Where’s Jimmy Graham?
That’s the question the Seahawks seemed to be asking themselves throughout their disjointed first half Sunday night at Lambeau Field. As Seattle fell behind 10-0 and 13-3, quarterback Russell Wilson had targeted its star tight end one time: an overthrown pass down the sidelines in the first quarter.
That’s not much bang for the bucks the Seahawks paid New Orleans to acquire Graham in March for the stiff price of two-time Pro Bowl center Max Unger and a first-round draft choice.
Wilson found Graham for his only catch and 11 yards in Seattle’s 14-point third quarter, but that was the only time he threw a completion to the 6-foot-7, 270-pound tight end in the 27-17 loss that leaves the Seahawks 0-2 for the third time in a dozen seasons.
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“We were kind of stagnant there,” Wilson said.
In the second half, the Seahawks used their $40 million tight end as a decoy from the Packers’ 5-yard line. They sent him in motion from outside right, then had him run a short out route. Wilson looked Graham’s way, then threw back to the left hash mark to Fred Jackson inside the goal line for the former Buffalo running back’s first touchdown with Seattle.
So Graham was a diversion, rather than the reason, that got the Seahawks within 13-10 in the third quarter.
“I wish I could have gotten to (Graham) a couple more times,” Wilson said. “We’re looking for him, for sure. We had one that was play-action, down the field, and they had him double-teamed I think there on that one. We got a positive outcome, a positive run out of it, a positive play. … It’s not one of those things you try to force, but you want to find him. He’s a great, great player.
“So we’ve got to find ways to get him the football — same with the rest of our guys.
“We’ve just got to play better. We’ve just got to play smoother. We’ve got to play better early. And we will.”
Pete Carroll got as animated as he ever will get over the officials’ decisions when describing how left guard Justin Britt could recover a fumble at the end of Jayrone Elliott’s interception return yet the Packers be awarded possession. Elliott’s interception came with 7 minutes remaining that essentially ended Seattle’s chances at its own 42.
Britt came out of an end-of-the-play mosh pit holding the ball. Carroll said the officials told him they had already determined the Packers had possession when the play was dead, though the coach wanted to know why no official gave that signal in Green Bay’s way to end the play.
CHANCELLOR’S NEW FILL IN
Kam Chancellor’s holdout reached day 52 with no end in sight. The closest the Seahawks got to having their team leader and safety inside Lambeau Field was the couple No. 31 Seahawks jerseys spotted outside the stadium before the game.
DeShawn Shead was the starting strong safety filling in for Chancellor. Shead made two sure tackles on the game’s opening drive of the fourth-year veteran’s second career start. He learned on Wednesday he was starting instead of Dion Bailey.
Bailey, a 2014 practice-squad rookie, started in his NFL debut last week at St. Louis. The Rams burned Bailey for the tying touchdown when he fell down in one-on-one coverage with tight end Lance Kendricks in the final minute of regulation. The Rams won in overtime.
EXTRA POINTS: DE Michael Bennett jogged into the locker room with a Seahawks’ doctor during the second quarter. He missed four defensive plays, changed shoes at the bench then re-entered the game and got a sack of Aaron Rodgers in the third quarter. … LB Bruce Irvin and RT Garry Gilliam both started after missing practices this past week with rib injuries. … RG J.R. Sweezy left the game briefly in the fourth quarter but returned with under 2 minutes to go. He said he got banged in the head but was fine. … Shead was wearing a bulky ice pack on his right shoulder after the game. … Steven Terrell missed the second half of special-teams play with a hip injury. … This rematch of January’s NFC Championship game on an idyllic, late-summer night in Wisconsin drew a new regular-season record of 78,433 at an expanded Lambeau Field.