Seahawks Fall to Packers

The Seahawks drop to 1-4 after losing 27-17 to the Green Bay Packers.

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One play was enough to kill the deal on Sunday.

That's the state of the Seattle Seahawks. Insider Look Back

Offensive player of the gameRookie tight end John Carlson had four receptions and his first career touchdown.

Defensive player of the gameMiddle linebacker Lofa Tatupu played his most aggressive and effective game of the season, leading the team with 11 tackles.

Special Teams player of the gameAlthough the numbers didn't necessarily show it, kickoff return specialist Josh Wilson ran particularly hard and fast on all four of his returns for 85 yards – two of them diminished significantly by penalties.

Turning pointJulius Jones bolted 51 yards off left tackle on the Seahawks second play of the second half, only to have it called back on a questionable holding call on left guard Mike Wahle. The Seahawks did not get a first down in the second half until they got an automatic first down on illegal contact midway through the fourth quarter.

The Seahawks did mount a drive as the clock ticked down. Taking the ball from their own 28, they took advantage of a 27-yard scramble by quarterback Charlie Frye, and a subsequent roughing the passer penalty. The 9-play, 72-yard drive culminated with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Frye to Keary Colbert. The drive was highlighted not only by Frye's scramble, but some shifty running from fullback Leonard Weaver, on two occasions – one on a pass out of the backfield, the other on a draw play for double-figure yardage. And with 3:14 left, the Seahawks had cut the deficit to 27-17.

With the score deadlocked at 10-10 two minutes into the second half, Hawks halfback Julius Jones bolted off left tackle between Mike Wahle and Walter Jones and raced 51 yards upfield to the Green Bay 24-yard line. But just as quickly as the sellout crowd of 68,302 at Qwest Field erupted, silence followed in the wake of the yellow flag.

Wahle was called for holding, the play nullified, and the Seahawks didn't get a first down in the second half until they were trailing by 17 on the way to a 27-17 loss to the Packers Sunday afternoon. The loss dropped Seattle to 1-4, tied for third in the NFC West with the St. Louis Rams, and the Packers improved to 3-3.

To be sure, it was more than one play that decided the game. Then again, considering how the Seahawks have struggled offensively all season, one play could have been the difference. They were playing with third string quarterback Charlie Frye in the wake of injuries to Matt Hasselbeck (knee) and Seneca Wallace, and that particular play proved to be too much to overcome.

"You pop a nice play and there's a penalty, it's one of those things where there is a noticeable sag," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "We got one, and we needed it. It was important and we got it called back. Right now, offensively, it's hard for us to overcome those types of things. It would have been a big play for us there, certainly."

Obviously, it was disconcerting for Wahle, particularly when you consider the call came from the referee on the other side of the field in response to Packers defensive tackle Johnny Jolly's complaints. It would have been the longest rushing play of the season for the Seahawks and put them into position to take the lead.

Instead, they punted two plays later and did not score again until late in the game when they were already down by 17 points.

"He was certainly asking for holding, he jumped up screaming," Wahle said. "He didn't make a tackle on me all day, but that was a big play. It's definitely tough because it inevitably happens on a big play like that. We've just got to fight through it. Unfortunately we didn't make a whole lot of big plays today, and when one of them is called back, it's difficult. The reality is we have to move the ball better. We can't rely on one big play here, one big play there. We have to move the ball consistently."

As the game was completed, Jones finished with 44 yards on 12 carries and the Seahawks overall had just 113 yards on the ground – 27 of them on a Frye scramble – which makes for a better breakfast dish than a rushing highlight. In the air, Frye was 12-of-23 for 83 yards, with touchdown passes of 6 yards to John Carlson and 5 to Keary Colbert. But he also threw two interceptions and was sacked three times.  Olindo Mare continued his perfect season for the Hawks by nailing a 50-yard field goal to close out the scoring for his ninth field goal without a miss.

The Packers, meanwhile, were led by the 208 yards passing on 21-of-30 from Aaron Rodgers, and the 90 yards rushing on 33 carries from Ryan Grant. In actuality, the Packers had the same 113 yards on the ground, averaging just 2.9 per carry. But the big plays killed the defense. The Packers were 10-of-18 on third down compared to the Seahawks 4-of-11 (after a 1-for-8 start).

