By Lucy Rendler-Kaplan // @LUCYrk78
Sunday, September 10: 9-17 Win
Phew! For the first half of the Green Bay Packers season opener against the Seattle Seahawks, it was quite the nail-biter. While Green Bay has been able to take the win over Seattle for the past three seasons at Lambeau Field, I’m still always nervous when facing the Seahawks.
As it always is when the NFC North superstars face each other, it was an exciting game, aptly named the “Game of the Week”. From the surprising ejection of Jeremy Lane early in the game, to BOTH the offense and defense playing at the highest caliber, to Martellus Bennett taking a 15-yard penalty for standing up for Aaron Rodgers, there was no shortage of things to keep an eye on.
I love Aaron Rodgers. Anytime I mention him, I am quick to note that I find him to be the best quarterback in the entire league. And as a Chicagoan, I also absolutely love Martellus Bennett. I was heartbroken to see him leave my city, and haven’t stopped beaming since he was signed to Green Bay.
Throughout the preseason, it was evident that Bennett and Rodgers have quickly become deeply connected. This was further evidenced Sunday, when late in the game, the Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright dove headfirst into Aaron Rodgers. While it was a legal hit, Bennett immediately jumped up and shoved Wright, leading to a 15-yard penalty. After the game, Bennett talked about the shove, saying “It’s my quarterback. I’ve always got his back…I’ll never let anybody take a cheap shot on my guy. That’s any guy on the team. I’ve got everybody’s back. I think they all know that and it’s kind of my role on the offense and that’s the type of attitude I bring to the team.”
Quick to show appreciation, Rodgers returned the love, “It meant a lot to me. It really did. Anytime your teammates do something like that, it’s special….Those are moments you take with you for a long time. … I love Marty for doing that.”
Of course, there was much more to love Sunday. I know, I know. It’s only been ONE game. BUT! You have to love that the defense was largely the reason for Green Bay’s 17-9 victory. Sacking Russell Wilson three times, and keeping the Seahawks from ever entering the end-zone (or getting a single first down the whole first quarter), the Packers’ defense applied pressure on the Seahawks throughout the whole game.
That defense was a main point of contention for the team last season. I’ll call it an immediate improvement, and remain cautiously optimistic it continues. Especially if Mike Daniels continues to perform as he did Sunday. With seven tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss, his most impressive play came early in the second half. Down 3-0, Daniels knocked the ball loose from Russell Wilson. Green Bay recovered the fumble and that led to a Ty Montgomery score. From there on out, Green Bay had the game lead.
Next week, Green Bay has an NFC Championship Game rematch against Atlanta Falcons.
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