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Seahawks defense wallops Aaron Rodgers for eight 1st-half sacks

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
Rodgers spent much of his first half on the ground. (Getty Images)

Aaron Rodgers had never been sacked three times in the first quarter of a game before Bruce Irvin, Chris Clemons and the Seahawks made sure he felt the unprecedented pressure Monday night.

Thanks to Bruce Irvin -- whose only crime in the first half was a sack dance that was slightly clunky and unimpressive -- and Chris Clemons, who leads the team with four sacks through the first 30 minutes, the Seahawks defense pressured Rodgers all half and collected eight sacks en route to a 7-0 lead heading into intermission.

How impressive is eight sacks? Well, the record for NFL sacks is 12 in a game, so Seattle is 2/3 of the way there. And even more impressively? There are 23 teams in the league this year that have seven sacks or less.

It wasn't just Rodgers getting beat up; the rest of the Packers offense couldn't do much of anything either. Running back Cedric Benson has carried twice for only four yards, and the only big play the Packers got was a 20-yard rushing gain by Randall Cobb. Sure, Rodgers' passing stats don't necessarily look disastrous -- he's 12 of 15 for 86 yards -- but he's spent way too much time on the ground.

And on his back.

And in the fetal position.

Irvin, surprisingly the 15th pick in the 2012 draft, had come into the game with only a half-sack, but the Packers offensive line had a tough time containing him and the rest of Seattle's defense. Left tackle Marshall Newhouse got toasted multiple times, and Bryan Bulaga on the right side wasn't any better.

In fact, when a team allows eight sacks in a half, it might be best if the entire offensive line shoulders 1/5 of the blame. Really, we should throw some blame at Rodgers as well. At some point, he's got to throw the ball away.

Considering the Seahawks had two (TWO!) sacks through the first two games, the first-half total was ridiculous.

But remember, the game is still only a seven-point contest so the Packers should be optimistic when they return for the second half. Because even though the offensive line got destroyed, the Packers still have a decent-enough quarterback who's capable of throwing a couple touchdown passes in the second half to erase all the hurt inflicted by Seattle in the first.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

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