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Grading the Packers: Defense earns high marks for spoiling Russell Wilson's return

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Jim Polzin grades the Green Bay Packers’ performance in their 17-0 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Offense: C

Aaron Rodgers was rusty after missing last week’s loss at Kansas City. He was off on multiple deep throws and made an awful decision under pressure in the third quarter, resulting in an interception in the end zone. Good thing he had Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon to carry a heavy load. The two running backs combined for 214 total yards on 35 touches, with Dillon finishing with 66 rushing yards and 62 receiving yards. Green Bay had 393 yards in all, but it needs to do a better job of finishing drives.

Defense: A

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was even rustier than Rodgers and his decision-making at times was terrible. But credit the Green Bay defense for preventing Wilson from getting in a rhythm. The pressure was good and the secondary did a superb job in coverage, limiting Seattle wide receivers to five receptions for 49 yards. While red zone defense was a disaster for the Packers early in the season, it’s been much better of late and Kevin King and Adrian Amos had interceptions in the end zone Sunday.

Special teams: D

The Packers missed their seventh field goal of the season, with Mason Crosby sending a 42-yarder wide right on the opening possession of the game. Amari Rodgers never looks comfortable catching punts but had a 16-yard return late in the third quarter. Seattle had to start at its 9 in the first quarter after a 50-yard punt by Corey Bojorquez, but shaky protection forced Bojorquez to hurry his next attempt and his low 41-yard effort would have given Seattle even better field position had Freddie Swain not called for a fair catch near midfield.

Coaching: B-plus

Matt LaFleur is now 8-0 following regular-season defeats during his time in Green Bay. The extra challenge this week was putting together a game plan without the starting quarterback at practice, which led to some predictable issues. LaFleur’s decision to hire Joe Barry as the team’s defensive coordinator was greeted with head-scratching, but it’s a move that is looking better and better each week.

Overall: C-plus

LaFleur admitted after the game that the Packers are tired after playing 10 consecutive weeks. They gutted through this one but have two more key games — at Minnesota and at home against the Los Angeles Rams — before their bye week. Losing three more key players to injury — Jones, along with outside linebackers Rashan Gary and Whitney Mercilus — doesn’t help matters.

Contact Jim Polzin at jpolzin@madison.com.

Contact Jim Polzin at jpolzin@madison.com.

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