There have been two themes that have dominated the NFL Playoffs so far: No lead is safe, and expect the unexpected. Consider the Packers the exception to this rule, if but barely.
Seattle did everything they could to upend an 18-point deficit in the first half, but Green Bay had enough clutch answers on the final drive of the 4th quarter to put away the Seahawks and put themselves in position to play for a spot in the Super Bowl. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-23 by way of the air and the ground.
Aaron Rodgers, preferring to be "under the radar", may have done just that. Hitting throws and getting the ball moving early, the Packers proved why they are one of the best teams in the first fifteen plays of a ballgame. Rodgers directed the Packers straight down the field and found Davante Adams on a fade to the left side of the endzone to score first. Seattle countered with a field goal but was unable to slow the Packers again as they added two Aaron Jones touchdowns in the red zone.
Packers fans will be the first to tell you, however, that no matter the setting or score, Seattle is always game, and tonight was no different. Striking a new groove to start the second half, Seattle commandingly dominated the ball and hit Green Bay with a Marshawn Lynch punch in. Russell Wilson, the Seattle do-it-all this season, was starting to find the magic that had eluded him earlier in the game.
But the magic had no match for Davante Adams, who put up a gaudy stat line: 8 catches, 160 yards, 2 TD's, and every catch he had resulted in a first down. Plus, he had this catch which set the internet ablaze:
Seattle was able to fight back and make things interesting, scoring with 9:33 left and only trailing by 5. After a bit of back and forth, Seattle had Green Bay pinched with a third and long. Green Bay had gotten the ball back with a little over 2 minutes to play, but an incomplete pass on the previous play resulted in the Seahawks having an extra timeout, the two-minute warning, and all heaps of momentum on their side. LaFleur drew up a 25-yard streak down the sideline for Davante Adams, and Rodgers put it in a place only his trusted receiver could grab it. Another tough catch by Jimmy Graham brought the Packers to the most desired formation in football. Russell Wilson, with his uncanny knack for finding big plays in big situations, was left to watch from the sidelines as Rodgers converted play after play to put the Packers within reach of a Super Bowl berth.
This is not to say that Seattle did not have its moments, and as was mentioned in the preview article, the key to the game would be Russell Wilson, and his play kept the Seahawks completely alive. On the night, Wilson accounted for 341 of the 387 yards Seattle gained and threw a touchdown pass in the 3rd to carve some momentum. Exasperatingly escaping almost every sort of pursuit the Packers defensive line could muster, Wilson proved why he was a front-running MVP candidate and the heart and soul of Seattle this season. Green Bay did register 5 sacks on the night, with none more clutch than Preston Smith's late smothering of the Seattle gunslinger.
Green Bay (14-3) moves on to face the San Francisco 49ers (14-3) in the Bay area. Green Bay and San Francisco previously met this season, with San Francisco taking control early, dominating on all levels and holding Rodgers to under 100 yards passing on the game, tromping the Packers 37-8. This is Green Bay's first appearance in the NFC Championship Game since 2016, a loss against the Atlanta Falcons.
Seattle finishes with a record of 12-6.