George Kittle described the San Francisco 49ers' loss to the Seattle Seahawks as a "brutal rollercoaster" after they came up short in a wild finish to a frenetic Week 13 clash.

The Niners had won their past three games but came undone in Seattle, falling to a 30-23 loss that dropped them to 6-6 and dented their playoff hopes.

San Francisco led 17-7 and 23-14 in the first half, but a series of damaging penalties and turnovers undermined the positives for the Niners, which included a nine-catch, 181-yard performance from tight end Kittle, who scored two touchdowns.

The Niners committed three turnovers, with Jimmy Garoppolo tossing a pair of interceptions, were called for 10 penalties and went three for 10 on third down in an error-strewn showing.

Yet San Francisco's defense stopped Seattle twice from inside their own 30-yard line in the second half, a forced fumble from linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair on the two-yard line giving the Niners the ball back with the chance to tie the game and force overtime.

The 49ers subsequently went 95 yards down the field, but Garoppolo saw a fourth-down throw to Trent Sherfield with seconds remaining batted down at the line of scrimmage as Seattle clung on.

Kittle was disappointed with the 49ers' offense inability to execute and the performance of the special teams, which gave up a fake punt touchdown and also lost a fumble when Travis Benjamin dropped the opening kickoff of the second half.

"This game was like a rollercoaster. It was pretty brutal," Kittle said. "I think our defense played really, really well for being down the amount of guys they were...

"At least two of your three teams have to play well, and I think our offense and our special teams didn't play our best games.

"I'm not trying to point fingers, but we have to hold each other accountable, gotta look in the mirror.

"Our run game was okay, but as a whole we have to run the ball better and just hold on to the football."

There was controversy on that final series, with Sidney Jones not penalised for holding or pass interference despite extremely physical coverage on Sherfield in the endzone on third down.  

However, Kittle refused to blame the officials, adding: "Refs make calls, they don't make calls. It is what it is. You've got to live with it.

"It's frustrating when there's drive stoppers. We had a couple penalties the last drive we were able to overcome. You can't use penalties as an excuse. You've just got to play better."

The Pittsburgh Steelers survived a wild finish as Ben Roethlisberger's team held on to edge Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens 20-19 in the NFL.

Baltimore went for the two-point conversion and the win after the Ravens scored a touchdown with 12 seconds remaining on Sunday, but Jackson's pass went agonisingly off Mark Andrews' fingertips with the endzone in sight.

The Steelers prevailed in another thrilling AFC North battle to snap a two-game skid after Roethlisberger (21-of-31 passing for 236 yards and two TDs) threw two fourth-down touchdowns to fuel Pittsburgh.

After a scoreless opening period, Devonta Freeman rushed for a TD as the Ravens (8-4) took a 10-3 lead into the final quarter away to the Steelers (6-5-1).

The fourth period came to life, veteran quarterback Roethlisberger started the comeback with an early 29-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson before the pair combined against less than two minutes from the end.

Trailing 20-13, former MVP Jackson (23-of-37 passing for 253 yards and a touchdown) led an eight-play, 60-yard drive for his only touchdown of the game but Baltimore were unable to complete the two-point conversion at the death.

Since the 2016 season, six of Pittsburgh's seven wins against Baltimore have come by seven points or less, per Stats Perform.

 

Seahawks snap skid by sinking Niners

The Seattle Seahawks needed a victory and they got it after powering past the San Francisco 49ers 30-23.

In a mistake-filled contest, the Seahawks ended their run of three consecutive losses behind Russell Wilson's two-touchdown display in Seattle.

Future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson made his debut for the Seahawks and scored his 126th career touchdown on a one-yard rush. It broke a tie with Hall of Famer Walter Payton and moved the 36-year-old into a tie with Jim Brown for 10th in NFL history.

Jimmy Garoppolo threw two interceptions for the beaten 49ers.

