Seattle juggernaut slows, but Michael sparks Seahawks in mistake-prone, 17-10 win over Packers
GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Seattle Seahawks' offensive juggernaut hit a speed bump at Lambeau Field.
The Green Bay Packers weren't exactly lighting up the scoreboard, either.
Christine Michael ran for 97 yards on 11 carries and Stephen Williams snatched a ball away from cornerback Loyce Means in the end zone for a 42-yard touchdown catch and the go-ahead score in the Seahawks' 17-10 preseason victory Friday night.
Michael had a 43-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for the Seahawks (3-0), who stayed unbeaten but didn't look like the team that steamrolled over Denver and San Diego the previous two weeks.
This game instead will be remembered for some defense, and a host of mistakes and sloppy play — not exactly what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll or Packers counterpart Mike McCarthy were looking for with the regular season a little more than two weeks away.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, returning to the state where he turned into a college star at Wisconsin, finished 11 of 17 for 126 yards but threw two interception, including a pass tipped by two defenders that landed in the opportunistic hands of Casey Hayward.
Wilson looked in midseason form on the opening series against the Packers first-string defense in the first quarter, guiding Seattle to the 9 by gaining chunks of yardage on long pass plays.
But running back Robert Turbin was stuffed on first down. Then, the 5-foot-10 Turbin was overmatched on the edge trying to block 6-foot-3 linebacker Clay Matthews, who sacked Wilson. Seattle settled for Steven Hauschka's 27-yard field goal.
"Obviously, that was a big emphasis for us last year and even more so this year, is limiting his ability to create plays by running out of the pocket," Matthews said at halftime. "He's going to make his plays, but I felt for the most part, not only myself, but as a rushing unit, we did a good job of keeping him bottled up in the pocket, forcing some errant throws and getting after him."
The Seahawks have been a chic pick to get to the Super Bowl, especially after beating their first two opponents this preseason by a combined score of 71-20. Big plays propelled Seattle last week to a 40-10 rout of the Broncos.
But penalties weighed down both teams on a warm evening, especially the Seahawks. They had twice as many penalties (six) as points in a chippy first half.
Perhaps memories of last year's meeting between the teams sparked the pushing and shoving that marked much of the evening. The game on Sept. 24 ended with Golden Tate's disputed touchdown catch that was upheld on review by replacement officials. That moment will forever be remembered as the tipping point that got the regular officials back on the field.
Tate didn't do much in limited time at Lambeau. He caught one pass for 4 yards, and was booed by the Packers faithful after being announced as the punt returner over the stadium loudspeakers.
No, this preseason game will instead have the distinction of a host of mistakes — 22 penalties for both teams, including 14 for Seattle.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked fine in his only series, Green Bay's sole possession of the first quarter. He finished 4 of 7 for 41 yards, a 22-yard connection to tight end Jermichael Finley to the Seattle 24 to help set up Mason Crosby's 38-yard field goal.
The Packers pulled most of their starters by the second quarter, while the most of the Seahawks starters stayed in until early in the third.
It mattered little to the Packers' Vince Young, vying for the backup job behind Rodgers. He orchestrated an 11-play, 80-yard drive in the third quarter that ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass to backup fullback Jonathan Amosa to tie it at 10.
Young was 6 of 7 for 41 yards and ran three times 31 yards, keeping plays alive with his legs as if he was running around in a Texas Longhorns uniform again.
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