The Green Bay Packers will play in the NFC Championship game for the first time since 2016 after a thrilling 28 - 23 victory over the Seattle Seahawks Sunday night at Lambeau Field. The Seahawks had an awful first-half as the score was 21 - 3 Packers at halftime. As good as Russell Wilson is, it takes more than a one-man effort to win a football game. What about Aaron Rodgers? He played spectacular only throwing two incompletions on third down the entire game, the Packers offense was clicking as a result of Davante Adams and Aaron Jones multi-touchdown performance. Of course, you can’t have a playoff game without at least one questionable call from the officials, which had Seahawks players and fans wondering if Jimmy Graham did get a first down on a 3rd & 9 with under two minutes left in the game, replay showed Graham's knee hit the ground a half-yard short.
On the opening play of the game, Aaron Jones dashed for 23-yards showing he was not going to let his playoff debut be a disappointment. Rogers would find Adams for 14-yards as they were now in Mason Crosby field goal range but that wouldn't be the end of Adams as he caught a 20-yard touchdown giving the Packers a 7 - 0 lead in a flash. On the Seahawks first play, it looked as if Jacob Hollister fumbled the ball and recovered by the Packers but after review it stood as an 11-yard completion. The Seahawks did nothing else on the drive as Za'Darius Smith picked up the first sack of the game. After that drive, there were three straight three-and-outs and I'm sure the fans wished they brought a pillow for this back and forth punt fest. Finally, the Seahawks offense had a pulse as Wilson hit Tyler Lockett from 28-yards putting them at the Green Bay 30. However, the Seahawks would go back to the offense that made us yawn like the two previous possessions which resulted in a 45-yard field goal by Jason Myers. The Packers would take over 5 minutes to get down the field, Rogers as efficient as he is, threw for three huge completions to Adams with the drive ending with Jones scoring a touchdown. Packers up 14 - 3 early in the second. The Seahawks would try to rally back as Wilson threw another long completion to Lockett that went for 31-yards, next play Smith dumped Wilson for a 4-yard loss which set up Myers for a 50-yard field goal that went wide right. Packers will go on another long drive, 11 plays and 60-yards capped by a 1-yard touchdown by Jones making it 21 - 3 Packers. The Seahawks couldn't convert on a Hail Mary before half-time and it looked to be panic time in Seattle.
The Seahawks came back from 16 - 0 against the Packers in the 2014 NFC Championship, they would have to pull off another miracle to face the San Francisco 49ers next week. It started off strong as Wilson would throw short passes to D.K. Metcalf, Lockett and Hollister one of which being a huge 4th & 1 conversion to Lockett that went for 4-yards. Marshawn Lynch would get his first playoff touchdown since 2014 as the Seahawks cut the deficit to 11. The Seahawks scoring drive would be quickly responded by Rogers, he connected to Adams who juked Tre Flowers to score the 40-yard strike. Wilson would continue to find Lockett as he completed another pass that went 13-yards on a 2nd & 8, then he found Travis Homer out of the backfield for 11-yards. On 3rd & 1, Wilson would use his scrambling abilities as he picked up 9-yards to the 7-yard line. Surprise surprise, Wilson found Lockett in the corner of the end zone for the 7-yard touchdown making it 28 - 17. Can the Seahawks crawl back into this game? It’s early in the fourth, do they have it in them to repeat another comeback like the 2014 NFC championship? Things looked positive as Lynch ran for his second touchdown of the game making it a 5 point difference. Wilson preparing for a 2 point converversion was sacked by Jaire Alexander. A cornerback drilling Wilson? You don’t see that every week! The Seahawks failed a must needed 2-point conversion. Just on the cusp of field-goal range, Rogers took a huge sack that was made by Shaquem Griffin on 3rd down to force a punt. On 3rd & 5, Wilson took the biggest sack of them all as Preston Smith got him for a loss of 6-yards. I don't know what's more surprising, the fact that Rodgers completed a 32-yard pass to Adams or that he converted another third-down? The Seahawks would burn all their time outs and force the Packers to throw on another 3rd-down, it would be caught by the former Seahawk, Graham an apparent first down. The play would be reviewed as his knee hit the ground before crossing the first down mark but the referees would see it differently and the Packers would kneel out the clock for the victory.
If you are a Seahawks fan you have the right to be upset about that questionable call in the 4th quarter, that does not take away the fact the Seahawks need to score more than three points in the first half or not leave it to Wilson to rally back an unnecessary deficit. Another factor could have been Myers missing a 50-yard attempt but to his defense, the 30 degree weather was not in his favor as the ball probably was as hard as a brick. Wilson was the main reason the Seahawks were able to be in the game until the bitter end. Metcalf, who had a record for 160 receiving yards as a rookie in a playoff game last week, only had 59 yards this game. With the injuries to Chris Carson and Will Dissly, Wilson was limited and had to rely heavily on Metcalf and Lockett which one fared better than the other. As for the Packers, they were challenged in the second half but always kept up when the Seahawks picked up momentum. Davante Adams who played flawless with 160-yards along with the Packers stubborn defense and Rodgers playoff experience, it should be quite interesting to see how they will play against the best team in the NFC, Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Nick Bosa and the rest of the 49ers next week.