The Los Angeles Rams also snapped a three-game skid, rolling over the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-7 after Odell Beckham Jr., Cooper Kupp and Van Jefferson all caught TD passes from Matthew Stafford.

The Seattle Seahawks activated veteran running back Adrian Peterson off the practice squad for Sunday's clash with the San Francisco 49ers.

Struggling Seattle had signed future NFL Hall of Famer Peterson earlier this week but elevated the 36-year-old on Saturday, despite only two days of practice.

The Seahawks (3-8) brought in the 2012 MVP and seven-time Pro Bowler – who was waived by the Tennessee Titans – for depth due to a growing injury list.

"Adrian had a good week," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said on Friday, with his team amid a three-game losing streak. "It's probably hard for people on the outside to understand the impact a guy with his kind of background can make.

"At a time where we're battling to try to win a game and get going, he jumped in here and had a remarkable influence on the week. With three guys banged up at the spot, we'll see how it goes on the weekend. He had a really productive week for us, and it was fun having him here.

"It's a rare opportunity for our guys to see somebody like that, that has that kind of background, but stands for so much more than just the numbers and the stats and all of that.

"He's been a remarkable competitor forever. It was so obvious. It was really a boost for a bunch of guys, the young guys in particular. He's serious about playing. He's not just here for show. He's here to come here and try to help us win a game."

The Seahawks have lost eight or more games in a season for the first time since going 7-9 in 2011. The nine straight seasons with seven of fewer losses is the longest streak in team history with the previous record being five straight seasons (2003-2007), according to Stats Perform.

Russell Wilson led the Seahawks in rushing with 16 yards in their 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team. It was the lowest number of rushing yards for the team's leading rusher since Week 9 of 2016 when Tyler Lockett led the way with 13 rushing yards against the Bills.

The Seattle Seahawks and their 2021 NFL season is fast becoming a nightmare after going down 17-15 to the Washington Football Team.

Taylor Heinicke lifted Washington past Russell Wilson and the slumping Seahawks, who suffered a third consecutive defeat to fall to 3-8 for the season, in an historic performance.

Wilson had not accounted for a single touchdown in two games since returning from a finger injury – only the second time in the star quarterback's career he had zero total TDs in at least back-to-back games after going three straight in October 2016.

While Wilson threw a pair of touchdowns on 20-of-31 passing for 247 yards and no interceptions, it was not enough against Heinicke and Washington on the road.

Heinicke was 27-of-35 passing for 223 yards, a touchdown and interception for streaking Washington (5-6), who celebrated a third successive win.

The 28-year-old found J.D. McKissic with a 10-yard TD pass in the second period before the latter – who was carted off late in the fourth quarter due to a head injury – scored on a 10-yard run to put the hosts ahead 17-9.

In his last three starts, Heinicke has beaten Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Tom Brady, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton and Wilson. According to Stats Perform, he is the first undrafted quarterback in NFL history to beat three different opposing starting QBs who had previously started a Super Bowl in three consecutive starts.

The Seattle Seahawks' loss to the Arizona Cardinals proved too much for head coach Pete Carroll, who ended his news conference early before returning on Sunday.

Seattle's struggles continued following a 23-13 defeat against the high-flying Cardinals in the NFL, a result that left the Seahawks 3-7 for the season.

The Seahawks have lost five of their past six games, having been sensationally shutout 17-0 by the Green Bay Packers last week.

Carroll has been in charge of the Seahawks since 2010 and won a Super Bowl in 2014, with the side's current record marking only the second time in his tenure Seattle have been four games under .500.

The 70-year-old was short on answers when he addressed the media post-game, cutting short his initial news conference, before re-appearing later on to complete the formalities.

"I'm just not any good at this [losing]," Carroll told reporters. "I'm not prepared for this. I'm struggling to do a good job of coaching when you're getting your butt kicked week in and week out.

