Bay Packers quarterback Vince Young runs with the ball during
the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the
Seattle Seahawks Friday in Green Bay.
GREEN BAY -
Preseason football is as much about giving backups a chance to shine
as it is getting ready for when the real games start.
The Seahawks and
Packers accomplished the first task in their exhibition meeting
Friday night won by Seattle 17-10.
As for whether
they're ready for the regular season? That's yet to be determined,
especially when the NFC heavyweights played a chippy game bogged
down by mistakes and 22 penalties — including 14 for the Seahawks.
didn't do so well was the penalties. We had so many third-and-longs,
that's tough to be a really good football team," Seattle
quarterback Russell Wilson said. "We can't do things to push us
Wilson, two backups came up big. Christine Michael ran for 97 yards
on 11 carries and Stephen Williams snatched the ball away from
cornerback Loyce Means in the end zone for a 42-yard touchdown catch
and the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter.
Bay Packers' Micah Hyde (33) breaks up a pass intended for
Seattle Seahawks' Golden Tate (81) during the second half of
an NFL preseason football game Friday in Green Bay.
What we learned
from the Seahawks and Packers:
1. FINDING WAYS TO
WIN: After steamrolling Denver and San Diego in its previous two
games, Seattle's offense hit a speed bump at Lambeau Field. Wilson
finished 11 of 17 for 126 yards but threw two interceptions,
including a pass tipped by two defenders that landed in the
opportunistic hands of Casey Hayward. Still, even in a game in which
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn't play after the first
quarter, the Seahawks can take comfort in the experience of slogging
out a road win when they weren't playing at their best.
2. ANGRY DEFENSE:
The Seahawks can rightfully brag about having one of the best
defenses in the league after holding opponents to an NFL-best 15.7
points last year. But the Packers' defense has showed life this
preseason, too, after giving up too many big plays last year. The
first-string defense did give up chunks of yardage to Wilson on the
opening series, but the unit held in the red zone, highlighted by a
sack by linebacker Clay Matthews after he blew by 5-foot-10 running
back Robert Turbin around the edge. The Packers finished with four
sacks. "Everybody's angry. You watch that game today, it had
nothing to do with the Seahawks," Green Bay defensive end Mike
Seahawks' Will Blackmon catches a ball in front of Green Bay
Packers' Charles Johnson (17) during the second half of an NFL
preseason football game Friday in Green Bay. Blackmon was
called for pass interference on the play.
3. RUN, MICHAEL,
RUN: Marshawn Lynch is a lock at running back for Seattle. But
backup Michael looked good too in the second half. Granted, it was
against a Packers defense that was mixed and matched with backups,
but nonetheless it was another statement game for Michael, a rookie
out of Texas A&M. He ran for 89 yards on 16 carries two weeks
ago against San Diego.
4. YOUNG QB:
Speaking of players vying for playing time, quarterback Vince Young
made his best pitch yet of the preseason to back up Aaron Rodgers,
guiding Green Bay to its only touchdown of the night on a 1-yard
pass to backup fullback Jonathan Amosa. Young finished 6 of 7 for 41
yards and ran for 39 yards on three carries. Young was signed about
a week into camp, so he got a late start on terminology. "I
think he's improving. This is a wordy system and a difficult system
to pick up," Rodgers said. "But he's been picking it up
and showing improvements."
5. NO HARD
FEELINGS: For the most part, anyway, toward Seahawks receiver Golden
Tate at Lambeau. It was the first meeting between the two teams
since their regular-season game last year ended with Tate's disputed
touchdown catch that was held up on review by replacement referees.
Tate said a few fans perhaps held a grudge "and want to be
drunk and flick you off." Otherwise, the receiver commended
Green Bay fans "because I feel like it's a year later and
they've moved on for the most part." Tate, who finished with
one reception for 4 yards, was booed when his name was announced as
the punt returner.