Seahawks make opening statement, beat Packers, 36-16
The Seahawks open defense of their Super Bowl victory with an impressive victory over the Green Bay Packers to begin the NFL season.
Seattle Times staff reporter
More than seven months separated the night the Seahawks raised the franchise’s first Super Bowl trophy and Thursday, when they returned to CenturyLink Field for their first game since.
They haven’t missed a beat.
Marshawn Lynch ran for 110 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns, while Percy Harvin showcased his explosive threat on the edges. Russell Wilson was efficient and the Seahawks defense was its standard, stingy self.
And Seattle rolled to a 36-16 opening-night victory in front of 68,424 spectators on the NFL’s opening night at CenturyLink.
A pair of special-teams miscues defined the first quarter.
First, a Green Bay running-into-the-punter penalty breathed new life into the opening Seahawks drive, turning a fourth-and-short into a first down. It led to a 35-yard Steven Hauschka field goal.
Then, just when the Seattle defense looked to have held for its second straight stop, a Green Bay player was blocked into Seahawks punt returner Earl Thomas, forcing a fumble on the Seahawk 34. Five plays later, John Kuhn muscled over the goal lineF from 2 yards to give the Packers a 7-3 lead.
A pair of 33-yard gains led to Seattle’s first touchdown of the young season.
Wilson first found Harvin on a deep-post route then shook Ricardo Lockette free with a play-action pass. It started with an inside fake to Lynch and a feint forward from Wilson that allowed Lockette to break behind the Green Bay secondary.
Lynch added Seattle’s second touchdown soon afterward from 9 yards, and the Seahawks took a 17-10 lead into the half.
Then the defense took over.
On fourth-and-five at the Seattle 45, Cliff Avril sacked Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers to end one possession.
On the next, with the Packers pinned deep in their own territory, Michael Bennett punched the ball out of Rodgers’ hands to force a fumble — and once Green Bay landed on it in its own end zone, it was a safety.
At the other end of a field, Lynch put the exclamation point on his 20-carry, 110-yard night with his second score, from 3 yards, to make it 29-10 early in the fourth quarter.
Rodgers — who went 23 for 33 for 189 yards versus the touted Seattle secondary — answered with a short touchdown pass to Randall Cobb.
Then the Seahawks strung together one last clock-and-game-killing scoring drive, one that lasted 13 plays, 80 yards and seven minutes even.
Lynch drove the pile between the tackles. Wilson, who finished 19 of 28 through the air for 191 yards and two scores, gashed the Packers with his legs around the end. And Wilson found Derrick Coleman on a play-action pass for a 14-yard touchdown.
The defending champions are back — and they’re off to a winning start.
|Pete Carroll in openers|
|After Thursday’s victory over the Packers, coach Pete Carroll is now 3-2 in season openers with Seattle. By comparison, Mike Holmgren went 5-5 and Chuck Knox 4-5 in season openers with the Seahawks.|