The Seahawks defense is tough to beat when an offense is at full strength.
With the Packers playing with a makeshift offensive line for most of the game Thursday and their top running back leaving in the third quarter, the challenge proved too much in a 36-16 loss.
“We just couldn’t find a way to execute,” Green Bay guard T.J. Lang said. “They’ve got a solid defense. They’ve got a lot of playmakers. It’s tough when you get behind like we did to come back on them because they’re very good at preventing big plays. I don’t think we ran the ball well enough to make them feel like they really had to respect it at all.”
Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy finished with 12 carries for 34 yards before leaving in the third quarter with a concussion. The Packers also received 37 yards rushing from backup James Starks, but as a team they had 80 yards rushing, compared to 207 for the Seahawks.
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With Lacy out and Rodgers avoiding Richard Sherman, there weren’t many options for Green Bay, especially with the makeshift offensive line surrendering three sacks.
The Packers entered the game with rookie center Corey Linsley, a fifth-round pick, making his first start in place of J.C. Tretter, who was out with a knee injury.
With 11:03 left in the second quarter, right tackle Bryan Bulaga went down with a knee injury and didn’t return. He was replaced by Derek Sherrod, a four-year veteran who had played just 12 games.
“It was hectic, yeah, but for the most part we did OK against a defense like that,” said Sherrod, who gave up a third-quarter sack to Michael Bennett that resulted in the safety. “When your number is called, you go in and do the best you can.”
It took Rodgers and the Packers three quarters before their new no-huddle offense kicked into gear.
Trailing by 19 points, the two-time All-Pro quarterback came out firing early in the fourth quarter as the Packers marched 82 yards in 10 plays. Rodgers capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb.
However, it was too late.
“These are the Seattle Seahawks,” saId Rodgers, who slogged through a 23-of-33 passing performance, which netted just 189 yards, a touchdown and an interception. “They are a great defense.”
Other Packers inside the visiting locker room at CenturyLink Field bemoaned a sluggish offensive effort that managed just 10 points in the first half, and that was with the help of Seahawks miscues. Earl Thomas’ fumbled punt in the first quarter led to a touchdown and a 44-yard pass interference penalty on Bobby Wagner helped Green Bay to a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Down 17-10 at halftime, the Packers had three drives in the third quarter that ended with an interception, a failed fourth-down conversion and a safety that gave Seattle a 22-10 lead.
Rodgers didn’t cop to it, but he wanted nothing to do with Sherman.
He rarely looked to throw to the right side of the field where the two-time All-Pro Seahawks cornerback resides.
When asked afterward why he avoided Sherman, Rodgers grinned sheepishly.
“I’ll have to look at the film on that,” he said. “If we did, it wasn’t that many times.”
Still, Green Bay receiver Randall Cobb questioned why the Packers didn’t target Sherman.
“He’s a good corner, but when it comes down to it, we have got to make plays,” said Cobb, who had six catches for 58 yards. “Regardless of where he is on the field — yeah, he is a good player and will make plays — but we have to be better.”
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or firstname.lastname@example.org.