Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
By Travis Duncan
Packer Forum Writer
This game story began as a Packer win.
By the time your intrepid Packers writer was dotting the i's, the Packers had fallen to 1-2 amid complete chaos that left the entire Packer Nation wondering:
How much longer will replacement officials be allowed to make an NFL game look like an exercise in the Dada art movement?
And where was the offensive line?
A collective "You've got to be kidding me?" was let out across living rooms, at radios, across bars, and Twitter feeds. (In fact, "you've got to be kidding me", was Packers play by play man Wayne Larivee's reaction, audio here)
Were the Packers robbed?
Ask the offensive line.
Brutal halves of football have occurred so many times in the history of the game. Monday Night's first half in Seattle might not be of much note because of the way it ended, but it may go down as the single most brutal pass protection of a star quarterback in a half of football in the history of the NFL.
Rodgers was sacked eight times in the first half. Some of those sacks may have been avoided had the MVP quarterback tossed the ball out of bounds, but none the less it was a total failure to pass protect. Bryan Bulaga had a rough night. The right tackle was literally tossed to the ground by Seattle's first-round draft pick, linebacker Bruce Irvin.
In the second half, Green Bay went from its well known multiple WR set to a multiple TE set and brought it in to the middle of the field.Extra backs and tight ends assisted in protection and Cedric Benson ran downhill. He gave the Packers a chance to win.
Coach Mike McCarthy admitted after the game they probably should have made an adjustment sooner, only calling three run plays in the first half.
Benson singlehandedly crawled his way up the field and gave the Green Bay offensive line a chance to catch their collective breath. James Jones and Jermichael Finley made some timely catches which allowed the Packers to score its only touchdown of the game, courtesy of a Benson run.
Benson carried the ball 17 times for 45 yards, but stats don't tell the story, those were a hard earned 45 yards. More importantly he put an offense, which has abandoned the run with boldness and as its trademark, on his back.
Seattle blanketed the Packers wide receivers in man-to-man coverage in the first half, but Aaron Rodgers found his spots in the second half. Rodgers finished with 223 yards passing on 26 of 39 completions.
Green Bay's secondary eliminated the Seattle passing attack for the most part, except for a Golden Tate 41-yard touchdown in which Tramon Williams was burnt and the Packers secondary look confused.
A second, defeating Seattle touchdown was a scene out of a disaster zone. Chaos everywhere. A final Hail Mary play which will live in replacement ref era infamy and Twitter history (visual evidence here, here, here, here and here)
McCarthy concluded, "I have never seen anything like that in my time in football."
You're not alone coach.
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