Green Bay Uses Fourth Quarter To Knock Off Seahawks

The Green Bay Packers (2-0) in the fourth quarter, finally put the Seattle Seahawks (0-2) away with a few scores and some big defensive plays en route to a 27-17 win at Lambeau Field.

Aaron Rodgers GB 660x440This is unchartered territory for the Seahawks. They haven’t been winless after Week 2 of a season this decade since 2011, which was also the last time they didn’t make the playoffs.

It wasn’t like the Seahawks didn’t have their chances to win this game. They had two leads in this game, they ran 55 plays and only had 2 turnovers, and they advanced into Green Bay territory on 6 out of their 10 total offensive drives. But in the fourth quarter, the Packers defense had enough of Seattle’s offensive theatrics. Because Seattle didn’t score once in that quarter and had a little harder time moving past the 50 yard line.

The Packers got on the scoreboard first, when Aaron Rodgers found wide receiver James Jones (who was running a deep slant pattern) caught the ball and beat the coverage of Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman into the end zone for a 29 yard score. It was 7-0 Packers with 10:45 left in the first quarter. Rodgers was 25 of 33 for 249 yards, 2 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions for the night.

The Packers added to their lead when Mason Crosby came in on 4th and 3, to kick a 54 yard field goal that the kicker put plenty of leg into. The successful field goal nudged the score to 10-0 with 6:52 remaining in the first quarter.

After a promising drive that saw a 32 yard reception by wide receiver Doug Baldwin (7 catches for 92 yards and 1 score) to the SEA 47, followed by some nifty runs by Russell Wilson (19 of 30 for 206 yards, 2 touchdown passes and 1 interception) and running back Marshawn Lynch (15 carries for 41 yards), the Seahawks ended up settling for a field goal.

Kicker Steven Hauschka came in and booted a successful 54 yard field goal that cut the Packers’ lead to 10-3 with 3:13 left in the first quarter.

With just over nine minutes left in the second quarter, Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright (who was ejected from the game in the fourth quarter for a fight he had with Packers tight end Richard Rodgers) chased Packers running back James Starks (106 yards total offense)to the left sideline, with Wright then pulling the ball out of the back’s hands and subsequently falling on the ball at the GB 47 yard line.

That was the sixth forced fumble of Wright’s five-year career. But Wright’s efforts went for naught, as a J.R. Sweezy unnecessary roughness penalty (when he went overboard in his blocking on Packers linebacker Nate Palmer after the play was over) and a 3 yard run by Wilson on 3rd and 21 enabled Seattle to send in Jon Ryan to punt.

The Seahawks  finally scored their first touchdown, when Wilson looked to his left and found newly acquired running back Fred Jackson who took the pass into the end zone for a 5 yard score. That was Jackson’s 8th touchdown catch of his underrated 10-year career. With 9:57 left in the third quarter, Green Bay saw their lead cut to 13-10.

The momentum from that touchdown drive carried over to the Packers’ ensuing offensive drive. The Pack were only able to advance 2 yards on 1st and 2nd downs from the GB 16 to the GB 18 (the spot where they took over after rookie Ty Montgomery’s 19 yard kickoff return). They were then forced to punt after Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett sacked Rodgers at the GB 10 on 3rd and 8.

Then on their ensuing drive that only took 5 plays, Baldwin culminated the drive with a 13 yard touchdown reception past the right arm of Packer strong safety Micah Hyde. With 6:48 left in the third quarter, the Seahawks had their first lead of the game at 17-13.

But the Packers showed that they still were not done messing with the Seattle defense. Starks took a Rodgers handoff and ambled 35 yards down the right sideline to the SEA 39, where Seattle cornerback Cary Williams ushered the back out of bounds. But later in the drive and on 3rd and 9, Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner snatched then tackled Starks at the SEA 26 for just a 1 yard reception by the back, which sent in Crosby for his third field goal of the night.

Crosby connected on the field goal (44 yards) and cut Seattle’s lead to 17-16 with 3:12 left in the third quarter.

The Packer’s next scoring drive was a trip. It was aided by a determined and tackle-breaking 17 yard reception by Montgomery (4 catches for 37 yards) to the SEA 17. Then a defensive holding call on Williams versus Jones in the end zone gave Green Bay a new set of downs. And finally, tight end Richard Rodgers (3 catches for 23 yards and 1 score) held on tight to a Rodgers 5 yard touchdown pass near the left corner of the end zone against Williams, again.

Rodgers on the next play, caught a 2-point conversion pass in the end zone to complete the scoring and give Green Bay the lead again at 24-17 with 9:28 left in the game.

Then with just under seven minutes left in the game and on the ensuing drive for Seattle, Packers defensive end Jayrone Elliott (1 interception and 1 forced fumble) made probably the most exciting play of his football life. Wilson took the snap and dropped back to pass. He threw the ball over the short middle where Elliott with one hand, snatched the ball, secured it, and took the theft up field to the SEA 38 where it was knocked out by a Seattle offensive player.

But Elliott still got credit for the interception because he recovered his own fumble at the SEA 37. That was the first interception that Elliott had since 2009, when he was a senior at Glenville (Ohio) High School.

The Packers took advantage of that pick by Elliott, by converting a 21 yard field goal by Crosby into a 27-17 lead with 1:56 left in the game. That was Crosby’s fourth field goal of the game and his fifth consecutive successful field goal of this young 2015 season.

Then with just under 33 seconds left in the game, Elliott came up big again for the Pack. On 2nd and 10, Wilson threw a pass to Jackson who rumbled 11 yards forward to the GB 32. But out of nowhere, Elliott slapped the ball out of Jackson’s grasp and quickly, Hyde came up and recovered the fumble at the GB 31. Game Over.

 

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