed to lose him in the clutter. His 13 targets led all receivers in Sunday's game, and it could provide a preview into the type of season the team wants him to have.