Well, that wasn’t pretty. And yes, that’s the biggest understatement ever to be uttered by a human being.
Nevertheless, there were some highlights from the Green Bay side of the ball, as they fell to the Seattle Seahawks Monday night and now stand at a disappointing 1-2 on the season.
I’m sure no Packers want anything to do with receiving game balls. I’m sure they just want to move on and forget this ever happened.
But, here are the players who would deserve a game ball had the final play, or a series of other penalties, been called correctly.
Much like the rest of the offense, Aaron Rodgers couldn’t do anything in the first half.
Seattle’s secondary blanketed the receivers while the pass rush stormed through Green Bay’s offensive line. Rodgers was sacked eight times in the first half.
In the second half, Rodgers turned the offense around. Instead of trying to force anything, he took what Seattle gave him—a quick slant here, a short dump off there and a run to pick up the first down every now and then.
His complete game management gave the Packers possession of the ball for seven more minutes than the Seahawks in the second half.
Jermichael Finley is usually a scapegoat for Packer fans anytime their beloved team loses or barely ekes out victory, but Finley had an awesome game.
His stat line finished at four catches for 60 yards, including a huge 31-yard grab on a 3rd-and-5 situation. The catch allowed Green Bay to go for and get a field goal instead of having to punt.
The only time he was targeted that didn’t result in a catch or pass interference was when Seattle’s Richard Sherman beautifully came from behind to knock down the pass in a perfectly timed situation.
But, Finley’s best play didn’t even come on a catch.
Seattle rookie Bruce Irvin sacked Rodgers twice early on and was fired up. In the second quarter, Finley nailed Irvin with an excellent block and put him on his rear end. The message was delivered, and Irvin didn’t record another tackle for the rest of the night.
His stats certainly weren’t pretty—17 carries for 45 yards, good for 2.6 yards per rush. But much like Rodgers’ effective game management, Benson’s rushing in the third quarter helped balance the offense and consistently move the chains.
He rushed the ball 10 times in the quarter for 48 yards and caught one pass for five more.
By the time the fourth quarter came around, Rodgers was able to pass the ball more effectively because Seattle had to respect Benson’s capabilities.
He then scored the Packers’ only touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter.
Benson is slowly growing more and more comfortable in the Green Bay offense.
After posting the worst pass defense in the league last year, it’s apparent the Green Bay pass defense is back. The team now ranks No. 1 in that category at 125.3 passing yards allowed per game.
The secondary suffocated Seattle’s defense all night long and made play after play.
Probably the most encouraging sign is how involved the youngsters were in this effort.
Rookie Casey Hayward made a gorgeous tackle to disallow a Seattle first down on the second-to-last possession for the Seahawks.
Rookie Jerron McMillian made what should have been the game-winning interception before a bogus late-hit call was made on Erik Walden.
Third-year man Sam Shields played terrific defense on Seattle’s Sydney Rice, holding him to only one catch for 22 yards.
And sophomore M.D. Jennings, well, we know what he really did, despite what the referees say.