Nineteen players were listed on the Seahawks’ defensive stat sheet after Seattle’s 36-16 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night.
None was Richard Sherman.
Yet Sherman might have made as big an impact on the surprisingly easy triumph for the Seahawks as anyone – even if he wasn’t necessarily all that happy afterward.
While Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers threw 33 passes, he never once targeted a receiver being covered by Sherman, leaving the Seattle cornerback with little to do.
Sherman had repeated earlier in the week something that became an increasingly common refrain last season – that rarely getting the ball thrown his way makes for a boring game.
“I talked to Richard in the locker room about it,” said Seattle coach Pete Carroll. “He was kind of disappointed that he wasn’t able to help us more. But he helped us immensely by the fact that they cut the field in half (by never looking Sherman’s way).”
“Oh you know, it’s still a football game,” Sherman said. “It’s always fun to be able to get out there and be able to compete. But you would like to get some action.”
Rodgers threw for just 189 yards, his third-lowest total since 2010, with just 86 yards in the first half as the Seahawks dominated. None of his passes went for more than 23 yards.
And each of Green Bay’s three scores were marked with asterisks.
An early touchdown came after Seattle’s Earl Thomas fumbled a punt at the Seahawks’ 34-yard line.
A second-quarter field goal came after a defensive pass interference penalty gave the Packers the ball at the 7. And a final touchdown in the fourth quarter came when the game was no longer in doubt and Seattle was in time-wasting mode.
With the lead safely in hand, Seattle was able to turn even more to its running game, eventually outrushing the Packers 207-80.
Overall, it was the kind of performance that reinforced the notion that the Seahawks might have the best chance of any team to repeat as Super Bowl champs since the 2004 Patriots.
Rodgers’ avoidance of Sherman meant Byron Maxwell got much of the action instead. And while he gave up a few plays, he mostly held firm, including making an interception off a tipped pass that led to a Seattle field goal and a 20-10 lead in the third quarter.
Baldwin, meanwhile, called the fact that Green Bay never threw at Sherman “the ultimate sign of respect.”
While Sherman likes respect, though, he also likes having something to do.
“I mean, you get a little surprised by it,” he said. “But it happens. He (Rodgers) has his flow going, and that’s the way he read his game. It’s fine.”
Around the league
Arizona’s dynamic running back Andre Ellington missed practice on Friday with a foot injury. … Linebacker James Harrison announced his retirement from the NFL after signing a one-day contract with the Steelers. … Patriots quarterback Tom Brady returned to practice Friday after a one-day absence that the team attributed to a calf injury. … The players’ union says the NFL has asked for the right to immediately suspend players who are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
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