"It's new territory, and I'm competing in every way I can think of. But I'm just unfamiliar with it. So if I leave early or if I make a mistake, I'm not on my best game right here ... I'm not making any excuses. And I don't want to get good at this."

Seahawks star Russell Wilson completed 14 of 26 attempts for 207 yards but no touchdowns – marking the third time in his 10-year NFL career he has had successive games without a TD pass.

The 32-year-old quarterback had missed three games prior to his return against the Packers due to a finger injury.

"It's really surprising now that we're back a couple weeks with Russ back in there that we had such a hard time scoring and moving the football," Carroll said.

Wilson added: "The ball is coming out of my hand just fine... I'm not going to make any excuses. I'm not an excuse kind of guy."

The Seahawks are next up against the Washington Football Team at FedExField, with Carroll remaining bullish about the franchise's prospects of turning around their fortunes.

"I feel like we're going to win next week and we're going to play a great game on the East Coast and come on back here and get ready for the next one," Carroll said.

"I don't have any other thought in my mind. I'm just disappointed that I've got to keep coming back in here and talk about the same stuff and don't feel like I have good answers for you because our answers so far have not turned it.

"It starts with me. I've got to get this done, and I've got to help my guys get it done."

Carroll also confirmed rookie cornerback Tre Brown had suffered a patellar tendon injury which he described as "pretty tough" without declaring it season-ending.

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said "you can't ask for anything more" from Colt McCoy after leading the NFL high-flyers to a 23-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Kyler Murray's absence.

McCoy started for the third straight game in Murray's absence, due to an ankle injury, completing 35 of 44 attempts for 328 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday.

The 35-year-old quarterback struggled in last week's 34-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers, completing 11 of 20 throws for 107 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception. He also picked up a pectoral injury but bounced back against the Seahawks.

"He was tremendous," Kingsbury said at the post-game news conference. "Last week was an overall struggle. The game plan, the execution was bad, everyone played poorly. That's hard to put anything on him.

"To be in his role and come in and get two divisional road wins against those teams like he did and play as efficiently as he did, you can't ask for anything more.

"He was tremendous. His leadership all week, the way he carries himself, he was awesome."

He added: "He's been through it. He's seen the ups, seen the downs. He knows he can play in this league and play at a high level."

"It's just my responsibility. That's how I see it," Arizona's backup QB McCoy said.

"I came here to be a part of this team and this group, and when your number's called, that's my role, and I'm proud to have won a couple games on the road."

The win moved the Cardinals to 9-2, sitting top of the NFC West division. Arizona also boast a 6-0 away record this season.

Arizona are the third team in league history to win their first six road games by double figures, joining the 1968 Cowboys and 1936 Bears.

"To not have those guys in November at all play, have the best record in football, be undefeated in the division, says a lot about that coaching staff and those player in the locker room," Kingsbury said.

"They continue to fight, continue to work hard, we've just got to continue getting better."

Despite an underwhelming Patrick Mahomes performance, the Kansas City Chiefs bailed out their star quarterback in a 19-9 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Mahomes did not throw or rush for a touchdown on Sunday, the former NFL MVP finishing 23-of-37 passing for 260 yards, an interception and a fumble.

But the Chiefs (7-4) leaned on their defence to take down Dak Prescott and the Cowboys (7-3) for their fourth successive victory.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 63 yards and a touchdown in his return from injured reserve in Kansas City, where Chris Jones and the Chiefs made life difficult for Cowboys QB Prescott.

Prescott was held to 216 yards passing while he was intercepted twice on the road by the Chiefs, whose defence have allowed fewer than 20 points in four consecutive games.

The last time they achieved the feat was a five-game streak from Weeks 11-16 in 2019, and just over a month after that streak they won the Super Bowl.

 

No Murray, No worries for Cardinals

Kyler Murray sat out his third straight game, however, the high-flying Arizona Cardinals still topped the Seattle Seahawks 23-13.

