GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Preseason football is as much about giving backups a chance to shine as it is getting ready for when the real games start.
The Seahawks and Packers accomplished the first task in their exhibition meeting Friday night won by Seattle 17-10.
As for whether they're ready for the regular season? That's yet to be determined, especially when the NFC heavyweights played a chippy game bogged down by mistakes and 22 penalties — including 14 for the Seahawks.
"What we didn't do so well was the penalties. We had so many third-and-longs, that's tough to be a really good football team," Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said. "We can't do things to push us backwards."
Thankfully for Wilson, two backups came up big. Christine Michael ran for 97 yards on 11 carries and Stephen Williams snatched the ball away from cornerback Loyce Means in the end zone for a 42-yard touchdown catch and the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter.
What we learned from the Seahawks and Packers:
1. FINDING WAYS TO WIN: After steamrolling Denver and San Diego in its previous two games, Seattle's offense hit a speed bump at Lambeau Field. Wilson finished 11 of 17 for 126 yards but threw two interceptions, including a pass tipped by two defenders that landed in the opportunistic hands of Casey Hayward. Still, even in a game in which Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn't play after the first quarter, the Seahawks can take comfort in the experience of slogging out a road win when they weren't playing at their best.
2. ANGRY DEFENSE: The Seahawks can rightfully brag about having one of the best defenses in the league after holding opponents to an NFL-best 15.7 points last year. But the Packers' defense has showed life this preseason, too, after giving up too many big plays last year. The first-string defense did give up chunks of yardage to Wilson on the opening series, but the unit held in the red zone, highlighted by a sack by linebacker Clay Matthews after he blew by 5-foot-10 running back Robert Turbin around the edge. The Packers finished with four sacks. "Everybody's angry. You watch that game today, it had nothing to do with the Seahawks," Green Bay defensive end Mike Daniels said.
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