It was only Week 2 of the 2015 season, but the Green Bay Packers’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks felt like more than a regular season win.
“God was a Packers fan tonight.” – Aaron Rodgers
After going ahead 24-17 with six minutes left in the fourth quarter, defensive end Jayrone Elliot intercepted a screen pass from Russell Wilson intended for Marshawn Lynch. The Packers then kicked a field goal with two minutes left to lead 27-17. On the Seahawks’ next possession, Elliot punched the ball from Fred Jackson to solidify the victory. Both turnovers were the only two takeaways for the Packers, but Elliot’s play led to the Packers finishing off the win.
Aaron Rodgers led the Packers’ offense in the win, extending his record to 37-3 in his last 40 games at Lambeau Field. He finished 25/33 for 249 yards and two touchdowns, but his precision and clutch pocket operating kept the Packers from falling apart without starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga against the tough Seattle defense. He found James Jones and Richard Rodgers for the touchdowns, with Ty Montgomery and especially Randall Cobb adding key receptions down the stretch. He was also able to draw Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett offsides three times, which led to a 22-yard completion to Cobb, the 29-yard touchdown to Jones and a 52-yard pass interference call against Richard Sherman. But, Rodgers impressively had to do it all without Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams for part of the game due to an ankle injury, and Eddie Lacy.
Lacy left the game early in the first half with an injured ankle, and the Packers were short-handed once again on offense. In his place, James Starks carried the ball well besides losing one fumble, running for 95 yards on 20 carries with 11 yards on four receptions. A key 35-yard run from Starks led to a field goal to narrow the Seahawks’ lead to 17-16. During the fourth quarter, word came out that the X-rays came back negative on Lacy’s ankle, but he will undergo further tests.
Elliot’s plays should not overshadow the overall play from the Packers’ defense. Clay Matthews was everywhere per usual, Nate Palmer stepped up as Sam Barrington’s replacement, and B.J. Raji dominated the line of scrimmage in the first half. Defensive tackle Josh Boyd missed the rest of the game with a horrible ankle injury after a pile rolled over on him.
The special teams also played exceptionally well in a contest that required play from all sides of the ball. The Packers held the Seahawks to poor field position throughout the game, and Mason Crosby was 4/4 from field goal range, including a 54-yarder.
The Packers won the all important time of possession battle 33:18 to 26:42. They only had one turnover to the Seahawks’ two, while the Seahawks racked up 92 penalty yards to the Packers’ 35.
Green Bay will play the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football next week (September 28) at Lambeau Field.