Doug Baldwin broke out, the Seahawks' running back shuffle continued and another game went by without a forced turnover.
The Seahawks’ playoff hopes are still alive.
Seattle improved to 5-5 and snapped a two-game losing streak on Thursday night. Here are three impressions from the Seahawks’ 27-24 win over the Packers.
Baldwin finally finds the end zone
It’s hard to fathom the fact that Doug Baldwin — supposedly Seattle’s No. 1 wide receiver — went through 10 games this season without ever scoring a touchdown.
Granted, the 30-year-old veteran missed the majority of the Seahawks’ first three games with a knee injury. But still, while fellow wide receiver Tyler Lockett entered the end zone seven times in 10 games, Baldwin was stuck with a goose egg.
That all changed on Thursday.
But not at first.
First, quarterback Russell Wilson air-mailed a W-I-D-E open Baldwin in the middle of the end zone during the Seahawks’ third drive of the game. Instead of a sure touchdown, Seattle settled for a 39-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal.
Still, Wilson eventually made amends, finding Baldwin over the shoulder in the corner of the end zone for a 6-yard score in the second quarter. That spurred another choreographed touchdown celebration, in which the wideouts swam, stood up and surfed in a synchronized line.
Baldwin’s eighth season with the Seahawks certainly hasn’t been smooth sailing. But Thursday’s performance — in which he finished with seven catches for 52 yards and a touchdown — should help.
The running back shuffle
Pete Carroll was asked on Wednesday what emerging rookie running back Rashaad Penny’s role would be against the Packers.
His response was intentionally vague.
“Well, we’ll have to see when we get to the game,” Carroll said with a smirk. “He certainly did a great job last week. It was great to see him bust out like that and it’s good for any young guy to have that kind of ballgame for the confidence and all of that.
“He’s going to play. He’ll be in the game.”
A week after stepping in for the injured Chris Carson and racking up 108 rushing yards, nine yards per carry and a touchdown in a loss to the Rams, Penny weaved in and out of gaps for an improbable 30-yard gain on his first carry on Thursday. Despite suffering an ankle injury on the play, Penny returned to the game and finished with 46 yards on eight carries.
Unsurprisingly, the starter on Thursday was Carson, who lost a fumble on his first carry but rebounded to produce 83 rushing yards and a touchdown on 17 carries in the win.
Mike Davis — who technically started in Carson’s stead against the Rams — did not earn a carry through three quarters on Thursday, but effectively closed the game for the Seahawks, contributing four carries for 26 yards to go along with 24 receiving yards.
With all three running backs having produced a 100-yard rushing game this season, distributing carries between the three is a pleasant problem for Carroll. On Thursday, at least, all three Seahawks made their mark.
The turnover trend continues
The Seahawks forced 16 turnovers — 10 interceptions and six recovered fumbles — in their first seven games this season.
They’ve failed to force a turnover in the last three.
That’s a problem against Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who completed 20 of 27 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns. That included a 54-yard touchdown pass in which Rodgers eluded danger and found tight end Robert Tonyan streaking behind safety Bradley McDougald. It also included a 57-yard fourth quarter strike to Davante Adams on third-and-9.
Sure, it’s encouraging that the Seahawks defense racked up five sacks. It’s also encouraging that the Packers managed just three points in the second half. But the turnover trend continues not to favor the Seahawks, and this Seattle defense may not be stout enough to keep holding quality quarterbacks at bay.