In the absence of their star quarterback due to an ankle problem, backup Colt McCoy stepped up in an impressive performance as he threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns away to the Seahawks in Seattle.

Russell Wilson was outplayed by McCoy in his first home start since finger surgery, the Super Bowl champion completing 14 of 26 passes for 207 yards but no touchdowns, while he sacked on four occasions.

The Cardinals improved to 9-2 as the slumping Seahawks (3-7) lost for the fifth time in their past six games.

Will the NFL return to some form of normality this week? Maybe... or maybe not.

Even in this season of shock results without any clear Super Bowl favourite, Week 10 stood out for its sheer number of upsets.

The defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers were stunned by the Washington Football Team, the Miami Dolphins overturned the Baltimore Ravens and the short-handed league-leading Arizona Cardinals lost to the Carolina Panthers.

When the San Francisco 49ers then beat NFC West rivals the Los Angeles Rams in Monday Night Football, it became the first week in NFL history in which four teams had won by double-digits having entered the week at least four wins behind their opponents.

Week 11 looks no easier to call, and there are plenty of intriguing matchups before even considering the potential for further setbacks for some favourites.

Dallas Cowboys (7-2) @ Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)

With Patrick Mahomes back on form, two of the best teams in the NFL should be set for a titanic tussle at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

Mahomes, setting aside his shaky displays to that point, threw for 406 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions against the Las Vegas Raiders last week, becoming the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to have two games of 400-plus passing yards, five-plus TD passes and no picks in his career.

The 41-14 win represented the league-leading 10th time the Chiefs have scored 40 points in a game since the start of the 2018 season, yet they were topped by the Cowboys, whose 43-3 defeat of the Atlanta Falcons was their biggest since a 48-7 victory over Arizona in 2000.

The Cowboys have gone 5-2-1 all-time previously in games following a win of at least 40 points (including playoffs), but this was an unprecedented success. The team's 29 points in the second quarter in Week 10 were their most in a single quarter of any game in their history.

Indianapolis Colts (5-5) @ Buffalo Bills (6-3)

Neither the Chiefs nor the Cowboys can match the Bills' average winning margin of 26.3 points this year. That is the highest mark in the NFL, having been boosted by last week's 45-17 victory over the New York Jets, their NFL-leading sixth win by 15 or more points.

The Cowboys are ahead of the Bills in points per game, but Buffalo have given up the fewest points per game. The last team to lead on both offense and defense in this regard were the 2005 Colts.

The achievements of this year's Colts team have been rather more modest. Their five wins have come against teams with a combined record of 13-34 (.261).

Still, Jonathan Taylor has excelled, scoring a rushing touchdown in seven straight games – the last NFL player to reach eight was DeAngelo Williams in 2008. In fact, there is rushing talent on both sides of the ball, with the Bills last week having four different players score rushing TDs for the first time in team history.

Arizona Cardinals (8-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (3-6)

Another week, another big NFC West game. The Cardinals' form has tailed away a little since Kyler Murray's injury, but they are still unbeaten on the road and looking to start 6-0 away from home for only the second time in franchise history.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks have their starting QB back, but Russell Wilson did little to help their offense against the Green Bay Packers. He was shut out for the first time in his NFL career in his 166th start (including playoffs).

Seattle's problems on that side of the ball did not end there, though. They were held to under 100 rushing yards for a third consecutive game for the first time since the end of the 2016 season, while only twice in the 21st century have they seen such a streak extended to four games.

Whether or not the Seahawks recover this week, history suggests they are likely to be able to stick with the Cardinals. Six of the past 10 meetings between the teams have been decided by three points or fewer.

Elsewhere...

Cam Newton's Panthers face Ron Rivera's Washington, their first meeting since both left Carolina (Newton returned last week). This is the third time since 2010 a former MVP QB has faced the coach he won his award with, following Peyton Manning versus Jim Caldwell in 2015 and Tom Brady against Bill Belichick earlier this season.

