Final | Packers 17, Seahawks 0
1:25 p.m. | Lambeau Field | Green Bay, Wisconsin
TV: CBS | Radio: 710 AM/97.3 FM | Stream: NFL Game Pass
In first game back, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks shut out by the Packers
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Russell Wilson returned Sunday at Green Bay after missing three games, the first time he’d been sidelined in his NFL career.
But the Seahawks offense was nowhere to be found as Seattle suffered its first shutout in more than 10 years, losing 17-0 to the Packers at Lambeau Field.
Wilson made what was by all accounts an exceedingly quick recovery from surgery on Oct. 8 to repair a dislocation and rupture in his right middle finger.
And the hope was he’d be able to pick up where he left off — he threw 10 touchdowns in the first five games of the season with a career-best 72% completion percentage.
But Wilson looked rusty throughout, uncommonly off target on a few throws.
Three things we learned from the Seahawks’ 17-0 loss to the Packers
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Seahawks’ struggles at Lambeau Field hit a new low Sunday in a 17-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
In Russell Wilson’s ahead-of-schedule return from finger surgery, the Seahawks offense was the worst its been in the Wilson-Pete Carroll era. The Seahawks were shut out for the first time since 2011, the year before Wilson’s arrival in Seattle.
Here are three instant impressions from the game.
Third quarter impressions
An interception (or was it?)
In the most crucial sequence of the game, Russell Wilson made an ill-advised (to put it mildly) throw into the end zone intended for DK Metcalf — only to have it intercepted by Green Bay’s Kevin King.
King, the former UW standout, momentarily had possession, but then dropped the ball as he went to the ground. It’s not entirely clear how, but the interception stood, and the Packers took possession after the touchback.
Two game officials talked with Pete Carroll near the Seahawks sideline during a break, but no announcement was made on the field about the play.
In a wild turn of events, the Packers quickly drove down the field, only to turn it over themselves when Jamal Adams made a leaping interception of an Aaron Rodgers pass in the end zone.
Rasheem Green, having himself quite a day, hit Rodgers as he made the throw, which wobbled toward the end zone.
It was Adams’ first interception as a Seahawk.
It’s hard to know how much his surgically repaired finger is bothering him, but Wilson looks hesitant today. Maybe even a little timid.
The finger, no doubt, is part of that. He’s wearing a tape-like sheath around the finger, and it’s safe to assume there is at least some level of discomfort when he throws a football.
You’d expect some rust, too, in his first start in five weeks.
The cold conditions (and light snow) probably aren’t helping his finger either.
So there are reasons.
Regardless, Wilson needs to be better.
If the Seahawks hope to have any chance of winning this game in the fourth quarter, Wilson needs to be better
Seahawks left tackle Duane Brown left the game late in the third quarter because of a hip injury.
His return is questionable.
Jamarco Jones replaced him at left tackle.
It’s a significant blow for an offensive line that has not played well today. Wilson has been sacked twice and officially hit three times, but he has been forced to scramble often.
Russell Wilson a little rusty in return
The good news in the first half is that Seattle is down just 3-0 despite allowing 201 yards with the defense proving up to the task on three Green Bay drives into Seattle territory, twice forcing field goals (one of which was missed) and the other getting a stop on downs.
But the bad news is that the offense is laboring to do much of anything, held to just 86 yards on 22 plays.
And as might have been expected, Russell Wilson looks a little rusty in his first game since Oct. 7. Wilson is 8-for-13 for 66 yards and has mostly thrown shorter passes — six of his completions have gone to tight ends Gerald Everett and Will Dissly.
The Seahawks have worked solely out of shotgun formations so far, which may be to avoid Wilson having to take a hard center snap and avoid any pain or re-injury to his middle finger.
Wilson may also be erring on the side of throwing shorter passes due to his finger, as well, though both Wilson and Pete Carroll said this week they did not expect he would have to make any changes to his approach.
Where’s Dee Eskridge?
The Seahawks talked all week of the impact that rookie receiver Dee Eskridge could have now that he is back from a concussion suffered in the season opener at Indianapolis. General manager John Schneider said Eskridge could make a “huge" difference during his regular appearance on the team’s pregame radio show.
But so far, Eskridge has not played.
Maybe in the second half …
No luck with officials
Adding to Seattle’s frustration in the first half are a couple of calls that the Seahawks felt were questionable.
One came when there was no call for a block in the back on Ryan Neal on a scramble by Aaron Rodgers to the 10-yard line. That, at least, turned out not to cost Seattle as the Packers had to settle for a field goal.
On the next series the Seahawks thought they had recovered a fumble when Darrell Taylor jumped on a snap fumbled by Rodgers. But officials ruled Rodgers had it. Pete Carroll challenged the ruling but lost that, too, along with a time out, which proved critical on the final drive of the half.
Packers settle for FG after long drive
The scoring play: Packers kicker Mason Crosby makes a 27-yard field goal.
The drive: 14 plays, 82 yards, 6:06.
The score: Packers 3, Seahawks 0.
First quarter impressions
Russell Wilson looks as spry as ever
In his return from his first-career stint on the injured reserve, Wilson is wearing a sheath around his surgically repaired right middle finger.
On his first drop-back, Wilson was forced out of the pocket and threw the ball away. On the next play, he escaped pressure and managed to somehow scramble 7 yards for a first down.
At least, it was initially ruled a first down. After officials talked it over, Wilson was ruled short of the first-down line, and Pete Carroll elected not to challenge the play.
Wilson was 3 for 5 for 12 yards in a scoreless first quarter. He has looked hesitant to throw a couple of times, and maybe that’s to be expected after a month away.
Good start for the defense
The Packers had three first-quarter drives, and the only big play the Seahawks allowed came after cornerback D.J. Reed slipped on third-and-long.
That drive ended with a Mason Crosby missed field goal from 42 yards.
The Seahawks then forced the Packers to punt on their next two drives. So, yes, a very good start for Seattle’s defense.
Starting running back Chris Carson remains out with a neck injury, as Pete Carroll announced on Friday.
When might Caron be able to return? Seahawks GM John Schneider shed a little light on Carson’s situation during his pregame interview on 710 ESPN Seattle.
“It’s a neck injury, right, so you have to be very, very careful obviously,” Schneider said. “And it’s really going to be up to Chris whether or not he can handle the pounding, especially with his run style. He’s a downhill, one-cut guy that really brings it. So we have to be very, very careful the way we handle it and he’s going to have to get with our medical staff and make sure that he’s just at a good place. We just didn’t get there this week. We’ll see how next week goes.”
L.J. Collier active for Seahawks
Seattle’s inactive players for Sunday’s game at Green Bay did not include defensive end L.J. Collier, who will play for the first time since Oct. 7 against the Rams.
Collier, Seattle’s first-round pick in 2019, has played just two games this season and has three tackles.
Collier was active with Robert Nkemdiche being inactive.
Seattle’s other inactives were linebacker Cody Barton, cornerback Bless Austin, quarterback Jacob Eason and offensive linemen Stone Forsythe and Dakoda Shepley.
Barton is out with a quad injury and Austin had been declared out on Friday with a personal matter.
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