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Tate's Golden moment
A magical night at CenturyLink Field ended with a magical play Monday night, as Golden Tate came down with Russell Wilson’s heave into the end zone on the final snap to give the Seahawks a 14-12 victory.
The 24-yard TD pass capped a wild night before an exhausted crowd of 68,218. The Seahawks sacked Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers eight times in the first half, when the Seahawks took a 7-0 lead on Wilson’s 41-yard TD pass to Tate.
But the Packers then put together 70-, 66- and 81-yard scoring drives in the second half to take a 12-7 lead with 8:44 remaining on Cedric Benson’s 1-yard TD run.
Wilson then led the Seahawks on their fateful final drive. The TD pass came on fourth-and-10.
Chris Clemons tied the franchise- and NFL-record with four sacks in the first half.
The victory was the second consecutive upset for the Seahawks, lifting their record to 2-1 as they prepare to play four of their next five games on the road, starting Sunday in St. Louis against the Rams.
The win also extended the Seahawks’ winning streak on “Monday Night Football” to six in a row, and increased their already league-best winning percentage on MNF to .692 (18-8).
In the first quarter, each team crossed midfield once, as the Seahawks got to the Packers’ 44 and the Packers to the Seahawks’ 49. Bruce Irvin sparked the Seahawks’ defensive effort as the first-round draft choice had not one, but two sacks. The first came on third-and-10 on the Packers’ first possession. The second came on second-and-20, on an inside move when tackle Bryan Bulaga appeared to hold Irvin on his rush.
Clemons took over in the second quarter with his four sacks, and Wilson capped a five-play, 73-yard drive with his 41-yard TD pass to Tate with 6:22 left in the half. The Seahawks produced eight sacks in the first half, three shy of the franchise single-game record.
Clemons’ first two sacks were possession-enders as they came on third downs. The other two came during a Packers’ series that reached the Seahawks’ 47-yard line, before Clemons dropped Rodgers for a 7-yard loss and then a 1-yard loss on back-to-back plays.
The Seahawks’ TD came on Wilson’s play-action fake to Robert Turbin and came because Tate turned cornerback Tramon Williams around with a move to be open for the pass before safety Charles Woodson could get over to help.
The Packers monopolized the third quarter, but had only two field goals to show for it. Mason Crosby supplied the points to end drives of 13 and 11 plays with 29- and 40-yard field goals. Give an honorable-mention assist to Cedric Benson, who carried seven times for 34 yards on the first drive and three times for 14 yards on the second drive.
The Seahawks appeared to have the Packers stopped again late in the quarter, but on third-and-5 Rodgers rolled to his left – away from the pressure that was coming up the gut – and found tight end Jermichael Finley for a 31-yard gain to the 48-yard line.
It appeared the Packers had won against all odds, until the oddest of plays allowed the Seahawks to pull this one out.