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Seahawks fall to 0-2 after loss to Rodgers, Packers

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Seahawks fall to 0-2 after loss to Rodgers, Packers

BOX SCORE

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- This time, the Green Bay Packers punched back in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks.

Aaron Rodgers threw for two touchdowns and the Green Bay Packers outlasted the Seattle Seahawks for a 27-17 win Sunday night in a bruising, physical rematch of last season's NFC title game.

Rodgers orchestrated a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive, capped by a 5-yard scoring pass to Richard Rodgers. A 2-point conversion made it 24-17 with 9:28 left.

Jayrone Elliott made a lunging, one-handed interception of a short pass from Russell Wilson with 6:50 left, one of the rare mistakes in the second half for Seattle's dual-threat quarterback. The Packers (2-0) cashed in with one of Mason Crosby's four field goals on the night for a 10-point lead with 2 minutes remaining.

"We're 2-0. It was a great night here at Lambeau Field," coach Mike McCarthy said. "You sleep better when you win."

The Packers blew a 16-0 lead against the Seahawks in the playoffs last year. They held on after giving up 13-3 lead at halftime on Sunday.

The Seahawks, who fell to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl last year, dropped to 0-2 for the first time since 2011.

Rodgers connected with favorite target James Jones for a 29-yard touchdown pass on the game's opening series. But the offense got bogged down or had to settle for field goals until the fourth quarter.

Rodgers was clutch against a defense missing safety Kam Chancellor, who is holding out for a new contract. Young players such as second-year tight end Richard Rodgers and rookie receiver Ty Montgomery had big plays. So did Elliott, a second-year backup linebacker.

The defense held on when it mattered in the fourth quarter after giving up chunks of yardage earlier in the second half to dual-threat quarterback Wilson.

The Seahawks' last two series ended in turnovers. Besides Elliott's pick, Micah Hyde recovered a fumble by Fred Jackson with 22 seconds left.

Rodgers took a knee on the next play to end the game. He finished 25 of 33 for 249 yards.

Wilson was 19 of 30 for 206 yards, while running for 78 yards on 10 carries.

The Packers held Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch to 41 yards on 15 carries.

"The defense set the tempo early, particularly on the run defense and the two big (turnovers) at the end," McCarthy said.

Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy left the game in the first quarter with a right ankle injury.

But backup James Starks kept Packers running game going with 95 yards on 20 carries.

Crosby also had a memorable night. With four field goals and an extra point, the veteran set the franchise record with 1,057 career points.

Chris Simms wouldn't be shocked if 49ers faced Patriots in Super Bowl

Chris Simms wouldn't be shocked if 49ers faced Patriots in Super Bowl

If you're looking for someone to slow down the 49ers' hype train, sorry, NBC Sports' Chris Simms isn't here to help.

Actually, it's quite the opposite.

Simms wants you to know San Francisco's 5-0 record doesn't lack substance, and he expects the 49ers to continue progressing to the highest levels this season.

Are they legitimate Super Bowl contenders?

"Yes they are," Simms told NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday. "They're not going anywhere."

"They are arguably the best team in football," Simms continued. "OK, yeah, I'll give the Patriots the advantage right now because they're the Patriots and we've seen them do it, but when I look at the San Francisco 49ers, I look at -- it's a first-round bye. Is it a one-seed, or is it going to be a two-seed? That's how good the San Francisco 49ers are."

Simms has been impressed by San Francisco's depth and balance, particularly within the offensive and defensive lines.

"It starts up front," Simms explained, "and the 49ers -- yes, Mike McGlinchey's out ... and I know Joe Staley's out, and that hurts, and we might not see him the rest of the year -- but when McGlinchey is back in the fold, this is still one of the best offensive lines in football. Let alone, [Kyle] Shanahan is one of the best game-plan designers in football with the run game, the play-action. And the defense ain't going anywhere.

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"They might be battling it out with the Patriots for the best defense in the sport," Simms elaborated. "It's the best front four in the sport I think right now, as far as size, physicality, ferociousness, their speed at the linebacker positions. I like Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt at safety. The corners are good -- they're coached well."

Put it all together, and Simms believes the 49ers have the potential to play into February.

"The 49ers are for real, and I would not be shocked if we were down in Miami watching New England and San Francisco in the Super Bowl," he said.

Hype train, full speed ahead.

Jalen Ramsey-Aaron Donald best NFL duo? Marcell Harris says this isn't NBA

Jalen Ramsey-Aaron Donald best NFL duo? Marcell Harris says this isn't NBA

The 49ers' much-improved defense has plenty of star power, but so do their rivals in Los Angeles after a blockbuster trade Tuesday. 

The Rams traded three draft picks -- two first-rounders and one fourth-rounder -- to the Jacksonville Jaguars for star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, giving LA two of the NFL's best players at their respective positions when you remember that defensive tackle defensive lineman force of nature Aaron Donald also plies his trade in Tinseltown. 

It'd be difficult to find two players on the same defense better than Ramsey and Donald, so ESPN's "SportsCenter" account asked on Twitter if there is a better duo of defensive cornerstones around the NFL. The problem, according to 49ers safety Marcell Harris? There are nine other players on a defense.

Harris has a point. Star power only can get you so far in the NFL -- even at historically important positions like quarterback or edge rusher -- because of the league's commitment to parity above all else. When it comes to the NBA, a team with the two best players on the court wins in the regular season and playoffs more often than not. 

[RELATED: Shanahan busts out jokes leading into 49ers vs. Washington]

While this is not necessarily Harris' gripe, the 49ers have a strong case to have a duo under consideration. Whether pairing defensive lineman DeForest Buckner and edge rusher Nick Bosa or swapping out one for one of linebackers Kwon Alexander and Fred Warner, San Francisco has a few cornerstones in its front seven. It's that group that made the Ramsey trade a head-scratcher to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco, who argued that the Rams' offensive line should have been a bigger concern than their secondary, considering the 49ers' success in Week 6.

Still, Ramsey and Donald are as good as what they do as just about anyone else in the NFL. The 49ers will get their first look at them in the same defense in Week 16 at Levi's Stadium, and they'll see firsthand whether the duo's dominance lifts the rest of the Rams' defense.