The 49ers are now 4-1 when Jimmy Garoppolo's passer rating is above 100.0 this year (141.7 vs. the Rams) and 0-3 when it is not. He was helped last week by a season-high 156 rushing yards, keeping San Francisco's offense on the ball for just over 39 minutes. They should expect more of the same against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have failed to force a turnover in six games this season.

The Cincinnati Bengals need both of their former LSU stars to rediscover some form at the Raiders. Joe Burrow has thrown an interception in five straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL, while Ja'Marr Chase – surely not helped by his QB's struggles – has fallen short of 50 receiving yards in consecutive games after making that mark in his first seven appearances.

The Detroit Lions will hope to learn from next opponents the Cleveland Browns, who have returned to contention since in 2018 becoming the first team in the Super Bowl era to end a losing streak of 10-plus games with a tie. Last week, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Lions became the second.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is "pretty close" to a return, having practiced on Wednesday.

Murray has missed the last two games, in which the 8-2 Cardinals have gone 1-1, because of an ankle injury.

However, there appears to be optimism he could play against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

"I'm pretty close," Murray told reporters. "I'm much further along than I thought I was going to be."

Murray has thrown for 2,276 yards, 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. His average of 8.89 yards per attempt leads the NFL while he also has three rushing touchdowns to his name.

Colt McCoy has deputised for the Cardinals in the last two games but suffered a chest injury in their loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 10. 

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones will undergo tests on the knee injury that saw him leave the field in the 17-0 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Jones is suspected to have suffered an MCL sprain in the closing stages of the third quarter after being tackled by Bobby Wagner, having racked up 86 scrimmage yards in the contest.

The Packers improved to 8-2 with a solid outing against the Seahawks (3-6) but it was a win that came at a cost, with defensive players Whitney Mercilus (biceps) and Rashan Gary (elbow) also going down.

If the initial diagnosis is confirmed at his MRI, Jones would miss time but likely still be able to return before the end of the season. Mercilus and Gary will also be tested on Monday.

"That's a big blow," Packers coach Matt LaFleur said to ESPN of Jones' injury, which he stressed he did not have an update on.

"It's hard to replace a guy like that. Just everything he brings to this football team on a daily basis. Just watching him out at practice, the effort that he plays with. 

"Here's a guy that, he's always the same. He's super consistent in his approach, his work ethic, his attitude, his energy. Yeah, you miss that when somebody's not in the lineup. 

"But other guys are going to have to step up, and we're going to have to do a great job as a staff of making sure that we supplement that in a different area, whatever that may be, whether it's throwing the football, and we've got to find ways to still produce without him."

A.J. Dillon, who impressed with 128 yards and two touchdowns to make the difference against Seattle, will be set for an increased role in Jones' absence.

The Packers welcomed back quarterback Aaron Rodgers from his coronavirus absence in the shutout win.

They are tied with the Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans for the best record in the NFL going into the Week 11 divisional game at the Minnesota Vikings.

After turning in one of the worst performances of his NFL career, Russell Wilson insisted he did not return too quickly from his finger injury. 

Wilson completed just 20 of 40 passes for 161 yards with a pair of interceptions and was sacked three times as the Seattle Seahawks fell 17-0 at the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. 

The 32-year-old had missed the previous three games with an injury to the middle finger on this throwing hand that required surgery. 

Wilson's 39.7 passer rating Sunday was the fourth-worst of his 166 career regular-season and playoff games, and Seattle (3-6) were shut out for the first time ever with Wilson at quarterback.

Despite those ugly numbers, both Wilson and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said they did not believe the quarterback's finger was a factor. 

"My finger felt fine," Wilson told reporters. "I know myself really well. I know what I can and can’t do. I felt I could do everything tonight. I had some runs.

"The first third down, for example. If I was second-guessing my hand, I wouldn’t go for that, you know, getting hit like that. So I felt confident in my hand. I felt confident in all the hard work.

