If pass protection looms as a long-term red flag, it's not alone.
Here's what else you need to know from the 2014 NFL Kickoff:
- Lynch appears to have fresher legs this year, tearing through the Green Bay defense on lethal cutbacks. Of course, he was helped by Percy Harvin drawing attention in motion as well as huge holes pried open by improved guards James Carpenter and J.R. Sweezy. Perhaps Seattle's lone weak spot last season, the offensive line, could be an asset in 2014. This is a scary thought for the rest of the NFC powerhouses.
- If he stays healthy, Harvin is going to lead all NFL wide receivers in touches this season. He racked up 160 all-purpose yards on seven receptions, four rushes and three kickoff returns. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell utilized Harvin creatively as a backfield sidecar, finding success on jet sweeps and bubble screens. The threat of Harvin is going to drive defensive coordinators bonkers while opening wide lanes for Lynch.
- Credit the Seahawks' brain trust for dipping into the college football laboratory. In addition to the jet sweeps run by Harvin, the first touchdown came on a read-option play-fake pop pass -- rarely seen in the NFL but commonplace in the college game -- that left Ricardo Lockette wide open for a long gain. Clinton-Dix was burned on the same play Auburn used to beat him in the Iron Bowl.
- The Earl Thomas punt-returner experiment got off to an inauspicious start. Thomas showed his inexperience with poor judgment on his first return and fumbled on his second return when he failed to signal for a fair catch. It still seems like a bad idea to leave the team's most valuable defensive player at risk of injury.
- The Packers' offense essentially emulated the woes of the Broncos' Super Bowl offense -- minus the backbreaking early-game turnovers. Aaron Rodgers' attack managed just 3.5 yards per play entering the fourth quarter. The best plays of the night were a 44-yard pass interference call and a recovered fumble off a punt. Until Bulaga's exit, Rodgers had plenty of time to throw only to find that his receivers couldn't get open against a Seahawks secondary that simply doesn't allow easy completions.
- Coach Mike McCarthy labeled Bulaga's injury a knee sprain that does not initially appear to be major. Of equal concern is a second-half concussion sustained by Eddie Lacy, who missed a game last season with a concussion after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from noted head hunterBrandon Meriweather. Lacy's numbers look pathetic, but he was barreling through defenders on his own with no help from his blockers.