Packers 48, Seahawks 10

As the Green Bay Packers piled up points on the hapless Seattle

Seahawks, Aaron Rodgers had more than a passing interest in the

out-of-town scoreboard.

With a blowout victory over the Seahawks secure, the Packers

needed the Carolina Panthers to beat the New York Giants to clinch

a playoff berth with a week left in the season.

What was Rodgers thinking?

“Hang on, boys,” Rodgers said. “Hang on.”

Carolina did, routing New York and sending the Packers to the

postseason.

For Green Bay (10-5), Sunday’s 48-10 victory completed an

impressive rebound from last year’s 6-10 finish and a disappointing

4-4 start to this season.

Several Packers players, including Charles Woodson and Greg

Jennings, acknowledged fans during a lap around Lambeau Field after

the game.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy got the obligatory sports drink

bath from players as the clock was running out, but reminded

everyone afterward that his team must improve to have a chance to

advance in postseason play.

“Let’s be honest: We still have work ahead of us,” McCarthy

said.

Green Bay’s defense certainly was working Sunday, forcing

four interceptions by Matt Hasselbeck.

It was Hasselbeck’s second straight four-interception game in

what is shaping up as a miserable season for the Seahawks (5-10).

Hasselbeck also was picked off four times in a loss to Tampa Bay

last week.

“Two weeks in a row personally just giving the ball to them,”

Hasselbeck said. “Like I said, I’m searching for answers. I wish I

had a good one.”

Seahawks coach Jim Mora Jr. said the thought of taking

Hasselbeck out of the game crossed his mind, but he stuck with the

veteran – for now, anyway.

“We’re trying to fix this thing,” Mora said. “We always put

the guys out there that give us the best chance to win and have a

successful down. Matt’s our quarterback and we’re going to keep him

in there.”

With Seattle already trailing 24-3 at halftime, Hasselbeck

threw his third interception on the first possession of the second

half. Aaron Rodgers then converted a third-down pass to tight end

Jermichael Finley, setting up Brandon Jackson’s 6-yard touchdown

run to give Green Bay a 31-3 lead.

Hasselbeck threw yet another interception on the Seahawks’

next possession, and Rodgers completed another long pass to Finley

to drive for a 4-yard touchdown run by Jackson — the third score

of the game by the Packers’ backup running back, who caught a

13-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

That was the end of the day for Rodgers, who was lifted in

favor of backup Matt Flynn after completing 12 of 23 passes for 237

yards and a touchdown.

“We realize this is just the beginning for us,” Rodgers said.

And Rodgers got in the last word in a weeklong feud with

Seattle defender Darryl Tapp.

Earlier in the week, Rodgers said Tapp bit him during last

year’s game against Seattle; Tapp denied it, saying it was

impossible to bite another player while wearing a helmet and

facemask.

Rodgers said Sunday that he regretted bringing the issue up

in public and tried to talk to Tapp about it during the game — but

didn’t get much of a response.

“I made it a point to talk to him during one of the TV

timeouts just to make sure everything’s OK,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers, however, didn’t back off his story.

Tapp continued to insist afterward that video of the incident

shows he didn’t bite Rodgers.

Meanwhile, Tapp acknowledged that the Packers’ offense left

Seahawks defensive players scratching their heads.

“They’re an explosive team,” Tapp said. “They’re on the

playoff track for a reason. We need to get back to Seattle and

watch film of what happened and try to find some corrections. I

honestly can’t even give you an explanation right now.”

While Rodgers and the passing game generally define the

Packers’ offense, Green Bay turned to the running game for most of

its points Sunday.

In addition to Jackson’s three scores, Ryan Grant added a

pair of touchdown runs — including a 56-yarder in the second

quarter – and Ahman Green scored in the fourth quarter.

“I don’t think you could ask for a better day,” Grant said.

Woodson certainly felt that way — that’s why he was one of

the players leading the postgame victory lap.

“It was fan appreciation day,” Woodson said. “You didn’t know

that?”

Notes: Struggling kicker Mason Crosby hit a 29-yard field

goal just before halftime, then added a 52-yarder in the fourth

quarter. … Mora said RB Julius Jones aggravated a rib injury and

hurt his ankle and CB Josh Wilson had a hip pointer. … McCarthy

said S Derrick Martin injured his ankle.