Packers topple Seahawks, Carr shines in return

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to pass in the second quarter during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field. Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

LOS ANGELES — Aaron Rodgers threw for a touchdown and 311 yards as the Green Bay Packers opened their National Football League season with a 17-9 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. 

Rodgers led the offense but the Packers also put on an impressive showing on defense, shutting down star quarterback Russell Wilson in Sunday’s marquee matchup.

“This really started with our defense,” Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said. “It starts on the line of scrimmage. We were in the backfield a bunch.”

Wilson was limited to 158 yards on 14-of-27 passing as the Seahawks managed only 12 first downs and totaled just 225 yards. 

Rodgers clinched the victory with a 26-yard bootleg pass to tight end Martellus Bennett just prior to the two minute warning.

The only negative for Rodgers was seeing his regular-season streak of passes without an interception come to an end at 251. The streak was the second-longest in team history behind Bart Starr’s 294 passes in 1964. 

Ty Montgomery rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown on offense for the Packers, but they couldn’t have done it without a staunch effort from their defense.

The Packers limited Seattle to 12 first downs, three-of-12 third-down conversions and 225 total yards, and Green Bay had an 18:26 edge in time of possession.

“I was disappointed they were able to be as aggressive up front as they were with their defense,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.

Green Bay have beaten the Seahawks each of the past three seasons at Lambeau Field.

Elsewhere, Derek Carr threw two touchdown passes and Giorgio Tavecchio kicked four field goals in his NFL debut as the Oakland Raiders beat the host Tennessee Titans 26-16.

In his first game since breaking his leg on Christmas Eve against Indianapolis, Carr completed 22 of 32 passes for 262 yards.

Tavecchio converted a pair of 52-yard field goals after hitting a 20-yarder on the second quarter’s first play.

Like Carr, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was also playing his first game since suffering a broken leg on the same day but against a different team.

He scored a touchdown and completed 25 of 41 passes for 256 yards. Mariota rushed for his touchdown, a 10-yarder with 6:58 left in the first quarter.

In Cleveland, Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes to tight end Jesse James as the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Cleveland Browns 21-18.

Roethlisberger completed 24 of 36 passes for 263 yards. Antonio Brown caught 11 passes for 182 yards while James finished with six catches for 41 yards.

– Johnson suffers injury –

In Detroit, Matthew Stafford threw four touchdown passes and the Detroit Lions beat the Arizona Cardinals 35-23.

Rookie receiver Kenny Stafford completed 29 of 41 passes for 292 yards. Golden Tate caught 10 passes for 107 yards and safety Miles Killebrew scored on a 35-yard interception return.

Cardinals star running back David Johnson left the game late in the third quarter with a wrist injury. He was held to 23 yards rushing on 11 carries and caught six passes for 68 yards.

Also, Carson Wentz passed for 307 yards and two touchdowns as the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Washington Redskins 30-17.

Sunday’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins game was postponed because of Hurricane Irma which made landfall in Florida on Sunday. The game will instead be played on November 19.

In other games Sunday it was, Dallas 19, New York Giants 3, Atlanta 23 Chicago 17, Baltimore 20 Cincinnati 0, Jacksonville 29 Houston 7, New York Jets 12 Buffalo 21, Indianapolis 9 Los Angeles Rams 46, Carolina 23 San Francisco 3. 

© Agence France-Presse

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