Rants and raves: Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks
Ahman Green Running Strong Friday, January 1, 2010
Green Bay Press Gazette

Ahman Green Running Strong

Rants and raves from Sunday's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 48-10.

Rave: Although Jarrett Bush might be the most criticized Packers defensive back since Ahmad Carroll, he made an excellent play on the ball for his first career NFL interception early in the third quarter. Matt Hasselbeck’s pass was intended for T.J. Houshmandzadeh but Bush played it perfectly and set up a touchdown drive that put the Packers ahead 31-3.

Rant: It’s hard to instruct the offense to shut it down with 15 minutes to play, but with a five-touchdown lead, was it necessary for backup Matt Flynn to be throwing deep in the fourth quarter?

Rave: Backup running back Ahman Green doesn’t get many carries, but he makes them count. Green was seemingly stopped on third-and-1 late in the first half but with great second effort that included a spin move, he picked up 14 yards and kept a field-goal drive alive.

Rant: Mike McCarthy’s decision to go for a touchdown on the final play of the first half rather than kick a field goal could have blown up in his face. A defensive stop would have given the Seahawks unnecessary momentum heading into the second half. As it turned out, the Packers kicked a field goal anyway for a 24-3 lead after Spencer Havner’s 1-yard touchdown catch was nullified on an offensive interference penalty.

Rave: On his first eight carries, Ryan Grant rushed for only 17 yards. On his ninth carry, he burst through the middle of the line on a 56-yard second-quarter touchdown jaunt to put the Packers ahead 21-3. Grant finished with 97 yards and became only the third back in team history, along with Jim Taylor (1961-62) and Green (2001-03), to produce consecutive 1,200-yard rushing seasons.

Rant: McCarthy needs to re-evaluate his challenge philosophy. In what has become a regular occurrence, McCarthy lost a challenge, this time on an 18-yard Seahawks completion in the second quarter. McCarthy is throwing away timeouts, as well as opportunities for challenges on more crucial plays later in the game.

Rave: Greg Jennings caught back-to-back passes of 40 and 24 yards to the Seahawks’ 3 in the second quarter to set up a touchdown. Jennings flat-out beat cornerback Kelly Jennings on the first play, then on the next play juked cornerback Marcus Trufant on a hitch and was off to the races. Jennings finished with four catches for 111 yards.

Rant: How long does it take to count to 12? For some reason officials needed a lengthy conference to determine the Packers had too many players on the field in the second quarter.

Rave: Overall, it was a banner day for special teams. Mason Crosby nailed a 52-yard field goal, Jarius Wynn got a piece of a Jon Ryan punt, and the kickoff coverage team held the Seahawks to a 20.3-yard average.

Rant: Maybe the frustration of playing on a terrible team is getting to the Seahawks’ Matt Hasselbeck, who normally is one of the more affable players in the league. But Hasselbeck started pushing Nick Barnett following an incompletion, presumably because Barnett held on to his leg too long on a blitz. Barnett did nothing wrong, and Hasselbeck overreacted.

Rave: The Packers got a break when safety Jordan Babineaux was flagged for illegal contact in the first quarter, which nullified a Patrick Kerney sack that would have buried the Packers inside their 10.

Rant: Punt returner Jordy Nelson needs to catch the ball in the air to avoid the first-quarter misplay on a short Ryan boot. Nelson was slow to react, and the subsequent generous bounce gave Ryan a 64-yard punt.

Rave: Who says A.J. Hawk can’t make plays? It was a gift thrown directly into his hands, but Hawk’s first-quarter interception and subsequent 29-yard return set up the Packers’ first touchdown.

Rant: A log-cutting contest at halftime? Surely the Packers can come up with better entertainment than that.

Rave: “American Idol” star Danny Gokey, a Milwaukee native, gave a rousing rendition of the national anthem and revved up the crowd.

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