Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham had a difficult game at Lambeau Field on Sunday as the Seahawks dropped their opener 17-9 against the Green Bay Packers. Graham was targeted seven times, catching three passes for a total of eight yards. That equates to a mere 2.7 yards per catch for one of the leagues best tight ends.
“I think Jimmy had a hard game,” Carroll said Monday after practice. “There were a couple of throws that he had chances, but they got broken up, they legitimately got broken up.”
Graham isn’t used to having passes batted away from him. An imposing figure, Graham stands at six-feet-seven and weighs in at 265 pounds. Graham was clearly targeted by the Packers as a threat and subsequently found it difficult to find space. The only place Graham found any was in the flat as a check down for Russell Wilson, and even there the Packers were quick to swarm.
Graham rose to stardom over his first five seasons in the NFL in New Orleans, where he racked up 51 touchdowns, two 1000-plus yards receiving seasons and an average of more than 12.1 yards per catch. In 28 games with Seattle, Graham has maintained a high yards per catch average but has seen a decline in his touchdown receptions with just eight.
“He had a couple of chances on big balls,” Carroll continued. “We went to him in crucial situations, they did a nice job covering him.”
Graham also struggled with run blocking on Sunday. Graham has never been a prolific blocking tight end during his career and worked hard to improve prior to the start of the season.
“He pass pro(tected) well,” Carroll said. “In the run game, it’s not his best game.”
While the Seahawks would love to see more production with Graham’s blocking, they acquired the pro-bowl tight end from the Saints to add a weapon to the passing attack. Red-zone opportunities for Graham to showcase his physical skills would seem the best way for the Seahawks to capitalize on having a player of his caliber.
Graham will look to have a bounce back outing in the Seahawks home opener against a San Francisco 49ers defense that game up 23 points to the Carolina Panthers in Week 1.
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