Hobbled Aaron Rodgers helps Packers dissect Seahawks D

BY AP • December 12, 2016

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Packers receiver Jordy Nelson sounds as if he's running out of superlatives to describe quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Nothing surprises Nelson anymore about Rodgers, not even when the two-time NFL MVP is playing with two sore legs.

Rodgers threw for 246 yards and three scores, including two to Nelson , and dissected Seattle's top-ranked defense in a 38-10 win on Sunday over the Seahawks.

Already playing with a sore left hamstring, Rodgers said he hurt his right calf while throwing a tone-setting, 66-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams on the game's opening drive.

Rodgers' trademark mobility might be limited, but his arm is working just fine. He finished 18 of 23.

''I mean there's nothing that he can't do,'' Nelson said. ''We've seen it for years now, in practice, in games. So as hard as it is - in a good way he can't impress us because he does it all the time.''

The Packers (7-6) won their third straight following a four-game losing streak to keep their playoff hopes alive . They stayed two games back of first-place Detroit in the NFC North, with their final three regular-season games coming against divisional opponents.

Don't think for one minute that Rodgers plans to miss any time.

''That's football. You deal with injuries, you know. I'd like to talk about the win - you're talking about my injuries,'' Rodgers told reporters. ''I'm not missing games, so ... we've won three in a row.''

Seattle's defense looked terrible in its first game without former All-Pro safety Earl Thomas, who has a broken leg.

But Russell Wilson's career-high five interceptions might have been the most startling disappointment for the Seahawks (8-4-1). Wilson was 22 of 39 for 240 yards and one touchdown.

''There were just too many in there and we don't have to talk about each play,'' Wilson said. ''Obviously, we can't turn the ball over and I put that on me.''

Well, not entirely.

Three interceptions deflected off his receivers' hands, including one that also caromed off Doug Baldwin's helmet to cornerback Damarious Randall. Seattle coughed up six turnovers overall.

It was a stunning turn for Seattle a week after blowing out Carolina 40-7. The Seahawks missed out on a chance to clinch the NFC West following Arizona's loss to Miami earlier Sunday.

''This is such a rare occurrence for our team,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ''It's just something at this time we have to push behind us and get going.''

Other notes and takeaways from Sunday's game:

MISSING THOMAS: Green Bay gained 330 yards in Seattle's first game without Thomas. Replacement Steven Terrell had three tackles.

''We just didn't have his hustle out there,'' safety Kam Chancellor said. ''Earl has a hustle about him, we just didn't have him.''

DEFENSE RESTS: Most of the focus about defense going into the game was about Seattle's league-best unit, but the Seahawks gave up a season high in points. The Packers dominated, mixing in a few blitzes and getting effective pressure on Wilson most of the game against a shaky offensive line. It was an impressive showing without starting linebackers Nick Perry (hand) and Blake Martinez (knee). Outside linebacker Clay Matthews (shoulder) was limited mainly to passing downs.

OUT IN FRONT: Green Bay had a 21-3 lead at halftime, reminiscent of the way the Packers built big leads on opponents in recent dominant seasons. They've scored first each time in their three-game win streak. The Packers look nothing like the team that suffered back-to-back blowout losses at Tennessee and Washington a few weeks ago.

DYNAMIC DUO: With two more touchdown passes, Rodgers and Nelson have connected on 57 TD passes overall, tying Hall of Famer Brett Favre and Antonio Freeman for the most touchdown passes from a quarterback to a receiver in franchise history.

''It's a reminder, honestly, to me, (of) the time and the work that we both put in, individually and together on the practice field, in the meeting rooms, on the sideline and just reaping the benefits for it,'' Nelson said.

INJURIES: Besides Rodgers, tight end Jared Cook left the game with a chest injury following an incompletion deep down the left sideline with 1:55 left in the second quarter. Receiver Randall Cobb left briefly in the second quarter with a left ankle injury.


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