Aaron Rodgers, Packers Beat Russell Wilson, Seahawks in Rodgers' Return from COVID

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 15, 2021

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 14: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field on November 14, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Maybe you thought the return of Russell Wilson to the Seattle Seahawks and Aaron Rodgers to the Green Bay Packers would be the storyline when the two teams met Sunday in a crucial NFC showdown. Running back AJ Dillon and Green Bay's defense had other ideas.

In what could most charitably be described as an offensive slog, especially from Seattle's perspective, the Packers came away with an ugly 17-0 win.

Wilson was back in action for the first time since Oct. 7 after a finger injury kept him out for a month, so a bit of rust was understandable, though Seattle managed just 208 yards of total offense in his return. Rodgers' ho-hum performance was a little more surprising, considering he only missed one week after testing positive for COVID-19.

Either way, both teams struggled to get into any sort of rhythm offensively, at least through the first three quarters. The sequence that best put those struggles in perspective came in the third quarter when both quarterbacks threw interceptions in the end zone on consecutive drives:

Green Bay Packers @packers

DEFENSE COMES UP BIG!<a href="https://twitter.com/King_kevvoo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@King_kevvoo</a> with the INT!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAvsGB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SEAvsGB</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoPackGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoPackGo</a> <br><br>๐Ÿ“บ CBS <a href="https://t.co/bUCjoY5kUh">pic.twitter.com/bUCjoY5kUh</a>


Jamal Adams picks it off in the end zone! <a href="https://twitter.com/Prez?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Prez</a><br><br>๐Ÿ“บ: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAvsGB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SEAvsGB</a> on CBS<br>๐Ÿ“ฑ: NFL app <a href="https://t.co/BchkXLafUs">pic.twitter.com/BchkXLafUs</a>

On a day that saw three NFL teams put up 40 or more points, these two teams struggled to combine to reach double digits. But with Green Bay's defense holding strong, Dillon took over in the fourth quarter for the Packers, scoring two touchdowns to seal the win.

Key Players

Aaron Rodgers, GB: 23-of-37 for 292 yards and an interception

Davante Adams, GB: Seven catches for 78 yards

AJ Dillon, GB: 21 carries for 66 yards and two scores; two receptions for 62 yards

Russell Wilson, SEA: 20-of-40 for 161 yards, two interceptions and three sacks

DK Metcalf, SEA: Three catches for 26 yards

Jamal Adams, SEA: 11 tackles, one pass defensed, two quarterback hits

AJ Dillon Put on a Show

With Aaron Jones leaving the game with a knee injury and not returning, the Packers turned to Dillon to close out the Seahawks. He responded in a major way.

Green Bay Packers @packers

THE SNOW PLOW FINDS PAYDIRT.<br><br>TOUCHDOWN <a href="https://twitter.com/ajdillon7?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ajdillon7</a>! ๐Ÿ™Œ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAvsGB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SEAvsGB</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoPackGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoPackGo</a> <br><br>๐Ÿ“บ CBS <a href="https://t.co/e2sfaX4jTl">pic.twitter.com/e2sfaX4jTl</a>


Quadfather ๐Ÿ˜ค <a href="https://twitter.com/ajdillon7?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ajdillon7</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoPackGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoPackGo</a><br><br>๐Ÿ“บ: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAvsGB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SEAvsGB</a> on CBS<br>๐Ÿ“ฑ: NFL app <a href="https://t.co/JiNi6FfCrN">pic.twitter.com/JiNi6FfCrN</a>


Touchdown #2 for <a href="https://twitter.com/ajdillon7?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ajdillon7</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoPackGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoPackGo</a><br><br>๐Ÿ“บ: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAvsGB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SEAvsGB</a> on CBS<br>๐Ÿ“ฑ: NFL app <a href="https://t.co/CYSkZvvneX">pic.twitter.com/CYSkZvvneX</a>

Good luck stopping this man when he gets a head full of steam. Would-be-tacklers look like road barricades made out of sliced bread and Dillon like a Hummer when he comes barreling through the line of scrimmage.

Peter Bukowski @Peter_Bukowski

AJ Dillon was made for snow games at Lambeau

Lily Zhao @LilySZhao

Yeah... no one is stopping AJ Dillon.

Brett Kollmann @BrettKollmann

AJ Dillon just radiates late-2000s-Madden-Brandon Jacobs energy

It's a nice luxury for the Packers to have a player of Dillon's ability on offer when Jones isn't available. It's a scary one-two punch for opposing defenses and one the team will continue to rely on, especially if the passing game isn't executing at a high level.

As for Jones, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the belief is that he sprained his MCL.

Wilson Will Need to Be Extraordinary Down the Stretch to Save Seattle's Season

The Seahawks now find themselves at 3-6, with two matchups against the Arizona Cardinals and divisional showdowns against the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers still on the schedule.

The only team in the NFC that currently has a worse record than the Seahawks is the Detroit Lions, who are 0-8-1. In a loaded conference, the Seahawks are barely treading water.

Obviously, getting back Wilson will help. He wasn't great Sunday, but his first game back also came against a tough Green Bay defense and excellent secondary that has stifled more than a few offenses. Still, there might be questions if he rushed his return a little bit after throws like this:


Green Bayโ€™s defense picks off another pass in the end zone. <a href="https://twitter.com/_SmashAmos31?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@_SmashAmos31</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoPackGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoPackGo</a><br><br>๐Ÿ“บ: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAvsGB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SEAvsGB</a> on CBS<br>๐Ÿ“ฑ: NFL app <a href="https://t.co/FSp7nxWZVs">pic.twitter.com/FSp7nxWZVs</a>

Gregg Bell @gbellseattle

Another deep, late, careless pass into the end zone by Russell Wilson, into Packers double coverage on first down near midfield. Another gift interception. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Seahawks?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Seahawks</a> stay down 10-0. <br><br>Wilson looks like he hasn't played in a month--and perhaps that he came back too soon.

Frank Schwab @YahooSchwab

It really did seem too good to be true that Russell Wilson could return as fast as he did.

Gregg Bell @gbellseattle

Last time <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Seahawks?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Seahawks</a> were shutout: Sept. 18, 2011, 24-0 at Pittsburgh with Tarvaris Jackson. Last season before Seattle drafted Russell Wilson.

He'll need to get back up to speed quickly and play at an MVP level to fix Seattle's woes. He's done so in the past. The Seahawks' season hinges on him doing so again.

What's Next?

Things don't get easier for Seattle, with a tough home matchup against the Cardinals next Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET on Fox. The Packers travel to Minnesota for a rivalry matchup with the Vikings that same day at 1 p.m. ET on Fox.