Russell Wilson passed for two touchdowns as the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks opened the 2014 NFL season with an emphatic 36-16 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Marshawn Lynch also ran for a pair of touchdowns, Percy Harvin caught seven passes and the stingy defence wreaked its usual havoc as Seattle bullied Green Bay for four quarters Thursday night at CenturyLink Field.
"I'm mostly fired up that we ran the ball for over 200 yards," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. "We're very tough and very determined to be a very good football team."
The Seahawks unveiled the franchise's first Super Bowl banner prior to kickoff at CenturyLink Field where Seattle is now 18-1 in the last two years, including playoffs.
The running game heavily favoured the Seahawks, who gained 207 yards on the ground to just 80 for Green Bay.
"We know this thing starts with the running game," said Harvin. "We got a few more weapons on offence than last year. Other guys have another year of experience."
Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett said the Packers looked timid when Lynch had the ball.
"I saw supposedly some of the best players in the league not want to tackle Marshawn Lynch," said Bennett.
Harvin was a focal point of Seattle's offence, catching seven passes for 59 yards and running four times for 41 yards.
"We played physical and made some big plays. Our receivers had a great night," said Wilson, who passed for a total of 191 yards.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers took very few chances downfield and tossed for just 189 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Packers who are seeking their fourth consecutive NFC North title.
Rodgers said their problem was not being able to get into a rhythm on offence.
"This is the Seattle Seahawks. They have a great defence," Rodgers said. "You don't expect to move the ball effectively every drive. We have got to score more points."
The contest also could take a toll on the Packers going forward. Running back and reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Eddie Lacy was treated after the game by a team doctor for a possible concussion. Lacy had just 34 yards on 12 carries.
Green Bay's first three drives in the second half ended in an interception, a turnover on downs and a safety. It was a one-sided stretch that turned a seven-point Seahawks' lead into a commanding 19-point cushion.
Rodgers' first pass after halftime went off the hands of Jordy Nelson and was caught by Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell, who returned the ball to Green Bay's eight-yard line.
Steven Hauschka made it 20-10 with a 20-yard field goal.
After Rodgers was sacked on fourth down on the next possession, punter Jon Ryan pinned the Packers down to their own 10. On the next snap, Bennett came around the right end and stripped Rodgers of the ball, which bounced into the end zone where it was smothered by a Packers lineman for a safety.
"We are off to a good start," said Carroll. "But that is just one game. We are just getting started."
Date created : 2014-09-05