"I didn’t play timid, at all ... It was just a bad game. Those two plays, I mean, that really were the defining moments in the game." 

The two plays in question were a pair of second-half interceptions nabbed by Packers defenders in their own end zone, back-breakers for the Seahawks' hopes of winning at Lambeau Field for the first time since 1999. 

While Seattle's defence negated the first of those mistakes by returning the favour with an interception of Aaron Rodgers in the end zone, the Packers took advantage of the second pick by marching downfield for the touchdown that sealed the win. 

The Seahawks did take some measures to protect Wilson, who did not take any snaps under center, working solely from the shotgun formation to minimise the impact on his finger, but they also were up against one of the hottest defences in the NFL. 

Facing Wilson, Patrick Mahomes and Kyler Murray the last three games, the Packers have allowed just 34 points. 

That track record was no consolation to Wilson, who blamed himself for critical errors Sunday but vowed to bounce back. 

"Unfortunately, it comes on my shoulders because I didn’t fulfil those two big plays in those two moments. I don’t want to shy away from it," Wilson said. "When you play this position at the highest, highest level there’s going to be some stuff you have to weigh on your shoulders.

“What I do know is, I’ll be better. I’ll be better. I always believe in myself. My confidence never wavers. It’s not going to waver now. I will be back."

After an emotionally charged couple of weeks, Aaron Rodgers finally had a release on Sunday as he walked off the field following the Green Bay Packers' 17-0 shutout of the Seattle Seahawks. 

Rodgers missed the Packers' loss at the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9 after testing positive for COVID-19 and has been at the centre of a public debate ever since. 

Though he was far from his best after missing two weeks of practice, reigning NFL MVP Rodgers was grateful just to be back in his comfort zone at Lambeau Field as he led the Packers (8-2) to another victory. 

"Good to be back with the guys, good to be back at home, good to be on the field, really," Rodgers told reporters via videoconference. 

"The most emotions from the whole night was probably walking off the field after the game. It definitely got me a little misty."

Asked why he thought he felt that way, Rodgers responded: "I don't take these things for granted, walking off the field as a winner." 

Rodgers completed 23 of 37 passes for 292 yards in his return, but the Packers' only touchdowns came on fourth-quarter runs by AJ Dillon. 

On a night that saw his counterpart Russell Wilson become the latest star quarterback swallowed up by the Green Bay defence, Rodgers threw a key interception in the end zone late in the third quarter but otherwise avoided major mistakes. 

"I felt pretty good for the most part," Rodgers said. "I feel like I played fairly solid. Obviously I had the one bad decision in the red zone and probably missed a couple of throws."

Rodgers did acknowledge afterward that he felt a bit like "Anchorman" character Ron Burgundy, merely repeating what Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur said via his headset to the team in huddles because he did not have a feel for the flow of the game after missing so much practice. 

The 37-year-old quarterback also told reporters after the game that he was tired – "It's been a long 10 days" – and LaFleur echoed that sentiment about the team as a whole. 

"I think our team is tired, to be honest with you," LaFleur said. "It definitely felt like you could feel the energy was maybe a little bit off." 

The good news for the Packers is their defence is showing no signs of fatigue. Facing Wilson, Patrick Mahomes and Kyler Murray the last three games, the Packers have allowed just 34 points. 

"It's so important to be able to win games in different fashions in this league," LaFleur said, "and I thought our defence really carried the night."

It took Aaron Rodgers a while to find his rhythm as he returned on Sunday, but the Green Bay Packers' defence eased the way for him in a 17-0 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. 

Rodgers missed the Packers' Week 9 loss at the Kansas City Chiefs after testing positive for COVID-19 and sat out practice all this week before being cleared to play on Saturday.

That rust was evident in his comeback as the Packers (8-2) could not find the end zone until AJ Dillon rushed for the first of his two fourth-quarter touchdowns with 10:37 to play in the game. 

