After beating the Miami Dolphins 31-12 in week 10 of the NFL regular season, the Green Bay Packers went on to face the Seattle Seahawks, on a short week, at the CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Thursday, Nov. 15. The Seahawks defeated the Packers by a final score of 27-24.
Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson led his offense onto the field to begin the game, following a touchback on the opening kickoff. Wilson snapped the ball, pivoted, and handed the ball off to running back Chris Carson, who rushed right up the middle on a halfback dive. Packers’ veteran linebacker Clay Matthews was ready for Carson, and met him in the gap. Matthews clamped down on Carson with one arm, and used the other to punch the ball right out of Carson’s hands, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Packers’ cornerback Tramon Williams.
The early turnover set up Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his offense with perfect field position on the Seahawks 29-yard-line, which Rodgers took advantage of immediately. Rodgers delivered a short strike to tight end Jimmy Graham, who took the ball 13 yards down the field before being forced out of bounds by linebacker Barkevious Mingo. Packers’ running back Aaron Jones followed Graham’s gain with back-to-back 8-yard rushing attempts, the second of which ended with him blowing past Seahawks defenders on his way into the endzone for the game’s first score. After a successful extra point by Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby, Green Bay took the early lead 7-0.
Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense weren’t able to find their rhythm early, as their ensuing drive resulted in a quick three-and-out. Three minutes away from the end of the first quarter Packers tight end Robert Tonyan scored a 54-yard touchdown after receiving a pass from Aaron Rodgers, bringing the score to 14-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Wilson finally started to work his usual magic, and Seattle’s offense came to life in the second quarter, scoring two touchdowns. Altogether the ball traveled 77 yards. With under four minutes left in the half, Seahawks’ running back Chris Carson made a one-yard run, scoring a touchdown after catching a kick from Janikowski. With only 44 seconds left in the second quarter, Jones struck again running a touchdown for the Packers after catching a 54-yard pass from Rodgers. This brought the score to 21-17 at the end of the second quarter.
The third quarter was a dead zone for both the Packers and Seahawks as neither team managed to reach the enemy end zone. After a punt by the Packers, the Seahawks made a great show of defense, with two tackles by linebacker Bobby Wagner. The Seahawks had the ball for much shorter durations, roughly two minutes before having to punt it back to the Packers.
In the fourth quarter the Seahawks came roaring to life on the scoreboard when Janikowski kicked a 43-yard field goal, bringing the score to 21-20. Four minutes later, Crosby followed up with a 36-yard field goal for the Packers, bringing the score to a tight 24-20. With only five minutes remaining in the game, Seahawks’ tight end Ed Dickson received a 15-yard pass from quarterback Russell Wilson and scored the final touchdown of the night, securing the Seahawks their 27-24 victory.
Wilson was said to be inconsistent early in the game but came to life in the fourth quarter when he recognized a blitz and hitting quickly to Dickson. In reference to the last series, “I thought that whole drive was pretty exceptional … When it came down to it, third down, you’ve got to win in the red-zone and we were pretty clutch in the red-zone there at the end of the game,” Wilson said.
“’Of course, there’s hope. Of course, we believe in each other,” Rodgers said following the loss. ”It’s just going to take one galvanizing moment, whether that’s a speech or a practice or something happens in the game, something’s got to get this thing going.”
Rodgers and Co. better hope that that moment comes soon, as the Packers may face elimination from the playoffs if they continue to play as they have throughout the season.