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Originally published October 12, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified October 12, 2008 at 11:03 PM

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Seahawks fight a losing battle

The Seahawks, forced to go with No. 3 QB Charlie Frye, struggled on offense and defense in losing 27-17 to the Green Bay Packers Sunday at Qwest Field. They're now 1-4 this season.

Seattle Times staff reporter

In a season of many lows, things dipped even lower for the Seahawks on Sunday.

Injuries to quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and backup Seneca Wallace forced Seattle to start third quarterback Charlie Frye.

Try as he might, Frye couldn't get the Seahawks' offense moving. The Seahawks defense couldn't hold on to a 10-3 lead, and the team and 68,302 fans at Qwest Field watched a frustrating season spiral further downward as Seattle lost to the Green Bay Packers 27-17.

A long touchdown drive that spanned the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth spelled the Seahawks' doom. The Packers converted three third downs during the 15-play, 84-yard drive, capping it with quarterback Aaron Rodgers' 1-yard touchdown pass to fullback John Kuhn to give Green Bay a 24-10 lead.

The decisive possession seemed to suck the spirit out of the Seahawks and their fans. People began making their way to the exits. Defensive back Jordan Babineaux and defensive tackle Rocky Bernard trudged back to the bench after the touchdown with their heads hanging.

The scene was symbolic of the kind of second half it was for the Seahawks, who lost for the second time at home and dropped to 1-4 overall, tied for last place in the NFC West.

"We were well-prepared," linebacker Lofa Tatupu said. "We made it tough on them. But you have to give them credit. When they needed a play, they made a play."

Both teams did, only the Packers (3-3) made many more. But the Seahawks got off to a good start.

Frye never could get the passing game going, but the Seahawks defense set him up well when linebacker Julian Peterson sacked Rodgers and forced a fumble early in the second quarter. Defensive tackle Rocky Bernard pounced on the loose ball, and the Seahawks took over with the score tied at 3.

T.J. Duckett picked up nine yards on a fourth-and-one running play, and three plays later, Frye faked a toss to Duckett and rolled to the right, hitting tight end John Carlson for a 6-yard touchdown pass. That gave the Seahawks their only lead of the game and Frye, who came to Seattle in a trade in September 2007, his first touchdown pass as a Seahawk.

Then the Packers took over time of possession, and in so doing, took over the game. They marched 66 yards for a tying touchdown, Rodgers sneaking over the goal line with 1:08 left in the second quarter; the Packers converted three third downs along the way.

"We can't put any blame on our offense," safety Deon Grant said. "We have to get the three-and-outs and give our offense more opportunities to make more plays."

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But the offense did deserve its share of the blame for the loss. The Seahawks gained just 177 yards, their lowest output since the 144 they had in a shutout loss at Pittsburgh last season.

All of that might not have mattered at all had not a 51-yard burst by running back Julius Jones early in the third quarter been nullified by a holding penalty against left guard Mike Wahle. The play would have placed the ball at the Packers' 24-yard line with the game still tied.

"It was a huge play, and it was unfortunate that call was made," Wahle said. "When things are going bad, that's what happens."

Seattle went three-and-out five times, and Frye ended two fourth-quarter drives by throwing interceptions. He managed one scoring possession later in the final quarter, hitting Keary Colbert for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 3:14 left in the game.

By then, the Seahawks were down and definitely out. Rodgers had worked over the already beleaguered Seattle secondary, giving the Packers the lead for good when, on third down once again, he lofted a deep ball to wide receiver Greg Jennings and hit him in stride ahead of the coverage of the Seahawks' Marcus Trufant for a third-quarter touchdown.

"We don't have the ability right now, like we've had in the past, to overcome some of those things and score a lot of points," coach Mike Holmgren said. "So the game kind of has to fall a certain way right now."

The Seahawks are 1-4 for the first time since 2002 — when they finished 7-9. Hasselbeck's status for this week's game at Tampa Bay is yet undetermined. Wallace, who has a calf injury, could have played sparingly Sunday. He's expected to be available for this week.

José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or jromero@seattletimes.com

Frye as a starter
Quarterback Charlie Frye started his 20th game on Sunday, his first with the Seahawks after 19 starts with the Browns. His win-loss record drops 6-14.
Team Att Comp Yards Pct TD Int LG
vs. Packers 23 12 83 52.2 2 2 19
Career 555 348 3,432 62.7 14 22 75
Pass-fail proposition
The Packers and Seahawks finished with identical rushing totals of 113 yards. The difference was in the air. Green Bay's passing game netted 200 yards while the Seahawks had the second-lowest net passing total in Mike Holmgren's 10 seasons here. The lowest net-passing performances under Holmgren:
Yds Opponent Date
21 Philadelphia Sept. 23, 2001
64 Green Bay Oct. 12, 2008
72 Miami Sept. 3, 2000
78 San Diego Nov. 5, 2000
90 Green Bay Nov. 1, 1999
93 Denver Oct. 14, 2001
98 Philadelphia Dec. 5, 2005

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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