"It's not even that they made big plays," said Seahawks middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who led the team with 11 tackles. "It's third-and-7 and they got 8 yards; third-and-9, they got 10 yards. I don't think we did a good job of situational defense. At times, we played our butts off. Other times, I don't want to use the word 'relaxed,' but I don't think we were too sharp – not mentally focused enough. There were definitely too many times we should have been off the field and we didn't get it done."

Rodgers threw touchdown passes of 45 yards to Greg Jennings and 1 yard to John Kuhn, with the third touchdown coming on a controversial 1-yard drive from Rodgers. It was initially called short of the goal line, only to have the review from the booth overturn the call and call it a touchdown. Mason Crosby added field goals of 29 and 51 yards to close out the scoring for the Packers.

Now it's just a matter of where the Seahawks go from here. This is the first time they have been below .500 at home (1-2) five games into the season since 2002 when they finished 7-9. It doesn't get any easier, as they travel to Tampa Bay next Sunday and to San Francisco the following. They return home on Nov. 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"Well, it's tough right now," Holmgren said. "My message to the team when I called them together is one that they have heard before from m. But it is very important that they hear me now. We are certainly not used to losing game at home and we are not used to being in the position we're in. It's been a long time, but here we are. So how do we deal with it as players and coaches?  It is very, very important that they answer that question.

"It's easy to slap people on the back and coach and play when things are going well, and then it becomes a little bit more difficult when it is not going so well. That is a challenge for us right now because it is hard right now. We are not playing very good football and we still have a lot of games to play. So, we have to start dealing with that sort of question in the locker room and in our building."

Quotable

Charlie Frye on the state of the locker room after the game:

"This is a group of high character guys who are going to take responsibility. You don't hear guys making excuses. You don't hear that stuff. That is what is so encouraging. That's why we can believe that we can turn this thing around with the type of leadership on this team. You don't see that everywhere."

Turning point

Julius Jones bolted 51 yards off left tackle on the Seahawks second play of the second half, only to have it called back on a questionable holding call on left guard Mike Wahle. The Seahawks did not get a first down in the second half until they got an automatic first down on illegal contact midway through the fourth quarter.

The Seahawks did mount a drive as the clock ticked down. Taking the ball from their own 28, they took advantage of a 27-yard scramble by quarterback Charlie Frye, and a subsequent roughing the passer penalty. The 9-play, 72-yard drive culminated with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Frye to Keary Colbert. The drive was highlighted not only by Frye's scramble, but some shifty running from fullback Leonard Weaver, on two occasions – one on a pass out of the backfield, the other on a draw play for double-figure yardage. And with 3:14 left, the Seahawks had cut the deficit to 27-17.

Fourth quarter

The Packers put the game away at the outset of the fourth quarter on a 15-play, 84-yard drive that was capped off on Aaron Rodgers' second touchdown pass, a 1-yard pass to John Kuhn. That upped the margin to 24-10 with 11:23 left in the game.

Three plays later, Charles Woodson intercepted Charlie Frye's pass and gave the Packers the ball back on the Seattle 34 with 10:26 left in the game. But the defense held tough, highlighted by Brian Russell's sack of Rodgers. Nonetheless, Mason Crosby converted a 51-yard field goal, extending the Packers lead to 27-10 with 8:41 left.

Insider at the Half

Turning pointSeahawks linebacker Julian Peterson sacked Aaron Rodgers for a 1-yard loss and forced a fumble. Defensive tackle Rocky Bernard recovered for the Seahawks on the Green Bay 32 with 11:42 left in the half. The Seahawks took advantage of the turnover with a 7-play, 32-yard drive that gave them a 10-3 lead.

Play of the halfThe Seahawks had apparently stopped quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the 1-yard line on second-and-1, but as it was under 2 minutes, the booth reviewed the play and ultimately ruled his knee had not touched before extending the ball across the goal line. That gave the Packers a touchdown and allowed them to tie the score at 10-10 with 1:08 left in the half.

