The kickoff to Week 11 brought yet another appealing game, enough to make fans forget about the days of clunker games and constant complaints about Thursday Night Football. This game matched a pair of perennial NFC playoff contenders who have struggled through the first half of this 2018 season. The Green Bay Packers traveled to Seattle to face QB Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in a game billed for the quarterback matchup.
The game started out as a best-case scenario for the Pack. After a lost fumble by Seattle RB Chris Carson, who was back from his one-game absence, Green Bay had a short field and RB Aaron Jones picked up where he left off last week, scoring from eight yards out. After a Seahawks field goal, Rodgers dropped a bomb, finding fourth-string TE Robert Tonyan for a 54-yard touchdown. It would be his only catch of the game. Green Bay led 14-3 at the end of the first quarter and seemingly had complete control of the game.
The Seahawks got their offense out of the early funk, scoring touchdowns on their first two drives of the second quarter. Seattle was rotating RBs Carson and rookie Rashaad Penny very effectively before Wilson connected with veteran WR Doug Baldwin for the six-yard touchdown, the first of the season for the wideout. Seattle took the lead on a one-yard score for Carson, who finished with 83 rushing yards on 17 carries. Penny had a nice 30-yard run in the first half but only managed 16 yards on his other seven carries, briefly leaving the game with an ankle injury.
Jones, who had a career-best game last week for the Packers, showed off his receiving chops, catching a 24-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to regain the lead before the intermission. Jones didn’t match last week’s numbers but his fantasy stat line was certainly impressive, totaling 103 yards and two scores on 16 touches. Perhaps what is most important for Jones’ fantasy prospects moving forward is his involvement in the passing game. Jones was targeted six times, second-most on the team. He caught five for 63 yards. RB Jamaal Williams, the team’s starter to open the season, touched the ball one time in this game. In case there was any doubt remaining, this is Jones’ backfield.
Both teams slowed down offensively after the break with the Packers managing only a field goal the rest of the way. Even with a 21-17 halftime lead, that would not be enough. Wilson and WR Tyler Lockett, who caught all five of his looks for 71 yards, got hot in the fourth quarter. A field goal along with a 15-yard touchdown pass to TE Ed Dickson was enough to seal the game away.
Of course, that was made easier by questionable decisions by the Packers coaching staff. With just over four minutes remaining and trailing by three points deep in their own territory, the Packers punted the ball on fourth and two. They never regained possession of the ball, infuriating Packers fan and fantasy players. The calls for Packers HC Mike McCarthy to be fired will only get louder as the team lost their third game over the past four weeks, putting them below .500 and third place in the NFC North.
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Rodgers finished with 332 yards and two touchdowns. While he didn’t throw an interception, he was sacked five times as protection continues to be an issue for Green Bay. As usual, WR Davante Adams was Rodgers’ favorite option and he saw a dozen targets, catching ten balls for 166 scoreless yards. Veteran WR Randall Cobb was once again out with a hamstring injury but Adams left little room for other pass-catchers to prosper. Rookie WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling posted a disappointing one reception for eight yards while fellow rook WR Equanimeous St. Brown caught one for 16 yards. TE Jimmy Graham, playing in a “revenge game” against the team that let him walk following last season, caught one pass for 13 yards before exiting with a thumb injury. The severity is unknown, though he was unable to get back on the field in the second-half.
Wilson threw for 225 yards and two scores. Along with Lockett, Baldwin (7/52/1) and WR David Moore (4/57) each chipped in with valuable performances. As previously mentioned, Carson returned to the lineup, creating a messy three-man backfield. Carson and Penny were not targeted in the passing game at all, while veteran RB Mike Davis totaled 50 yards on just six touches. In an odd play that might nag at fantasy players, the QB Wilson caught his own pass for an 11-yard loss.
Titans veteran TE Delanie Walker, on the IR with an ankle injury, is holding out hope he can return to the field this season if Tennessee can make a playoff run. ... Redskins RB Adrian Peterson claimed he is fully healthy after dealing with shoulder and ankle injuries recently. ... No surprise, but Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) did not practice. ... According to Vikings OC John DeFilippo, RB Dalvin Cook (hamstring) is a “full go”. ... Lions WR Marvin Jones missed practice with a knee injury. He is looking like a long-shot to play this week. ... Giants RB Jonathan Stewart, on the injured reserve list with a foot injury, is back at practice. This means Stewart will be one of the Giants players designated to return from the IR and is eligible to play as early as this week. ... Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin remained sidelined with an ankle injury and looks unlikely to suit up this week. ... Ravens QB Joe Flacco (hip) and rookie QB Lamar Jackson (illness) each missed practice and there is still no clear idea who might start for Baltimore. Veteran backup QB Robert Griffin III is looking like a strong possibility. ... Chargers DE Joey Bosa (foot) is nearing his return to the field but was non-committal about his status this week. ... Titans WR Taywan Taylor (foot) remains sidelined…Redskins WR Jamison Crowder (ankle) missed another practice in what is becoming a lost season. ... Raiders WR Jordy Nelson (knee) missed another practice. He left last week’s game early. ... A large number of players managed a limited practice on Thursday. Among them were: WR Sammy Watkins (foot), RB Joe Mixon (knee), WR John Ross (groin), RB Peyton Barber (ankle/shoulder), RB Ronald Jones (hamstring), WR Mohamed Sanu (hip), WR Keke Coutee (hamstring), WR Adam Thielen (back/calf), WR Keenan Allen (hip/finger), WR Mike Williams (groin).