Quick takes: Packers dominate Seahawks
GREEN BAY - On an afternoon in which the Green Bay Packers were thoroughly dominant, two sights confirmed their superiority.
The first, which took place with 11 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, was the introduction of backup quarterback Brett Hundley. So efficient was the Packers’ offense during a 38-10 thumping of the Seattle Seahawks that starter Aaron Rodgers, who played a terrific game despite suffering a right calf injury early on, was not needed for the last 45 minutes of real time. The giant lead was secure.
The second, which took place with 8 minutes, 21 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, was a failed onside kick by the Seahawks. So desperate were the visitors, who entered Lambeau Field as 3-point favorites, that their chances of winning hinged on onside kicks with half a quarter still to play.
Sunday’s victory was the third in a row for the Packers, whose playoff hopes remain intact. With a win they kept pace with the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Washington, all of which came out on top earlier in the day.
BOX SCORE: Packers 38, Seahawks 10
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Player of the Game: Rodgers. The Packers quarterback came in with a balky hamstring and then hurt his right calf on the game's third play, rendering him completely ineffective as a runner. Yet Rodgers was tremendous against one of the best defenses in the league. He completed 18 of his 23 passes (78 percent) for 246 yards and three touchdowns. His accuracy was remarkable, especially considering he could not step into the majority of his throws. Flicks of the wrist were all he needed to shred the Seahawks’ secondary. He exited the game with the Packers ahead 28-3, a move that was called a "coaches' decision." Rodgers explained later that with the big lead, the coaches told him he could sit and "I wasn't going to fight 'em, based on how I was feeling." Rodgers said he'd have more information about the injury Wednesday, but did say he's "not missing games."
Turning point: The Seahawks trailed by 18 points when their offense trotted onto the field for the final possession of the first half. And as had been the case all game, quarterback Russell Wilson picked up first downs. But then he threw a crippling interception, and that had been the case all game, too. Wilson threw back across his body with 34 seconds left, and cornerback Damarious Randall picked him off at the goal line to ensure the Packers held their three-score lead at the break. And while the Seahawks received the opening kickoff of the third quarter, which gave them a chance to turn the tide, Wilson was intercepted again, this time by cornerback Quinten Rollins. Another scoring threat had been erased. The three-score lead remained.
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Big number: 5 — Interceptions thrown by Wilson, who had thrown only five in the first 12 games the season prior to Sunday. Wilson was picked off by safety Morgan Burnett, Randall (two), Rollins and defensive back Micah Hyde.
What went right: Almost everything. The Packers received the game’s opening kickoff and held a lead within 90 seconds. Rodgers connected with wide receiver Davante Adams for a 66-yard score on an out-and-up route along the right sideline. From there, virtually nothing went wrong. The defense forced turnovers repeatedly; the offense flipped those turnovers into points. An interception by Burnett led to a touchdown run by Montgomery. An interception by Randall led to a touchdown pass to wide receiver Jordy Nelson. The Seahawks, considered by some to be among the best teams in the NFC, were punched in the mouth repeatedly as the Packers earned their third straight win.
What went wrong: Almost nothing. About the only qualm coach Mike McCarthy can have with his team — and it’s a small one — is the run defense. Tailback Thomas Rawls of the Seahawks spearheaded a nice rushing attack that gained 137 yards on 26 carries for a very healthy average of 5.3 yards per attempt. Rawls and Wilson, who combined for 86 yards, accounted for the majority of the production. But on a day when Wilson could not protect the ball, none of the rushing yards mattered.
Check back later for complete coverage of the game from our team of reporters and columnists.