Packers vs. Seahawks: 5 Things We Learned from the Packers' 14-12 L

Matt SmithContributor IIISeptember 25, 2012

Packers vs. Seahawks: 5 Things We Learned from the Packers' 14-12 L

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    What a finish.

    On the last play of the game, the Packers "lost" on a Hail Mary throw by Russell Wilson that resulted in a touchdown.

    This game will surely go down as one of the most controversial games this season, if not in league history.

    Here are five things we learned from the Packers' 14-12 loss to Seattle on Monday night.

An Up-Tempo, Balanced Approach Works

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    The Packers couldn't get anything going with their pass-heavy approach in the first half.

    Then, they started giving the ball to Benson and evening out their game plan.

    Once they did that, both the run game and the aerial attack saw increased effectiveness.

    While the Packers' passing attack is one of the league's best, they need to run to set up the pass sometimes.

The Offensive Line Needs Some Fixing

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    Aaron Rodgers was sacked eight times. All of those sacks came in the first half.

    While a couple may have been due to Rodgers holding the ball too long, most were on the inadequate protection he received.

    They shaped up during the second half, but the offensive line was a big reason as to why the Packers had zero points going into halftime.

    Look for improved play against an atrocious Saints defense next week.

Brandon Saine, Not Cedric Benson, Should Be the Packers' Clock-Killer

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    During the game, I was chatting with a few football fans who were watching the game and predicted that Benson would put the ball on the ground on the Packers' last possession. 

    So what does he do? Put the ball on the ground.

    I also noted that Brandon Saine, a sure-handed ball-carrier, should be the one carrying the ball.

    In that situation, the Packers weren't going to pick up a first down. The Seattle run defense is too good. Benson has also had fumble issues, which is another reason he shouldn't have been out there.

    Though Saine isn't as good of a runner as Benson and it did make some sense to have your best ball-carrier out there backed up inside your own 10, don't be surprised if Saine gets to close out some games in the near future.

Last Week's Performance by the Defense Might Not Be a Fluke

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    Though the Green Bay defense was dominant last week against the Bears, many cautioned Packer fans to take that performance with a grain of salt due to the Bears' terrible offensive line.

    This week, though, the Packers had an equally impressive performance against the Seahawks.

    OLB Nick Perry showed his athleticism in chasing down Russell Wilson, who'd used his own athleticism numerous times to escape the arms of Clay Matthews.

    The defense also did a good job of limiting Marshawn Lynch, minus a few short-yardage situations.

    The Packer defense has put together two good showings in a row. We'll see if it's for real when it faces a tough test against Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham and the New Orleans Saints offense.

The Replacement Refs Finally Cost a Team a Win

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    On the final play of the game, Green Bay S M.D. Jennings came down with the ball in what was an apparent interception.

    However, one of the replacement refs inexplicably called the play a touchdown, while the other rightfully called it a touchback on the interception.

    The play went to official review, as is traditional with scoring plays, and the official called the play a touchdown.

    Not only did Golden Tate commit offensive pass interference by pushing CB Sam Shields, but he also didn't come down with the ball.

    This call was literally the difference between a win and a loss for the Packers.