Wilde’s 3-and-out: Packers 27, Seahawks 17
Green Bay suffered major injuires in Sunday night's game
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Three quick takeaways from the Green Bay Packers’ 27-17 victory over to the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field Sunday night:
1. Injuries abound: The Packers came into their NFC Championship Game rematch with the Seahawks with three starters from that January game out because of injuries: Wide receiver Jordy Nelson (knee) and inside linebacker Sam Barrington (foot) both on season-ending injured reserve, and right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) out after getting hurt during Thursday’s practice.
It only got worse from there.
Running back Eddie Lacy departed in the first half because of a right ankle injury, followed soon after by wide receiver Davante Adams (ankle) and defensive end Josh Boyd (ankle). Boyd’s injury was the worst of the bunch, as he had to be carted off the field, while Adams was able to return after halftime, although he clearly was not at 100 percent. Lacy did not return to the game.
2. Tackle trouble: The Packers are fortunate that their interior linemen (guards Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang and center Corey Linsley) are so solid in protection in the middle and quarterback Aaron Rodgers is so good at escaping pressure inside a collapsing pocket, whether he’s rolling out of danger or merely stepping up as the edge rushers blow by. Why? Because Seattle’s edge rushers –particularly Frank Clark, Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril – had their way with tackles David Bakhtiari and Don Barclay, who started in place of Bulaga.
3: The No. 12 engine:The Packers’ go-ahead touchdown after trailing 17-16 to start the fourth quarter was vintage Rodgers. On the drive, the reigning NFL MVP was Rodgers 9-for-9 for 78 yards, with a touchdown and the ensuing 2-point conversion to give the Packers a 24-17 lead. The Packers, whose offense had been largely stagnant since the first quarter, spread the Seahawks’ defense out, put Randall Cobb (and later Ty Montgomery) in the backfield on the drive and went to work.
After that drive, the Green Bay defense – a unit that had been reeling for much of the second half – then made its biggest play of the night, when second-year outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott diagnosed a screen pass to Marshawn Lynch, dropped off right tackle Garry Gilliam and snagged Russell Wilson’s pass with one hand for the interception. Although the offense settled for a field goal after that, the Seahawks were done when Elliott stripped Fred Jackson for a fumble that was recovered by Micah Hyde to seal the win.