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SEATTLE – Marshawn Lynch ran for a 9-yard touchdown and the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks had a 22-10 lead over the Green Bay Packers after three quarters in the NFL season opener on Thursday night.
Lynch, who ran for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, barreled through a trio of Packers for the TD with 3:41 left before halftime to give the Seahawks a 17-10 lead.
Seattle extended the lead in the third period. Byron Maxwell intercepted Aaron Rodgers' pass that tipped off receiver Jordy Nelson's hands and returned it 22 yards to the Green Bay 8. The drive ended on Steven Hauschka's 20-yard field goal.
Michael Bennett later sacked Rodgers, who fumbled. The ball was recovered by Derek Sherrod in the end zone for a safety with 4:42 left.
Russell Wilson threw a 33-yard pass to Ricardo Lockette to open the second quarter and put Seattle in front 10-7. The Packers pulled even on Mason Crosby's 23-yard field goal after capitalizing on a pass interference call on Rodgers' deep pass to Randall Cobb, which put Green Bay on the Seattle 7.
The Packers were hurt early in the second quarter when starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga left with a knee injury and did not return. Tight end Richard Rodgers also left with a neck injury and was listed as questionable.
The Seahawks lost cornerback Jeremy Lane to a groin injury early in the third quarter.
Both teams were clearly rusty from the start. The Packers erred on Seattle's opening drive when Mike Daniels ran into punter Jon Ryan, giving Seattle a first down.
Percy Harvin gained 13 yards on the next play and the series ended with Hauschka's 35-yard field goal to give the Seahawks the lead.
On Green Bay's ensuing series, Seattle's Earl Thomas fumbled a punt return to hand the ball back to the Packers. Rodgers led the team down to the 2 and John Kuhn punched it in for the early lead.
Thomas was made Seattle's primary punt returner this season earlier this week even though he hadn't done the job since college.
Rodgers, who said this week he'd combat the deafening noise at CenturyLink Field by using sign language to call plays, completed 17 of 25 passes for 123 yards in the first half.
It was the first meeting between the teams since the infamous "Fail Mary" game two years ago. A disputed touchdown throw from then-rookie Wilson to Golden Tate as the clock wound down gave Seattle the 14-12 victory and paved the way to a resolution between the league and its locked-out game officials.
This time around, both teams are favored to win their divisions and push each other for the NFC title.
Wilson completed 15 of 24 passes for 156 yards in the first half.
The Seahawks celebrated their Super Bowl title with a pregame concert featuring Soundgarden and Pharrell Williams, then raised the championship banner.
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