N.F.L. Week 1: Dallas Cowboys Lead Giants; Packers Handle Seahawks

The Giants are playing without Pro-Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who was ruled inactive before the game with an ankle injury.

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The Packers’ Nick Perry (53) sacked Russell Wilson in the first half.

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Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

Packers Defense Outshines Seahawks Defense

The Green Bay Packers offense took nearly three quarters to warm up, but the Seattle Seahawks offense did not show up at all, leading to an intense 17-9 victory for the Packers.

It was not the prettiest of games for Green Bay, and tensions were high on both sides, but the Packers’ offense took advantage of a few uncharacteristic mistakes by the Seahawks, and the team’s defense looked dramatically improved from a year ago. With the victory, they come away from the highly-anticipated matchup as perhaps the scariest team in the N.F.C.

It was Green Bay’s defense that stepped up to change the tone of the game late in the third quarter. Seattle was leading 3-0 and had the ball, but Mike Daniels was able to get to Russell Wilson for a sack and a fumble, setting up a 6-yard touchdown run by Ty Montgomery that seemed to wake up the Packers.

After allowing Seattle to respond with a field goal, the Packers took control of the game with a vintage Aaron Rodgers drive. The veteran quarterback led the team 43 yards in eight plays before noticing the Seahawks had 12 men on the field. As he has done so many times before, Rodgers waited for the penalty flag to fly, then took advantage of the mistake and threw deep to Jordy Nelson, who beat the coverage for a 32-yard touchdown which essentially put the game out of reach for the struggling Seahawks.

The questions will be plentiful in Seattle. The Seahawks came into the game believing they were at full-strength with the return of Earl Thomas and the addition of Sheldon Richardson. If the team’s offense had not pulled a disappearing act, the fact that Seattle held the high-powered Green Bay offense to 17 points would likely be considered a positive.

Despite a quiet first half, Rodgers ended up completing 28 of 42 passes for 311 yards and one touchdown. He saw the end of a career-long streak of 251 regular season passes without an interception but he easily outdueled Wilson, who completed just 14 of 27 passes for 158 yards.

The game was expected to be tight, but the intensity bubbled over…

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