Third quarter

The Packers jumped out on top midway through the third quarter, when on a third-and-6 from the Seahawks 45, the Packers caught the Seahawks in a blitz and Greg Jennings beat Marcus Trufant down the right sidelines for a 45-yard touchdown on a perfect throw from Aaron Rodgers. The play pushed the Packers to a 17-10 lead with 5:56 remaining in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks didn't muster a first down in the quarter, except for what may turn out to be the key play of the game – a 51-yard run from Julius Jones which was called back on a holding call on Mike Wahle that was dubious at best. And yet, by the time the period ended, the Seahawks had just 2 yards total offense during the 15 minutes and 85 for the game. The Packers extended their time of possession domination to 27:42-17:18.

Halftime at a glance

The Seahawks had 83 total net yards, and the benefit of a fumble recovery that allowed them to hang with the Packers in the first half. Julius Jones had 38 yards on 9 carries for the primary offense, while Charlie Frye was 4-of-6 passing for 36 yards and a 6-yard touchdown pass to John Carlson. Koren Robinson was the leading receiver with two receptions.

The Packers had 147 total yards and 10 first downs, dominating time of possession 17:22 to 12:38. They were led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was 10-of-14 for 91 yards, with Donald Driver catching four of those passes. Ryan Grant led both teams rushing with 49 yards on 14 carries.

Second quarter

The Packers tied the score courtesy of a 13-play, 66-yad drive that ate up 7:09 off the clock. They scored on a controversial 1-yard sneak by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, that had him initially ruled down, but a replay overturned the call and allowed the touchdown with 1:08 left in the half.

The Seahawks got on the board early in the second quarter completing a drive that began late in the first quarter. They crossed mid-field on a great throw from Charlie Frye and catch from Koren Robinson when the clock expired.  Julius Jones rushed for 20 yards on the drive as the Seahawks got as close as the Green Bay 30, before a sack forced them to settle for a 50-yard field goal from Olindo Mare – his ninth field goal of the season without a miss.

The Seahawks got the ball back two plays later when linebacker Julian Peterson sacked Aaron Rodgers for a 1-yard loss and forced a fumble. Defensive tackle Rocky Bernard recovered for the Seahawks on the Green Bay 32 with 11:42 left in the half.

The Seahawks responded on the ground with a 7-play, 32-yard drive, capped off on a brilliant play-action sprint out from Frye, who hit John Carlson for the 6-yard touchdown - as the rookie tight end leaped into the end zone for his first NFL score. The key plays were a pair of 9-yard runs – one from Maurice Morris and the other on a fourth-and-1 from T.J. Duckett that moved the ball to the 14-yard line. Suddenly, the Seahawks led 10-3 with 8:17 remaining in the half.

First quarter

The Packers got on the board on their second offensive series, despite a season's-best 62-yard punt from Seahawks punter and former Packer Jon Ryan, partially because Will Blackmon returned the punt 23 yards. That set off the combination of Aaron Rodgers throwing the ball and Ryan Grant running for an 11-play, 43-yard drive. But the Seahawks defense toughened in the red zone and the Packers settled for a 29-yard field goal from Mason Crosby to take a 3-0 lead with 2:28 left in the first quarter.

The Seahawks had crossed mid-field on a great throw from Charlie Frye and catch from Koren Robinson when the clock expired.

This and that

Matt Hasselbeck led the inactive players for the Seahawks, resting his hyper-extended leg from last week's loss to the New York Giants, with Charlie Frye getting the start and Seneca Wallace – with a strained calf – serving as the backup. Also inactive were Brandon Coutu, Mansfield Wrotto, Red Bryant, Jordan Kent, Deion Branch, Jeb Putzier and Baraka Atkins. … Koren Robinson started at split end opposite flanker Bobby Engram. He caught a 4-yard pass, the first pass thrown by Frye on the second play from scrimmage. … Former Sonics superstar Gary Payton raised the "12th Man Flag," before the game.  Payton has been shuttling back and forth from his home in Las Vegas to help set up the new "Seastar" restaurant he is opening in downtown Seattle. He and his partners already have one in the in Bellevue. … Free safety and co-captain on defense Deon Grant injured his knee making the tackle on the Packers first play from scrimmage. He was replaced by Jordan Babineaux. Grant returned later in the half and finished the game. … The Seahawks were 1-of-8 on third downs until they converted their final three of the game. … This was the third time rookie tight end John Carlson has led the team in receptions – Sunday he had four. … Maurice Morris returned to action after missing the last three games with a knee injury. He rushed 3 times for 20 yards and caught 2 passes for 13 yards…

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