By Rich Myhre and John Boyle Herald Writers
SEATTLE — Against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, one of the NFL’s finest, the Seattle Seahawks turned loose a dizzying pass rush that pummeled Rodgers through the first half of Monday’s game, resulting in a team-record eight first-half sacks in Seattle’s 14-12 victory over the Packers.
The eight sacks were the most for an opening half in Rodgers’ eight-year pro career. And that total came within one of the NFL record, which was set by the New York Giants against Chicago in 2010.
“A tremendous job by those guys,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.
The Seahawks did not get any sacks in the second half, but the total of eight sacks was still the most for the team since the Seahawks had eight against San Francisco in 2008. The team record for sacks in one game is 11 vs. the Los Angeles Raiders in 1986.
Seattle defensive end Chris Clemons had four sacks, tying the NFL record for first-half sacks and tying the team record for sacks in one game.
Seattle rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin, meanwhile, had the first two solo sacks of his career in the game.
“Tonight I think showed a lot of people that I can really play this game and I have a bright future,” said Irvin, the team’s top draft pick in the 2012 draft.
Big night for Ryan
Though it was almost lost in the game’s wacky finish, Seattle punter Jon Ryan had a tremendous night. He had six kicks for 309 yards, an average of 51.5 yards with an average net of 49.5.
Ryan had kicks of 73 and 66 yards, and had another boot that pinned the Packers at their own 1-yard line.
Asked if it was more gratifying to boom a long punt or pin the opposing team deep, Ryan smiled.
“I don’t know if you can pick one over the other,” he said. “My job is to make a long field for (the opposing) offense. When you can flip the field on a long punt, you do that. And when you can lock them down on the 1-yard line, you do that as well.
“As a punter, you’re just trying to help your defense out.”
His 73-yarder “isn’t quite my (career) long,” Ryan added, “but it’s the longest of the year. So I’ll take that.”
Making long kicks “is all about rhythm and feeling,” he said. “Some days you’ve got it and some days you don’t. So it’s a little bit like golf in that way.”
Despite the win and the dramatic final play by his offense, Carroll was unhappy with his team’s offensive showing in the second half.
“We need to get going,” he said. “You’ll hear me, it’s a broken record. It’s (execution on) third down. You have to get your third-down conversions. We were 2-for-11 tonight and I know that we will improve as we grow together.”