Rodgers ended up completing 23 of 37 passes for 292 yards with an interception, but the good news for Green Bay was that Seahawks star Russell Wilson was even less effective in his own return.

Seattle (3-6) were shut out for the first time ever with Wilson at quarterback after he went just 20-of-40 passing for 161 yards with a pair of interceptions and was sacked three times.

Wilson's 39.7 passer rating was the fourth-worst of his 166 career regular-season and playoff games following his comeback from finger surgery.

 

Panthers pound Cardinals in Newton's return

Just three days after signing with his former team, Cam Newton made an immediate impact for the Carolina Panthers as they handed the Arizona Cardinals just their second loss of the season with a 34-10 defeat.

Carolina drove deep into Arizona territory on their first two possessions of the game and sent Newton in to replace starter P.J. Walker at quarterback, with the Panthers favourite running for and passing for touchdowns on his first two snaps. 

Those scores put Carolina (5-5) on the path to a 23-0 half-time lead and Arizona (8-2) could not find a way back with Kyler Murray still absent due to an ankle injury. While his backup Colt McCoy played well in a Week 9 victory, he completed just 11 of 20 passes for 107 yards with no touchdowns and an interception against Carolina. 

Walker was 22-of-29 passing for 167 yards with an interception for Carolina, while Christian McCaffrey led all players with 95 rushing yards and 66 receiving yards. 

Week 9 saw the NFL world robbed of an extremely compelling quarterback matchup, Aaron Rodgers left to watch from home as the Green Bay Packers fell to defeat against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

However, Rodgers is set to return from his controversial coronavirus-enforced hiatus on Sunday at Lambeau Field, where he will face another likely future Hall of Fame quarterback set to return to the field.

Russell Wilson lived up to praise from head coach Pete Carroll, who described him as "one of the great healers of all time" after a finger injury suffered in the Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, surpassing expectations by recovering in time to lead the Seattle Seahawks against Green Bay as they bid to salvage their season.

The Seahawks are not dead at 3-5. Seattle enter the week just a game out of the final Wild Card berth; however, Wilson and Co. have little room for error ahead of a road game with a member of the NFC's elite.

It is a contest that may be decided by which quarterback can shake off the rust faster. Wilson has been on the sideline longer, but Rodgers will enter the game having missed two weeks of practice amid the fallout from his positive test and his comments around his vaccination status.

What other factors will play a role in determining the outcome of an enticing quarterback battle? Stats Perform digs into the numbers to answer that question.

Can Collins gash Packers on ground?

The Packers defense has quietly been one of the best in the NFL when it comes to limiting efficient production from their opponents.

Indeed, Green Bay rank fifth in opponent yards per play allowed, giving up just 5.27.

However, the Packers have proven susceptible to the run, with only six teams allowing more yards per rush than Green Bay's 4.55.

With Chris Carson still unavailable for the Seahawks, the onus will be on Alex Collins to take advantage of the Packers' apparent vulnerability on rush defense.

Collins has proven adept at making the most of his carries even on plays where the defense gets into the backfield. He is putting up 3.00 yards per carry on attempts where there is a run disruption, above the league average of 2.80.

His ability to excel in that regard could be key in getting the Packers' defense out of looks that have proven successful against Wilson.

Two-high looks could spell trouble for Wilson

In last week's loss to the Chiefs, the Packers played a significant amount of two-deep safety coverages to deal with the threat of Mahomes and a usually explosive pass game that has stuttered this season.

It worked as the Chiefs were held to just 13 points, and the numbers suggest Green Bay will lean on two-high looks again to try to slow down Wilson on his return.

When faced with Cover 2 this season, Wilson has delivered an accurate, well-thrown ball 80.0 per cent of the time; the league average is 83.4.

He has fared even worse against Cover 4 or 'Quarters', posting a well-thrown percentage of 72.4 (79.6 per cent is the average), and that number dips further to 62.5 per cent versus cover 6 (average 77.3 per cent).

