After closing out last season with the first Super Bowl win in franchise history, the Seattle Seahawks didn't show any signs of a letdown Thursday night.
Marshawn Lynch rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns, the Seattle defense began the second half with two big plays, and the defending champion Seahawks put away the Green Bay Packers 36-16 in the NFL regular-season opener.
"You always want to pick up where you left off," Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said. "We don't believe in the whole Super Bowl hangover thing."
Lynch scored from 9 and 3 yards out, with the latter coming on the opening play of the fourth quarter to cap off 12 unanswered points coming out of halftime.
After skipping the first few days of training camp in a contract dispute and being used sparingly in the preseason, Lynch broke out for his first 100-yard regular-season game since Week 11 of 2013. The 28-year-old running back carried the ball 20 times Thursday.
The Seahawks became the first defending Super Bowl champion to open with a victory since 2011, when the Packers beat the New Orleans Saints on a Thursday. The New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens, the past two Super Bowl winners, lost their openers the past two years.
Wilson threw for two touchdowns while completing 19 of 28 passes for 191 yards. Wide receiver Percy Harvin caught seven passes for 59 yards and added 41 yards on four rushes.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 23 of 33 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown, but he also had a costly interception on the Packers' first offensive play of the second half. His first pass after halftime went off the hand of intended receiver Jordy Nelson and into the hands of Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell, setting up a field goal for a 20-10 lead.
"I've got to make that play," Nelson said. "It was a big change in the game. It was an opportunity to make a big play, and I didn't do it."
Said Rodgers of the interception: "I missed my spot by about a foot."
Packers running back Eddie Lacy gained 34 yards on 12 carries before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a possible concussion. Lacy was wearing sunglasses inside the locker room and was not made available to reporters. He is likely to undergo further tests in the next few days.
The Seahawks pulled away from a 17-10 halftime lead with two key defensive plays in the third quarter. Maxwell's interception led to a Steven Hauschka 20-yard field goal, and then defensive lineman Michael Bennett's sack and forced fumble resulted in a safety for a 22-10 Seattle lead.
Bennett rushed past right tackle Derek Sherrod, who was filling in for injured starter Bryan Bulaga, and blindsided Rodgers at the Green Bay 10-yard line. Rodgers fumbled the ball into the end zone, where Sherrod recovered for a safety.
"I just wanted to make a big play," Bennett said.
Lynch then put the game away with his second touchdown for a 29-10 advantage.
What the Packers said
"Our fundamental inconsistencies throughout the game coincided with timely penalties to combat the momentum swings. We were not able to swing it back tonight. It was a hard loss, a hard defeat." -- Coach Mike McCarthy
"That wasn't our defense out there. We've got to figure out what we did out there, because that's not acceptable." -- MLB Brad Jones
"We got outmanned across the board. We have to do better. We had the opportunities, and we didn't get it done." -- WR Randall Cobb
What the Seahawks said
"Marshawn (Lynch) ran great. He's looked so good all the way through training camp, and he just showed it tonight." -- Coach Pete Carroll
"All they're doing is driving (CB Byron) Maxwell's purse up. The more they challenge him, the more money he's going to make. That's what you want is to be challenged, and he stepped up to the challenge." -- DE Michael Bennett
"We finished the game really strong. The best part of the game was that seven-minute drive to end the game. That's how we have to play great football." -- QB Russell Wilson
What we learned about the Packers
1. Green Bay's defense still has a long way to go. After a solid preseason, the Packers had no answers for the Seahawks on Thursday night. The loss of DT B.J. Raji might be more difficult to overcome than the Packers let on.