Aaron Rodgers continues to enjoy a summercarryover from his first Pro Bowl season for Green Bay.
Matt Hasselbeck finally got to enjoy a night like those from hisformer Pro Bowl days for Seattle.
Rodgers was 8 for 11 for 116 yards and two touchdowns in one,easy quarter, and Hasselbeck was 11 for 15 for 127 yards with ascore in a redeeming first half before the Packers rallied for a27-24 preseason victory over the Seahawks on Saturday night.
Former New York Jets All-Pro Leon Washington, making his Seattledebut, scored his first touchdown since breaking two bones in hisleg 10 months ago. And Hasselbeck got back his passing formfollowing a largely idle training camp and rough preseason openerlast week for Seattle, which could have problems with anunspecified ankle injury to rookie sixth-overall pick RussellOkung.
Hasselbeck, upstaged by new backup Charlie Whitehurst last weekagainst Tennessee, established a rhythm he and Seattle's offensehas mostly lacked in his last two injury-filled seasons whileleading two touchdown drives in the opening half.
Whitehurst, the son of 1970s Packers starter David Whitehurst,was 9 for 20 for 73 yards with two interceptions while playing thesecond half. He threw a go-ahead touchdown pass of 3 yards to BenObomanu late in the third quarter.
Washington bolted out of the tunnel to the opposite end zonewhile leading his new teammates onto the field before kickoff. Thenhe bolted through the line unlike any back Seattle has had in yearson an 11-yard touchdown run that tied it at 14 early in the secondquarter.
The 2008 Pro Bowl kick returner brought the ball to the benchfor a souvenir of his injury comeback. He was then mobbed byteammates and always excited coach Pete Carroll, who's been eagerto see if Washington was ready to lead the competition to becomeSeattle's lead running back.
Seattle's biggest concern is Okung. The left tackle who got aguaranteed $29 million this month from the Seahawks to replaceretired All-Pro Walter Jones left for good after one drive.Mansfield Wrotto, normally a guard, replaced him. Seattle alreadyhas backup tackle Ray Willis out while facing knee surgery.
The Packers had seven starters inactive - six on defense. Asidefrom injuries to Clay Matthews, Al Harris, Atari Bigby and NickBarnett, among others, Green Bay rested veterans Charles Woodsonand Donald Driver.
A team spokesman said Woodson, last year's NFL defensive playerof the year, has a mild hip flexor and wide receiver Driver has asore calf.
Yet Green Bay's defense felt better about this night than it didwhile allowing Cleveland to roll up 21 points and 204 yards in theopening half last week.
"We were pleased with the way we came out and started witheverybody playing their role and doing their assignments, and wegot that (opening) three-and-out," safety Nick Collins said. "Weknow that all of our players aren't here."
Seattle's starting defense, which was ransacked most of lastseason, allowed 264 yards and 17 points to the Packers' first- andsecond-team offense in the first half.
Rodgers plus outstanding protection against a Seattle defensethat's been searching for a pass rush for two years made thePackers' breezy opening drive look like a 7-on-7 drill. Or7-on-none.
Green Bay's first play was a bootleg pass for 56 yards to adiving Greg Jennings, who beat first-round pick Earl Thomas.Rodgers had his second incompletion in 15 preseason throws whenSeattle's Red Bryant deflected a pass at the line, but followedthat with a 12-yard completion to Jermichael Finley on third downto the Seahawks 1. Then, Rodgers threw another bootleg pass towide-open fullback John Kuhn for an easy touchdown.
Rodgers' second touchdown pass of the opening quarter came whilevictimizing Thomas again. Seattle's rookie ran up hard to join Lawyer Milloy in covering the same receiver, leaving tight endFinley alone down the middle for a 12-yard touchdown catch and a14-7 lead for Green Bay. Milloy was yelling and pointing at Thomasafter the play.
"He's tough to guard. He's a great player," Rodgers said ofFinley. "He's going to be a big part of our offense. Anytime I getthe ball, I'll look for him.
"We still have a lot of work to do. But I think we're doingsome good things. The key for me is just discipline and getting usin a good situation (at the line)."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times