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Originally published Monday, October 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Cornerback fails Tru test vs. Packers

Seahawk Marcus Trufant is standing guard when Green Bay pulls away for victory.

Seattle Times staff reporter

It seemed to be the play of the game, if not the season. The Seahawks blitzed three defenders, which left their All-Pro cornerback one-on-one against Green Bay's All-Pro receiver.

Free safety Brian Russell got within a hair of sacking Aaron Rodgers before the Packers quarterback flung a pass down the right sideline. And in an instant, the play, if not the game, came down to a simple battle between Marcus Trufant and Greg Jennings.

Jennings blew past Trufant at the 10-yard line and hauled in the 45-yard bomb, which unlocked a tie at 10. The touchdown started a 17-0 run that was the beginning of the end for the Seahawks, who fell 27-17 on Sunday.

"We were putting Tru in a tough situation," said linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who also blitzed on the play.

He added, "Everybody will say, 'Well, Tru is a Pro Bowl corner and he should be back there covering that guy.' It's not easy."

When asked if there was anything about the Seahawks secondary that the Packers could exploit, Jennings was candid if not cocky.

"Yeah, their secondary," he said. "I don't say that to be funny, but we pride ourselves on being the best. Obviously they have Trufant and [Deon] Grant and those guys have tremendous amount of success, but if we're all on the same page, I don't think there's too many secondaries that can contain us."

The Seahawks (1-4) haven't contained very many teams this season. They allowed 232 passing yards to Buffalo, 272 to San Francisco and 269 to New York.

On Sunday, Rodgers finished with 208 yards and two touchdowns.

It seemed as if the Packers would target second-year player Josh Wilson, who started his second game, but they went after Trufant early and often.

"You got to be able to put the fire out, then they'll go back to running their regular game plan," Wilson said. "My goal is to put the fire out early and then we can just go and play football.

"That means when you're over there and they keep burning you, they're going to keep throwing at you. They're going to keep putting paper on the fire. You go ahead and put some water on the fire, then that cools it down and then they'll go back to running a balanced attack."

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On Green Bay's second possession, Rodgers completed 5 of 7 passes. His first four completions on the drive were against Trufant, who allowed 34 yards on the drive that led to a 29-yard field goal.

"Marcus Trufant is a very good player, but we feel like with the guys we've got, we're not afraid to go at any player," Rodgers said.

Trufant, a former Washington State standout, had his best year last season, which resulted in his first Pro Bowl berth and a six-year, $50.2 million contract.

This season, while playing with a cast on a fractured left hand, he has yet to intercept a pass and has deflected just four passes.

"Maybe they are picking on me and maybe they're not," Trufant said. "Whatever the reason, I got to make plays."

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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