SEATTLE -- Aaron Rodgers turned his sprained shoulder into a lesson for any Packers who may still be missing his predecessor. The first-year starter is showing grit and leadership that would make Brett Favre proud.
Rodgers again ignored the shoulder injury and a crunching early hit on Sunday to run for a tying touchdown, then threw two scoring passes in the second half to perhaps save Green Bay's season in a 27-17 victory over the sinking Seattle Seahawks.
"Everybody plays with injuries in this league. But to not practice for two weeks, to not throw the ball at all, I'm proud the way I was able to play today," Rodgers said with a shy smile after he was 21-for-30 with 208 yards.
The Packers (3-3) stopped a three-game losing streak and are suddenly tied for the NFC North lead.
"Hopefully it shows my teammates that I will put my body on the line for them and I care about them a lot, that come Sunday I'm going to give it all I can," Rodgers said, recalling he's played with a broken foot, a torn ACL and a broken index finger on his passing hand since junior college.
"And I've been pretty effective the last two weeks."
"Effective" is the last word anyone would apply to Seattle right now.
The stunned Seahawks paid for having to start No. 3 quarterback Charlie Frye, because Matt Hasselbeck was inactive -- he will be getting his bruised knee reevaluated on Monday -- and backup Seneca Wallace was out with a calf injury. Seattle looked inept while gaining just 177 yards on offense and skidding to 1-4, the equal of the St. Louis Rams at the bottom of the NFC West that Seattle has ruled the last four seasons.
"It's been a while since it's been like this. It's just a shock," Seahawks defensive tackle Rocky Bernard said.
Frye, starting for the first time since the 2007 opener when he was with Cleveland, gave Seattle a 10-3 lead midway through the second quarter with his first touchdown pass since Dec. 3, 2006. It was set up by Julian Peterson sacking Rodgers and forcing a fumble Bernard recovered at the Packers 32. After T.J. Duckett ran 9 yards on fourth-and-1, Frye pulled up on a bootleg with linebacker Brady Poppinga in his face and threw 6 yards to John Carlson for the rookie's first career TD reception.
Rodgers and the Packers seemed to awaken on the first play of the ensuing drive. Seattle's Pro Bowl defensive end Patrick Kerney leveled the ailing quarterback with a crashing shoulder hit to the chest after he threw an incomplete pass.
"It definitely jarred me a little bit," Rodgers said.
In a great way: He went 3-for-3 converting third-down passes on the drive that ended with his tying, 1-yard sneak for a touchdown.
In the third quarter, with safety Brian Russell in his face, Rodgers found Greg Jennings for a 45-yard touchdown. That gave the Packers a 17-10 lead. Jennings beat Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Trufant for his fourth touchdown of the season.
While the Seahawks sputtered trying to throw with Frye, the Packers took command with a 15-play, 84-yard march. Rodgers was also 3-for-3 converting third-down passes on the drive, which ended with a 1-yard touchdown throw to John Kuhn.
Seattle had just 85 yards of offense at that point and many of the usually rabid home fans were leaving a stadium that was no louder than a high-school field.
Frye became the latest reason Mike Holmgren's 10th and final season as Seattle's coach is becoming a nightmare.
He completed 12 of 23 passes for just 83 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Seahawks, who were last 1-4 in 2002, their most recent losing season. They lost for the second time in three home games. They entered the season an NFC-best 42-14 at home since 2001.
"We don't have the ability right now like we have had in the past to overcome [things]," Holmgren said. "It's tough right now ... It is a test of sorts, you know, we are not used to this. But here were are ... And we still have a lot of games to play. So we have to start dealing with that."
Holmgren, a maestro of the passing game, called 18 runs on the first 24 plays. The last one was a 51-yard gain by Julius Jones to begin the second half that was nullified by Mike Wahle's holding penalty. ... Ryan Grant, who ran for a Packers playoff record 201 yards and three TDs while beating Seattle last January, gained 90 yards on a career-high 33 carries. ... Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he had no further information on S Aaron Rouse, who left the game in the third quarter with a head injury, or on DT Ryan Pickett, who left with an elbow injury.
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