SEATTLE – Richard Sherman thinks the Green Bay Packers were trying to bait him into abandoning his assignments, but the Seattle Seahawks' all-pro cornerback didn't bite.
Sherman just kept covering Jarrett Boykin while everyone else on the field played a 10-on-10 passing game and the Seahawks pulled away for a 36-16 win in Thursday's season opener.
"I used to get pissed off when I was younger," said Sherman, who wasn't targeted a single time. "But now I just stay disciplined, stay sound and assume just I'm making an impact somewhere."
Sherman plays left cornerback in the Seahawks' defense and that didn't change Thursday, even though the Packers lined up top receiver Jordy Nelson predominantly on the opposite side and star quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw 14 balls that way, completing nine for 83 yards.
At times, Rodgers appeared to be strictly in half-field reads, taking Boykin (and Sherman) out of the play altogether.
"It's rare. It's very rare. I don't think that was their game plan," Sherman said. "I think they wanted to see if I would travel and follow Jordy and all that. But we don't mess with the integrity of our defense. We do what works for us and we make them move around us and that's what we forced them to do tonight."
The Seahawks mostly were effective stopping the run, with Eddie Lacy held to 34 yards on 12 carries before departing with a concussion. (Backup James Starks had 37 yards on seven carries, DuJuan Harris 7 yards on one and John Kuhn a 2-yard touchdown on his only touch.)
They also contained Rodgers' scrambling ability, deploying a spy at times to ensure he stayed in the pocket. He was sacked three times, including once on fourth-and-5 and once for a safety when backup right tackle Derek Sherrod – on for injured Bryan Bulaga (knee) – got burned.
"After seeing how he was able to run in film, we targeted down to what B-gap he likes to run through the most," said Seahawks end O'Brien Schofield, who had one of the sacks. "We decided to let Cliff (Avril) rush high and let Mike (Bennett) do his thing on the right side and I'd spy the quarterback."
Avoiding Sherman meant going after right cornerback Byron Maxwell, who had the Seahawks' lone takeaway when Rodgers said he "missed my spot by about a foot" and a pass glanced off Nelson's hands.
"This is the Seattle Seahawks. They are a great defense," said Rodgers, who finished 23-of-33 passing for a modest 189 yards. "You don't expect to move the ball effectively every down, every drive. You've got to make the most of your opportunities and when you're near the red zone, you have to score touchdowns."
The Packers got in the end zone twice, on Kuhn's early plunge that provided their only lead at 7-3 and again on a 3-yard TD strike from Rodgers to Randall Cobb with 9:31 to go and the Seahawks up 19.
The closest Sherman got to the football came on an early punt muffed by teammate Earl Thomas, who had no chance to catch it because Sherman blocked Green Bay's Davon House into him.
"You've just got to stay locked in," Sherman said. "You can't be selfish. That's the biggest thing, you can't be selfish. You have a job to do every play and you do it as effectively as you can and you let chips fall where they may.
"If they don't throw it, then they don't throw it. But you don't want to be lagging one play and cost your defense the game."Source Article