The No. 1 defense of the Green Bay Packers struggled for the second consecutive preseason game, but considering the players missing from the lineup, maybe their shortcomings were justified.
Held out of action for precautionary measures was Charles Woodson. Nick Barnett was inactive after coming off of offseason knee surgery. And neither A.J. Hawk nor Brad Jones played after suffering injuries during practice this past week.
Without those players on the field, the Packers had trouble, once again, with the "veteran quarterbacks" that gave them trouble last year. Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck completed 11 of 15 pass for 127 yards for one touchdown, no interceptions and a 120.7 passer rating.
Combine Hasselbeck's stats with those of Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace a week ago, and opposing quarterbacks have gone 21 of 30 for 265 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions through the first two preseason games.
With rookie Alex Joseph also out of action tonight, the starting lineup for the Packers at linebacker included Brady Poppinga, Desmond Bishop, Robert Francois and Brandon Chillar, none of whom were considered starters at the end of last season.
Backing up Bishop and Francois on the inside were Maurice Simpkins of the Indoor Football League and converted utility player Spencer Havner.
All the changes in the lineup added up to an experienced lineup, however one that buckled down as the game went on and held on for a 27-24 Packers victory and held the Seahawks to converting only four of 12 first downs.
Positive run game: After slow going in the first preseason game, the Packers run game got going in Seattle, particularly in the second half.
Brandon Jackson was especially effective having rushed for 80 yards on only 11 carries, good for a 7.3-yard average and one touchdown.
Most impressive was the game-winning drive when Jackson rushed for the 38 yards to cap off the winning score. Down 24-20, Jackson first ran 26-yards off left tackle to set up his touchdown run of 12 yards on a sweep to right.
Also getting into the act was usual fullback John Kuhn who got several carries as a halfback after Quinn Porter went down to injury. Kuhn totaled six carries for 30 yards for a 5.0 yard per carry average.
It's not out of the question that the Packers may only go with two halfbacks on their 53-man roster if John Kuhn can fill the No. 3 halfback job as well as playing fullback. Such a scenario becomes even more likely if rookie James Starks begins the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list and is able to contribute after coming off said list.
Special teams up and downs: On the positive side of the ledger, kicker Mason Crosby is rebounding nicely from a rough beginning to training camp.
After missing several field goals in the first week of training camp, Crosby went on to miss two more during the team's annual Family Night scrimmage.
Since that time, he hit his only field goal attempt last week against Cleveland last weekend and went two-for-two at Seattle. In addition, he hit all three extra point attempts.
On Saturday night, he worked with Australian-born Chris Bryan as his holder who had no experience as a holder before coming to the Packers this past offseason. Things went off without a hitch.
The same can't be said for kickoff return coverage that gave up a total of five returns for 152 yards, a 30.4-yard average including a 54-yard return by Josh Wilson immediately following the Packers' first touchdown of the game after taking a 7-0 lead.
In special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum's defense, the Packers once again used a very large number of players on special teams including many who won't end up being on the 53-man roster come September
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