The Monday night matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers isn't soon to be forgotten, but lost in the shuffle of the replacement referee fiasco was some great play on behalf of Seattle, and ProFootballFocus' Ben Stockwell had a number of players to highlight from Pete Carroll's squad.
The Seahawks defense came up with eight sacks on Aaron Rodgers on Monday, and Stockwell points out a pair of key defenders that lead the way.
Bruce Irvin (+2.6) led the way with a sack to shutdown the Packers' opening drive and the rest of the defense followed from there. Four different defenders recorded at least three pressures and Chris Clemons (+3.7) showed that Matthews wasn't the only one in this game with a relentless motor, as his unwillingness to quit on plays along with his tremendous speed off the edge allowed him to collect four sacks in the second quarter alone.
Another player who had a great game was Marshawn Lynch, who finished the game with 25 carries for 98 yards. Stockwell notes Lynch played a solid game without entering "beast mode."
[Lynch's] 3.9 yards per carry average may not be eye-catching and he didn't enter "Beast Mode" at any point, but he was the one consistent and dependable cog in the Seattle offense. On every single run, he was either busy fighting through contact for extra yardage that hadn't been given to him by his offensive line or he was making the cut that allowed him to exploit the gaps that were there.
The other half of the Seahawks' defense that allowed them to put the clamps on the Green Bay passing game was their fine young secondary...Kam Chancellor (+2.7) had a display that couldn't be tarnished by one of the dubious pass interference penalties that emerged from this game. The big play in this game though was reserved for, and so nearly made by, Earl Thomas. After Cedric Benson somehow rode the run blitz of Chancellor, Thomas flew in to strip the ball and force a fumble at the Packers' goal-line. Packers' C Jeff Saturday fell on the ball, but you can't help but think it would have been a far more fitting ending to this game for a Seahawk defender to fall on the football and set up Lynch for the game-winning score.
The Seahawks now look for some repeat performances against the St. Louis Rams in the Edward Jones Dome this Sunday.