The Green Bay Packers went toe-to-toe with the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks in CenturyLink Field for a little over a half. The Seahawks took the game over in the second half and pulled away for a 36-16 victory.
The Packers got 189 passing yards and one touchdown from Aaron Rodgers, but he also threw an interception and was sacked three times. His quarterback rating finished at 47.9 despite completing 23 of his 33 passes.
In addition to getting little out of their dynamic passing attack, the Packers offense tallied just 80 yards on the ground, led by James Starks. Starks had 37 yards on seven carries in relief of Eddie Lacy, who left after suffering a concussion. Lacy had 34 yards on 12 carries before the injury.
The Packers defense was good early in the game, but failed to capitalize on two dropped interception opportunities.
John Kuhn scored the first touchdown of the game late in the first quarter, Mason Crosby kicked a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter and Randall Cobb caught a short pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter for the Packers’ three scoring drives.
The game was over when…Michael Bennett knocked the ball out of Rodgers’ hands on a sack in the third quarter that resulted in a safety. The Packers were only down 10 points with four minutes and 42 seconds remaining in the third quarter and had the ball on their own 10-yard line. If they had gone on to score and cut the deficit to one score, it would have been a different game. As it was, the Packers never really threatened again.
The game turned when…Rodgers was sacked on a fourth-and-five play by Cliff Avril at the Seahawks 45-yard line. The Packers were moving and were only down 10 points and their defense had just forced a field goal after the Seahawks started inside the 10-yard line.
The reason for optimism is…it was one game and it was against the defending Super Bowl champions at their place. The Seahawks will not be beat at home and look like a team that can easily win another Super Bowl. The Packers now have 15 games to figure out how to win on the road.
The reason to worry is…it is not going to be easy to fix the issue. The Packers struggled on the offensive line, especially when Bryan Bulaga went out with the injury. The defense had some moments, but overall did not look like a championship defense.
The unsung hero was…I guess Andrew Quarless is as good a choice as anybody. After rookie tight end Richard Rodgers left due to an injury, Quarless proved to be a viable receiving option. He only caught three passes, but he can get open over the middle and expand the field.
The outlook is…it is a long season. The Packers still have a long way to return to the upper echelon of the league. It is still very likely the Packers will win the NFC North Division and host a playoff game. However, it doesn’t look like a deep playoff run is in the future.