Game Review: All Phases Working In Runaway Victory Over Seattle

The Packers gave their home fans plenty to be excited about on Saturday as the 2007 regular season approaches. In a 48-13 blowout of Seattle, the defense recorded seven sacks and six turnovers, the No. 1 offense got back on track, and the special teams contributed a big return. - More Packers-Seahawks Gameday


The Green Bay Packers gave their home fans plenty to be excited about on Saturday as the 2007 regular season approaches.

It wasn't just that the Packers blew out a shorthanded Seattle Seahawks team 48-13 in front of 69,761 fans who braved a rainy night at Lambeau Field. It was that the contributions came in every phase of the game and answered a few of the questions that have lingered during training camp.

The concerns about finding a game-breaking return man, someone who can spark the special teams? Will Blackmon ripped off an 83-yard kickoff return to set up the Packers' first touchdown.

"I think he's really showing what he can do when the ball's in his hands," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "We're excited about Will Blackmon."

The worries about the No. 1 offense's slow start last week in Pittsburgh? A 47-yard drive for a field goal and a 49-yard drive for a touchdown were accomplished just one snap into the second quarter, and quarterback Brett Favre finished 7-of-12 for 74 yards and a touchdown.

"I think we executed better," Favre said. "Last week we didn't execute very well. Guys made some plays. We had a better tempo. We just made plays. There's no secret to it."

Wondering whether James Jones' strong training camp and solid preseason opener last week were a tease or a sign of better things to come? The rookie third-round draft choice caught two TD passes, one from Favre and another from Aaron Rodgers, made a fantastic diving catch along the sideline that was confirmed by an astute replay challenge, and finished with four catches for 58 yards.

"Getting that one NFL game under your belt, seeing how fast the game is and things like that, I was definitely more comfortable out there today," said Jones, who now has 10 receptions for 116 yards in the first two preseason games. "Ain't no better feeling than scoring your first touchdown, the Lambeau Leap. I was just excited about that."

And the defense? Well, it simply dominated an offense missing its starting quarterback and two offensive tackles, but the backups were equally dominant as the game continued. Overall, the unit posted seven sacks, forced six turnovers and scored two touchdowns on fumble returns, leaving little doubt it has the capability to change a game with a big play.

"Everybody is playing well," said Barnett, who had the first defensive touchdown with a 62-yard fumble return. "It's the second year of having the scheme under our belts and playing together. We're out there gelling. We still have some things to clean up, but I think we're on the right path."

{sportsad300}Lest anyone think the performance was flawless, there were a few miscues.

The second defense on defense allowed a 15-yard touchdown run by Maurice Moore up the middle that looked way too easy.

Also, Rodgers had two fumbles, one on a shotgun snap that slipped through his hands and another when the offense was in scoring range and he was sacked.

"The two turnovers - we need to nip that in the bud," McCarthy said at halftime.

Tramon Williams made it three turnovers with a muffed punt late in the third quarter, and quarterback Paul Thompson added two more with a pair of interceptions in the red zone as the game got sloppier in the latter stages. The Packers even committed three straight penalties while trying to punt midway through the fourth quarter.

But by then the developments worth noting were in the books, and for history buffs they all added up to the most points by the Packers in a preseason game in 69 years, since a 75-0 blowout of Cedar Rapids in 1938 in Ironwood, Mich.

"I think we definitely took a step forward as a football team," McCarthy said. "There's a number of positives that we can build on. I'm a little soured by the way the fourth quarter went, but I'm very happy with the progress that we're making.

"We have a lot of work to do. I'm excited about the win (and) I think our team is definitely gaining confidence."

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