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49ers-Seahawks preview: Looking at Seattle’s sacks vs. Packers in Week 1

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The Seahawks sacked Aaron Rodgers four times, and we break down the film in advance of their matchup with the 49ers in Week 1.

Seattle Seahawks v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers played a fascinating game in Week 1. Both teams did well to stymie the other on offense, and ultimately a strong performance from Packers defensive lineman Mike Daniels gave the Packers the win.

Seattle generated four sacks against the Packers, while Green Bay had three sacks against the Seahawks. Neither team has a fantastic offensive line, while both have strong defensive lines.

The Seahawks defensive line is downright intimidating, especially with the addition of Sheldon Richardson via trade with the New York Jets. But in doing some film review of their game against the Packers, I’ve come to some conclusions about the four sacks they managed to snare.

Primarily, the defensive line does a good job of getting one man around the edge while the rest of the opposing line blocks fairly well. Rodgers, a very mobile quarterback, also often left the pocket to try and extend plays. Two of the sacks came on third down and one was on a 2nd-and-10, so there was some urgency from Rodgers.

That makes it hard to look at this game and apply it to their upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers have a worse line than Green Bay, but the Packers were without starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga. The 49ers also might be improved if Laken Tomlinson can unseat Zane Beadles.

Then there’s the fact that Hoyer simply isn’t a mobile quarterback. He’s not going to move around nearly as much as Rodgers did. But I think the sacks the Seahawks managed to get are still worth looking at so you can see the speed and aggressiveness of their defense.

They left some opportunities on the field, but what I see is more than enough to convince me that Hoyer is going to have a very, very tough day against the Seahawks. The absolute biggest factor to take away from the gifs below is how relentless the Seahawks are and how much initial push they get. They don’t get multiple guys running free, but they demolish the integrity of the pocket fairly quickly.

3rd and 10 from GB 40: Rodgers sacked for -6 yards (Cliff Avril)

This play took an awful long time to develop as far as the receivers are concerned. Rodgers is just about ready to hit the receiver running to the top left of the screen near the end of this gif, but he is quickly under pressure from Cliff Avril, who beat Bulaga’s injury replacement, Kyle Murphy.

The rest of the Packers line technically holds up, but they got pushed so much further back than expected. Rogers is already in the shotgun, takes a three-step drop from there, and still has four screaming Seahawks players too close for comfort, while Avril comes around the outside and behind.

3rd and 7 from GB 46: Rodgers sacked for -6 yards (Michael Bennett)

Again, the Packers are in the shotgun and Rodgers takes a couple steps back, but the only open receiver he has early is well short of the first-down marker. Instead, he thinks, initially, that he has room to step up with another defender coming around the right side.

That defender is initially blocked by the right guard, and the replacement tackle, Murphy, actually does a pretty decent job of transitioning to the guy that forces Rodgers to step up. From there, the Packers center and left guard aren’t really sure who they’re supposed to be blocking, with the left guard giving up well before the play was over.

Importantly, I didn’t see any Seahawks player give up any ground on the play, and it’s exactly the kind of pressure that would frustrate the 49ers.

1st and 10 from GB 29: Rogers sacked for -6 yards (Terence Garvin)

This was a bad decision from Rodgers, as far as I’m concerned. Murphy has containment on his man, but when Rodgers starts rolling out to the right side, he loses it. It’s not the worst move Rodgers has ever made though, especially as the Seahawks again mange to push the Packers offensive line back a good 3-4 yards further than the play would call for on the Packers’ end. Once again, Green Bay interior linemen seem to be done with the play well before it actually ends.

2nd and 10 from 40: Rodgers sacked for -7 yards (Frank Clark, Michael Bennett)

That is Green Bay left tackle David Bakhtiari, a premiere player, getting absolutely annihilated by Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark. The spin move he puts on Bakhtiari is nasty, and that’s the kind of that that might put Joe Staley on his butt, too. Rodgers does manage to get away from Clark, just barely, but Clark eventually gets there, along with Michael Bennett.

This play could have been cleaner by the Seahawks, but you can’t argue with their aggression and play design there. That kind of play would work all day on the 49ers’ offensive line.