GREEN BAY, Wis. — For most of the night, it was a game threatening to careen out of control for the Seahawks.
Ultimately, though, the Seahawks were able to find just enough of a semblance of order to leave Lambeau Field with a 17-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
And once again they could largely thank two players who have been standouts throughout training camp — rookie running back Christine Michael and free-agent receiver Stephen Williams.
Michael’s 43-yard touchdown run and Williams’ 42-yard touchdown catch helped keep the Seahawks unbeaten in the exhibition season at 3-0 and allow them to win their eighth straight exhibition game dating to the 2011 season.
The two long scores, and consistent play by the defense, helped Seattle overcome 14 penalties and 182 penalty yards as well as two interceptions from quarterback Russell Wilson in the first half, and four sacks.
“We played good and hard football,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. “And we did a lot of good things in the game. But the distractions of giving up (182) yards in penalties is ridiculously hard to deal with and feel like you played well.”
Seattle has had 34 penalties enforced against it in three games, and Carroll called it “an area we’ve got to get cleaned up.”
“We have our guys so jacked up about trying to do right that they are overtrying at times,” Carroll said, adding that he thinks it’s “very fixable.”
Seattle was called for six penalties during the first half, which ended 3-3 and in which the starters played the whole way.
Seattle took the opening kickoff and drove 71 yards in 12 plays — led by Wilson going 6-of-6 passing — scoring on a 27-yard Steven Hauschka field goal.
Wilson, though, had two passes picked off in the second quarter — one on a throw that was tipped at the line of scrimmage and the other when he tried to hit Doug Baldwin deep. The Seahawks didn’t get farther than the Green Bay 45-yard line the rest of the first half.
Wilson, who played one series in the third quarter before leaving, was sacked three times. He had been sacked only once in the first two games.
“They really came after us tonight,” Carroll said. “Probably more than we had anticipated, and we didn’t spent a lot of time (preparing for the Packers) and we were behind on some of the pressures and we didn’t pick up some things tonight as well as we have. It was a good test for us. But I’m not concerned about it in the long haul.”
It was still 3-3 when Michael took a handoff and darted through a big hole and down the right sideline, using a downfield block from receiver Jermaine Kearse to spring into the end zone to put Seattle ahead 10-3 with 9:38 left in the third quarter.
Michael, Seattle’s top pick in the 2013 draft in the second round out of Texas A&M, finished with a game-high 97 yards on 11 carries and also had one catch for 25 yards. Michael had 89 yards in Seattle’s opening win at San Diego before missing last week’s game against Denver due to back spasms.
“Both games he has played in he has been a factor, and he looked very good tonight,” Carroll said.
Said Michael: “I was anxious to play. Last week unfortunately I couldn’t and this game I was happy to be back out there and my body felt well. … The offensive line did an amazing job and I am starting to trust those guys a lot more and be more patient in the run game.”
Green Bay tied it on its next drive when quarterback Vince Young led an 80-yard march that was capped by a 1-yard scoring pass to fullback Jonathan Amosa, who played at Washington and is a graduate of Rainier Beach High School.
Penalties and sacks helped kill Seattle’s next two drives before Michael and Williams again took over. First, Michael turned a one-handed grab into a 25-yard gain to take the ball to the Green Bay 42.
On the next play, Seahawks quarterback Brady Quinn lofted the ball deep down the right sideline into the end zone, where the 6-foot-5 Williams reached over Green Bay cornerback Loyce Means to score the touchdown.
It was Williams’ team-high third touchdown reception of the exhibition season, all on plays of 38 yards or longer.
“He has really made a big statement for himself,” Carroll said of Williams, whom Seattle signed in January.
Said Williams: “The game was tied and we needed a big offensive play. (Quinn) looked at me like, ‘I’m going to throw you the ball, we need a touchdown.’ “
Safety Winston Guy then forced a fumble as Green Bay threatened to score on its next drive, Benson Mayowa recovering at the 13-yard line, and the Seahawks were able to walk away with another win, inartful as it might have been.
“It’s terrific for us to keep learning these lessons when you are winning,” said Carroll.