SEATTLE (AP) — Defensive lineman Mike Daniels lingered in the Green Bay locker room, seething.
Mistakes cost the Packers. They dropped a pair of interceptions, had imprudent penalties and a couple of costly turnovers in a 36-16 loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night.
Daniels was taking it personally.
“Watch film. Take a hard look at it. I want to spit on the way I played. I can only speak for myself. It was a pitiful performance. I know I can do way better than that,” he said. “Watch the tape, make the corrections, there’s a lot.”
After unfurling the first Super Bowl banner in Seahawks’ history, Marshawn Lynch ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns and the Seattle defense stymied Aaron Rodgers’ up-tempo offense to kick off the NFL season.
“This is the Seattle Seahawks. A great defense,” Rodgers said simply.
Green Bay erred on Seattle’s opening drive when Daniels ran into punter Jon Ryan, giving Seattle a first down. Percy Harvin gained 13 yards on the next play and the series ended with Steven Hauschka’s 35-yard field goal to give the Seahawks the early lead.
With Green Bay down 17-10, Rodgers threw an interception on his first pass of the second half. That led to Hasuschka’s 20-yard field goal.
Later in the third quarter, Seattle’s Michael Bennett sacked Rodgers on the first play of a drive. Rodgers fumbled and the ball was recovered by Derek Sherrod in the end zone for a safety to push the margin to 12.
Lynch scored on a 3-yard run to open the fourth quarter and the rout was on.
Rodgers, who said this week he’d combat the deafening noise at CenturyLink Field by using sign language to call plays, completed 23 of 33 passes for 189 yards. He was sacked three times.
Rodgers threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb after Lynch’s scoring dash in the fourth quarter, but by then it was too late for the Packers. The Seahawks held Green Bay to 255 total yards – the third fewest by Green Bay since the start of 2012
“They just got after us. That’s the best way I can say it, they just got after us,” Daniels said. “You could see it in their eyes, they just got after us.”
Rodgers’ counterpart, Russell Wilson, threw for 191 yards and a pair of touchdowns: a deep 33-yard pass to Ricardo Lockette early in the second quarter and a 15-yard pass to Derrick Coleman with 2:31 left in the game for the final margin.
Coach Mike McCarthy said the Packers got off to a poor start and couldn’t recover.
“Our fundamental inconsistencies throughout the game coincided with timely penalties, to combat the momentum swings,” he said. “We weren’t able to swing it back tonight. It was a hard loss, a hard defeat.”
Green Bay was also hurt by a number of injuries.
Starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga left with a left knee injury early in the second quarter and did not return. Tight end Richard Rodgers also left with a neck injury but did come back into the game.
Late in the game, running back Eddie Lacy retreated to the locker room with what McCarthy said was a concussion. Last season, Lacy ran for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns.
It was the first meeting between the teams since the infamous “Fail Mary” game two years ago. A disputed touchdown throw from then-rookie Wilson to Golden Tate as the clock wound down gave Seattle the 14-12 victory and paved the way to a resolution between the league and its locked-out game officials.
Following that game, the Green Bay locker room was filled with angry players watching video of the pass.
This time, the players who didn’t escape the team busses quickly were solemn. The game had been hyped as an early season clash between two teams that could contend for the NFC title.
Daniels, who had gone into the game suggesting the Packers needed to play “a lot meaner” said the loss was a frustrating way to start the season.
“Absolutely. You put everything, blood, sweat into this thing and to come up and not short, but come up tiny like we did tonight, it’s definitely infuriating,” Daniels said. “I think that you get wake up calls and then you get drill sergeant kick-you-out-the-bed calls, and I think we just got kicked out the bed onto a cement floor, and it hurt.”