|Seattle Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin celebrates after sacking Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)|
Seahawks lead Packers 7-6 after 3 quarters
SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle sacked Aaron Rodgers eight times but the Seahawks held just a 7-6 lead over the Green Bay Packers after three quarters Monday night.
After being held to just 87 yards in the first half, the Packers began to find their rhythm on offense in the third quarter and two field goals by Mason Crobsy pulled them within one heading into the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks kept the high-powered Packers offense searching for answers and picking their quarterback off the turf in the first half as Seattle hit Rodgers a lot more than the eight sacks.
Chris Clemons brought down Rodgers four times and Brandon Mebane and first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin both got to Rodgers twice. Irvin was causing havoc for Green Bay right tackle Bryan Bulaga in the first quarter, running around and through him for two sacks to halt drives.
The eight sacks in the first half tied the most Rodgers has ever been sacked in a game. He was sacked eight times by Minnesota in 2009. The record for most sacks in a game is 12, five times, most recently the New York Giants against Philadelphia in 2007. Seattle’s team record is 11.
The Packers committed to the running game after halftime as Green Bay gained 111 yards in the third quarter. Cedric Benson managed to find running room on cutbacks to give Green Bay their first sustained drive of the game to open the third quarter.
Benson carried the ball seven times for 34 yards as Green Bay entered Seattle’s red zone for the first time. But the 13-play drive stalled when a pass from Rodgers bounced off the hands of an open Donald Driver in the end zone and forced the Packers to settle for a 29-yard field goal.
A personal foul penalty on the ensuing kickoff gave Seattle good field position but the Seahawks went in reverse. Seattle started the drive on their own 42-yard line and then found themselves back on their own 15 after a false start, a 19-yard sack of Russell Wilson by Nick Perry and a delay of game penalty.
A booming punt from Jon Ryan backed the Packers up to their own 12-yard line but Green Bay was able to drive again. On third down, Rodgers rolled out to his left and found Jermichael Finley for a 31-yard gain to get the Packers out near midfield. Seattle had a chance to get off the field after holding Benson short on a third-down run, but an illegal hands to the face penalty on Brandon Browner kept the drive alive. Seattle finally came up with a stop and held Green Bay to a 40-yard field goal to pull within a point.
Benson had 52 yards on 12 carries and Rodgers was 19 of 27 for 149 yards through the third quarter. Seattle had 11 penalties for 90 yards.
Wilson connected with Golden Tate for a 41-yard touchdown pass to give Seattle the lead midway through the second quarter.
An unnecessary roughness call on D.J. Smith after a run by Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch moved the ball into Green Bay territory and the Seahawks immediately took a shot at the end zone. Tate ran a double-move that beat cornerback Tramon Williams and Wilson dropped the pass in over the top to give Seattle the first score of the game.
Seattle’ opening possession stalled after a false start penalty against Russell Okung moved the Seahawks into a third-and-long that they were unable to convert.
The Seahawks rode Lynch to shift field position in their favor early on. Lynch hammered away for gains for 8 yards, 6 and 6 and Wilson was 3 for 6 on the drive to push into Green Bay territory. Seattle was forced to punt and backed up the Packers to their own 1-yard line where the punt was downed by Ben Obomanu.
Green Bay was able to get out of danger but the drive stalled after an illegal hands to the face penalty on Josh Sitton backed up the Packers again. Irvin ran around Bulaga for his second sack of Rodgers.
Lynch provided the bulk of Seattle’s first-half offense with 78 yards on 19 carries. Wilson was 5 of 11 for 69 yards and a touchdown.