Against Tampa 2, which is a variant of Cover 2 with a linebacker dropping into the deep middle at the snap, Wilson's well-thrown percentage is 75.0, again below the average of 82.7.

Wilson has already outperformed expectations by returning this quickly from injury and has made a career out of making the improbable possible. Yet, if Collins cannot succeed on the ground and force the Packers to bring a safety down into the box to stop the run, it could be a difficult day for Wilson facing coverages against which he has not excelled.

Seahawks must capitalise on Bakhtiari blow

The Packers had hoped to have David Bakhtiari back at left tackle, but he was listed as doubtful on the injury report as he attempts to make his return from a knee injury.

Bakhtiari's likely absence is a boost to a Seahawks defense that may see its best hope of slowing down Rodgers as being in their ability to get consistent pressure on the reigning MVP and magnify the impact of any potential rust.

While the Seahawks are a middle-of-the-road defense in terms of yards per play, in which they rank 16th (5.55), they are a top-half unit when it comes to creating pressure.

Their 139 pressures this season are 13th in the NFL and, in Rodgers, they are facing a quarterback who has proven particularly susceptible to opposing pass rushes in 2021.

Only team-mate Jordan Love (40.0) and Zach Wilson (53.7) have worse well-thrown percentages than Rodgers (55.2) when under duress among quarterbacks to have attempted 10 passes under pressure.

And Rodgers' pickable pass rate of 8.62 per cent under pressure is substantially worse than the average for quarterbacks (min. 10 attempts) of 4.82.

The spotlight will be firmly on Rodgers after a fortnight he will not forget in a hurry. It is the Seahawks, though, who enter the game with their backs against the wall, and it may take an instrumental performance from Collins and a potent pass rush to prevent Seattle slipping further towards playoff irrelevance.

The Seattle Seahawks activated star quarterback Russell Wilson from injured reserve ahead of Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

Wilson has been sidelined since injuring the middle finger on his right hand during an October 7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

The one-time NFL Super Bowl champion was initially facing six to eight weeks out but has returned early, while rookie receiver Dee Eskridge has also been activated from IR, putting the Seahawks at near full strength for the Packers clash.

"He has had a terrific week," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Friday.

"You could see him just feel a little bit better as the week went on, but he really didn't hold anything back and he finished great the last couple of days and he's ready to go."

Wilson has started five games this season, with a completion rate of 72.0 per cent for 1,196 yards with 10 touchdowns and one interception.

His injury ended a 10-year run of starts, the sixth-longest such streak of any quarterback in NFL history, and the longest of any QB currently active within the league.

Carroll added: "I expect him to [play] just like he always plays. I don't expect anything different. Not a thing different. He is pretty hungry to play football now. He missed it. So we've got to make sure that he stays clear and all that about this opportunity.

"If anything, I'm just worried that he's too excited, too amped up. But he'll be fine. Really, I'm just so impressed with how this thing has worked out and that he's gotten us to this point, and really fired up to see him play football."

Sunday's game, however, is too soon for running back Chris Carson, who is closing in on a return from a neck injury.

Before a bye last week, the Seahawks (3-5) beat the Jacksonville Jaguars at home 31-7. Seattle are 7-4 (63.6) in the first game coming off a bye week since Carroll became head coach in 2010, per Stats Perform.

DK Metcalf has eight touchdowns in the Seahawks' eight games this season. That matches the best mark by a Seattle player through the team's first eight games with Daryl Turner in 1985 and Metcalf himself last year. Metcalf finished 2020 with 10 total TD catches.

Seattle have 20 red-zone drives this season – third fewest in the NFL – but has scored touchdowns on 75.0 percent of those drives, second best in the NFL. The Packers' defense have allowed touchdowns on 76.0 per cent of red-zone drives, second worst in the NFL.

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