The Seahawks have done a lot of positive things since 2010 under Pete Carroll. But the one thing they haven’t done is beat Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Rodgers took advantage of a 12-men-on-the-field penalty late in the third quarter Sunday with a 32-yard TD pass to WR Jordy Nelson, all but clinching what became a 17-9 Packers victory.
Including playoffs, the Seahawks have lost eight in a row at Lambeau since 1999.
Two other officiating decisions loomed large: A first-quarter pick-six by rookie DT Nazair Jones was called back, and a fourth-quarter Russell Wilson pass to TE Jimmy Graham in the corner of the end zone drew no pass interference penalty despite the hands of three defenders on him.
On the interception, Jones was hit nearly in the chest by a Rodgers throw, but grabbed the ball and rumbled to the end zone untouched. On the return, DE Cliff Avril was called for a block in the back. On the same play, CB Jeremy Lane was flagged for throwing a punch that drew a controversial ejection. Seattle kept possession, but went three-and-out and punted.
While coach Pete Carroll will complain to the league office Monday over the calls, the Packers made more than enough plays to beat the Seahawks, two in particular.
Trailing 3-0 in the third quarter, Green Bay DT Mike Daniels blew past RG Mark Glowinski to force a Wilson fumble at the Seattle six-yard line. RB Ty Montgomery scored on the next play. Later in the period, Rodgers caught the Seahawks in a personnel change in which a 12th defender failed to reach the sidelines before Rodgers called for the snap. The free play resulted in a 32-yarder to Nelson, the last part of a 75-yard drive that was Green Bay’s lone sustained drive.
Except for a two-minute anomaly at the end of the first half, the offense was ineffective. The harried Wilson had a weak game, as did RB Eddie Lacy upon his return to Green Bay.
In a scoreless game, Seattle started its final possession of the first half half at the 11-yard line. After two running plays went nowhere, Wilson rolled out to complete a 34-yard pass to WR Doug Baldwin. On the next play, Wilson ran 29 yards on a scramble. After three scrimmage plays misfired, Blair Walsh hit the first of three Seattle field goals.
Wilson completed 14 of 27 for 158 yards with no interceptions and led Seattle with 40 rushing yards. But the Packers sacked him three times for minus-23 yards. His rating: 69.7, far below his career mark of 99.2 (Wilson had a 59.1 rating in the first half).
Lacy carried five times for three yards and was upstaged by rookie Chris Carson, who had 39 yards on six carries. Thomas Rawls, expected to start after practicing all week, was held out to rest an ankle sprained in preseason.
Targeted four times, Baldwin caught all for 63 yards. Paul Richardson also had four for 59 yards on seven targets. Graham, however, caught only three of seven targets for eight yards.
The Packers ran 74 plays to Seattle’s 48, gained 370 yards to Seattle’s 225 and held possession for nearly 40 minutes. The Seahawks went 3-for-12 on third downs.
Rodgers had a 311-yard passing game despite four first-half sacks and the Jones pick. Avril, Michael Bennett, LB Terence Garvin and DE Frank Clark recorded the sacks. Rodgers had not been sacked four times in a half since Seattle took him down eight times in the first two quarters of the 2012 “Fail Mary” game.
In his first game back from a leg broken in December, FS Earl Thomas was all over the field, twice just missing interceptions and leading Seattle with 11 tackles. Rookie CB Shaquill Griffin took over for the ejected Lane and did well, with 10 solo tackles.
The Packers had not been blanked at Lambeau in the first half since 2004, nor had Rodgers been held scoreless for a half in his career.
“I get kicked in the shins a lot, get stepped on a lot. The first half was terrible and in the second half I got a little bit going. We played good in the second half and both Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson had great games.” — Rodgers
“I felt good out there. It’s definitely something to learn from. I knew a lot of plays were going to come at me. We’ll bounce back.” — Griffin
“We played a really good team today and were in it the whole way. We had a chance to to do it at the end but (the defense) couldn’t get off the field. We didn’t get the running game going like we wanted to and know we can play a lot better.” — Carroll
“I’m disappointed that the play had such a magnitude on the game. It’s such a big call. I’ll be anxious to find out how the league thinks that went.” — Carroll, on the interception that resulted in Lane’s ejection
“We were horrendous on third down. We have a lot of work to do.” — Baldwin
The Seahawks fell to 16-26 all-time in season openers and to 8-16 in season-opening away games . . . Carroll is 4-4 in season openers with Seattle. Carroll remains one win shy of tying Don Coryell for 36th place on the all-time list with 114 wins . . . Green Bay leads the all-time series 11-7 . . . Seattle is 19-13-1 in its past 33 road games dating to 2013 . . . Jones ended Rodgers streak of 252 consecutive pass attempts without a pick.
The Seahawks host the San Francisco 49ers Sunday (1:25 p.m., FOX).