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Packers stuff Seahawks in low-scoring affair

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In a chippy, defensive affair, the Green Bay Packers slid by an offensively quiet Seattle Seahawks team, 17-9. Here's what we learned ...

1. Cue those who like to refer back to deep reads on the Seattle Seahawks that hint at some unease between the team's sputtering offense and dominant defense. A game where Aaron Rodgers is sacked four times, picked once and thoroughly flustered on a few occasions in the first half should not end in a loss. We're so used to watching the magician quarterback wheel himself out of the pocket, survey the field and flick the ball on a rope to one of his receivers. That ended up happening, but not without relentless pressure from Seattle's front seven and some excellent mixed coverages. Both teams are battling some porous spots on their offensive line, which also negated some of the positives the Seahawks were generating, but the weight on Pete Carroll's defense seems to grow with each week. Russell Wilson finished with 158 passing yards and took three sacks for a loss of 23 yards. The team rushed for 90 total yards.

2. Seattle's running back usage was anything but predictable on Sunday and that may have been the only safe bet heading into its first game. Chris Carson led the way with 39 yards off six carries. C.J. Prosise got four carries (11 yards) and Eddie Lacy came up with just three yards on five carries. This was not Lacy's type of game. Mike Daniels and the Packers run defense is vicious -- this was an afternoon for backs who can cut and accelerate, not those who rely on power. It will be interesting to see if Lacy's role continues to vanish from here, though.

2a. We're not saying enough about Daniels who, in the box score, logged seven tackles and one-and-a-half sacks. Above that, he logged four quarterback hits and the strip sack. He deserves the game ball in my mind.

3. Something to monitor for the future: A few times Rodgers was stepped on, tweaked, bumped or hit in a way that caused some minor discomfort. Rodgers was especially demonstrative down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Martellus Bennett leveled K.J. Wright for sneaking in a hit to Rodgers' back shoulder which, while costing Green Bay a few yards, maybe warmed the quarterback's heart a little bit (maybe that's why Bennett ended up getting the game-sealing pass).

4. Those hoping for a Jimmy Graham renaissance were quite disappointed. The tight end was targeted seven times but ended up with just three grabs for eight yards. Two of those catches were emergency release options for Wilson, meaning that Graham was pretty much lost in Green Bay's secondary. Another problem? Drops. At least two, by my count.

5. An additional note on Rodgers and Jordy Nelson. Their knockout blow touchdown with 22 seconds to go in the third quarter was spectacular. Rodgers caught Seattle trying to sub out a defender and immediately rushed the offensive line to the ball. After the snap, he gets Nelson matched up on a linebacker and whips a perfect 32-yard ball into Nelson's outstretched hands. It made me wonder: On how many other teams in the NFL is that automatic? As soon as the Fox broadcasters noticed the Seattle mishap, it seemed as if they were expecting a touchdown. It looked inevitable. Rodgers' ability to capitalize on those kinds of mistakes is incredible, but even more so is his ability to never miss the throw when it comes around once every 60 minutes.

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