Heartbreak in Seattle – Seahawks 28 Packers 22


The Green Bay Packers gave up a 16-point lead today in the NFC Championship Game as the Seattle Seahawks came back to win an improbable victory in overtime to earn their second straight trip to the Super Bowl, 28-22.

Mike McCarthy was genuine and strong after the game, but with tears in his eyes and choking back his words, he knew this was probably the most crushing defeat in his career.

“Obviously very proud of my football team,” McCarthy said … Congratulations to the Seahawks … when you prepare for … high energy … big playmakers … we knew there would be momentum swings. They obviously made more than we did.”

All the Packers had to do was recover an onside kick with just more than two minutes left in the game. Holding on to a 19-13 lead, the onside kick squibbed off the hands and helmet of reserve tight end Brandon Bostick and the Seahawks recovered.

From there, the game went south for the Packers as Seattle moved the ball down for a touchdown.

What was even more improbable was with the Seahawks leading 20-19 and going for two points, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was pressured into throwing a duck to the goal line that somehow was caught in front of rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix that gave Seattle the thee-point lead at 22-19.

That was before Aaron Rodgers, with just 1:25 left in the game, moved the Packers down into field goal range to tie it at 22-22 to send it into overtime.

The Seahawks won the toss and proceeded to move the ball quickly to the winning Wilson-to-Jermaine Kearse touchdown for the winning score.

January 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson (82) catches a pass for a two point conversion against the defense of Green Bay Packers free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21) during the second half in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers seemingly had the game in hand, but the Seahawks’ victory only goes to show that anything and everything that can happen usually does happen in the NFL.

Ironically, it was the Packers defense that kept them in the lead for most of the game. They adequately shut down the Seahawks’ run game and forced Russell Wilson into some bad throws.

In all, the Packers intercepted Wilson four times throughout the day, but it was Green Bay’s inability to score from inside the five yard line early in the game.

Having to settle for Mason Crosby field goals certainly came back to haunt the Packers in the fourth quarter. Allowing the Seahawks to hang around in the second half didn’t help, but it was the final three minutes of the game in regulation that led to the Packers’ downfall.

It was the three field goals in the first quarter and a second quarter touchdown pass by Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb that put the Packers up 16-0 at the half.

The killer instinct wasn’t there and one wonders how that may have changed the play-calling had Rodgers been 100 percent today.

Though he didn’t have to scramble much today because of the phenomenal protection from the offensive line, Rodgers wasn’t as razor sharp as he has been in the past.

He finished 19-of-34 for 178 yards, 1 TD and two interceptions. The interceptions didn’t hurt the Packers as the Seahawks didn’t score on them.

But it wasn’t to be the day for the Packers.

January 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby (2) kicks a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

From Jordy Nelson not getting his hands on a ball in the end zone that he usually catches, to dropped interceptions and the letdown by the defense in the final two minutes, this was one of those games that will live in Packers lore for years to come … it might be as big of a loss for the team as the “4th and 26” game in 2003 at Philadelphia, or the shootout in Arizona a few years ago when an Aaron Rodgers fumble was returned for a TD.

Unfortunately for Green Bay, they go home and clear out their lockers and look toward next year; for the Seahawks, they move on to play either the Patriots or Colts.

I have a feeling that today’s NFC Championship bout was this year’s Super Bowl.

Stats from today’s game …

Aaron Rodgers19341785.212
TEAM TOTALS19341715.012
Russell Wilson14292097.214
Jon Ryan11191910
TEAM TOTALS15302036.824
Eddie Lacy21733.5130
James Starks5448.8320
Aaron Rodgers11212.0120
John Kuhn231.530
Randall Cobb133.030
TEAM TOTALS301354.5320
Marshawn Lynch251576.3241
Russell Wilson7253.6151
Robert Turbin284.050
Ricardo Lockette144.040
TEAM TOTALS351945.5242
Mason Crosby5-5116
Tim Masthay519739.40
TEAM TOTALS519739.40
Steven Hauschka0-022
Jon Ryan521242.42
TEAM TOTALS521242.42
Micah Hyde313.30
Micah Hyde118.00
Bryan Walters37.00
Doug Baldwin319.30
Lemuel Jeanpierre10.00