Seahawks rally for wild win over Packers

The Seahawks are heading back to the Super Bowl after scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter and then scoring on the first possession of overtime to take a 28-22 victory over the Green Bay Packers in Sunday’s NFC Championship game.

First Quarter

What Happened: Packers 13, Seahawks 0. The Packers got the ball first and drove to the Seahawks' 29, but Richard Sherman intercepted Aaron Rodgers' pass that was intended for Davante Adams in the end zone for a touchback – the same corner of the South end where Sherman made his Immaculate Deflection to ice the victory over the 49ers in last January's NFC title game. The Packers got the ball right back as Ha Ha Clinton-Dix intercepted Russell Wilson's third-down pass that went off Jermaine Kearse at the 30 and returned it to the Seahawks' 4. A taunting penalty on Mike Daniels after the interception moved the ball back to the 19. The Packers settled for an 18-yard field goal by Mason Crosby after Kevin Williams and Bobby Wagner stopped John Kuhn for no gain and second-and-goal and Bruce Irvin and Malcolm Smith stopped Eddie Lacy for no gain on third-and-1. The Kuhn run was ruled a TD, but a review showed his elbow was down short of the goal line. Again, the Packers got the ball right back as Doug Baldwin fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Brad Jones forced the fumble and Morgan Burnett recovered at the Seahawks' 23. Again, the Seahawks' defense held, and the Packers got a 19-yarder from Crosby to make it 6-0 with 5:07 left in the quarter. Rodgers was just wide on a second-and-goal pass to Jordy Nelson in the end zone and Earl Thomas stopped Randall Cobb at the 1 after a third-down completion. The Seahawks then went three-and-out. And the Packers drove to Rodgers' 13-yard TD pass to Cobb on the final play of the quarter. Rodgers was 3 of 4 for 39 yards on the seven-play, 56-yard drive.

Players of the Quarter: The Seahawks' defense. Sherman's interception in the end zone. Two goal-line stands following an interception and fumbled kickoff return deep in Seattle territory. This one could have really gotten out of hand in a hurry without the efforts of the best defense in the NFL on the Packers' first three possessions.

Play of the Quarter: The quarter's only touchdown, as Rodgers spotted Cobb a he was coming across the back of the end zone.

Numbers to Note: 6, 3, 2:22. Plays, yards and time of possession for the slow-starting Seahawks.


Second Quarter

What Happened: Packers 16, Seahawks 0. The Seahawks opened the quarter with a three-and-out, and Micah Hyde then returned Jon Ryan's 39-yard punt 29 yards to the Seahawks' 33. The Seahawks appeared to get off the field when Aaron Rodgers' third-and-13 pass to a wide-open Randall Cobb was high and wide. But Cliff Avril was called for hands to the face, giving the Packers a first down at the Seahawks' 31. The Packers capitalized on yet another Seahawks' mistake as Mason Crosby kicked a 40-yard field goal to make it 16-0 with 9:37 to left in the half. Wilson then threw a first-down interception, but the Seahawks got the ball back when Byron Maxwell intercepted Rodgers' pass that was intended for Jordy Nelson. The Seahawks drove to the Packers' 18, only to have Wilson throw another interception – this one by Sam Shields in the end zone on a pass intended for Jermaine Kearse. The defense then forced the Packers to punt for the first time in the game.

Player of the Quarter: Rodgers. The Packers' sore-calved QB was 4 of 8 for 35 yards in the quarter and 12 of 21 for 115 yards in the half, and the Seahawks' pass rush gave him way too much time to stand in the pocket and pick out the open receiver.

Play of the Quarter: Shields' pick in the end zone. It ended the Seahawks' only scoring opportunity of the half, as Shields shielded Kearse from the ball.

Number to Note: 3. Interceptions thrown in the first half by No. 3, Wilson. He had thrown one interception in his first six playoffs games, and that one came in his first playoff game against the Redskins in a 2012 wild-card game.


Third Quarter

What Happened: Packers 16, Seahawks 7. The Seahawks got the ball first, but went three-and-out as Marshawn Lynch found little room to run in gaining 3, 5 and 1 yards. After the defense forced a three-and-out the Seahawks drove 78 yards in 11 plays to – wait for it – Jon Ryan's 19-yard TD pass to Garry Gilliam. Yes, Ryan took the snap on a 38-yard field goal attempt, rolled right and lofted the ball to Gilliam, the rookie tackle who was open in the end zone. Russell Wilson was 3 of 4 for 45 yards and Lynch carried five times for 34 yards. The defensive then forced a four-and-out as Cliff Avril sacked Aaron Rodgers for a 7-yard loss on third down. But the Seahawks then went three-and-out.

Players of the Quarter: Ryan and Gilliam, for Ryan-to-Gilliam.

Play of the Quarter: Are you kidding? Special teams coordinator Brian Schneider dipped into his bag of tricks again to get the Seahawks on the board with the Ryan-to-Gilliam TD pass.

Number to Note: 28. Yards for the Packers in the quarter, on nine plays.


Fourth Quarter

What Happened: Seahawks 22, Packers 22. The Packers pushed their lead to 19-7 as Mason Crosby kicked a 48-yard field goal on the eighth play of the fourth quarter to cap a 10-play, 57-yard drive that began at the end of the third quarter. The big play was John Starks' 32-yard run to the Seahawks' 43 on the first play of the quarter and Aaron Rodgers also passed for 7 yards to Richard Rodgers on third-and-7. The Seahawks then used the running of Marshawn Lynch to drive to the Packers' 45, but Russell Wilson was sacked on first down and threw incomplete passes on second and third downs to force another punt. Lynch had runs for 13 and 11 yards, but Wilson was 2 of 6. The Packers' ensuing series was a K.J. Wright highlight reel, as the Seahawks' outside linebacker pulled Starks down from behind for a 1-yard gain on first down, stopped Starks after a 5-yard gain on second down and broke up Rodgers' third-down pass to Andrew Quarless. The Seahawks' possession lasted one play, as Wilson's first-down pass went off Jermaine Kearse and was intercepted by Morgan Burnett. The defense then forced another three-and-out, this one led by Michael Bennett who made the tackles on second and third downs. The Seahawks then drove 69 yards in seven plays to Wilson's 1-yard scoring run on third-and-goal to make it 19-14 with 2:09 left. It appeared the Seahawks had scored on Wilson's 35-yard pass to Lynch, but Lynch stepped out of bounds at the 9. Lynch carried twice for 18 yards and had the 26-yard reception from Wilson. The Seahawks then recovered their onside kick as the ball went off the Packers' Brandon Bostic and Chris Matthews controlled the ball. Four plays later, Lynch – No. 24 – scored on a 24-yard run to give the Seahawks' their first lead with 1:25 left. Wilson then passed to Luke Willson for the two-point conversion. And the Seahawks needed it, as the Packers drove to a 48-yard field goal by Crosby to tie it with 14 seconds left.

Player of the Quarter: Lynch. You've seen Wilson almost will the Seahawks to scores. This time it was the Beast Mode back.

Play of the Quarter: The onside kick. Without it, Lynch's go-ahead run never would have happened.

Number to Note: 24. Lynch's number. The distance of his TD run. Twice the distance of Crosby's game-tying field goal.


Overtime

What Happened: Seahawks 28, Packers 22. The Seahawks got the ball first, and last, as Russell Wilson passed 35 yards to Jermaine Kearse for a TD on the sixth play of overtime to cap an 87-yard drive.

Player of the Quarter: Wilson. He atoned for throwing four interceptions in regulation to get the Seahawks back to the Super Bowl by going 3 of 3 for 80 yards.

Play of the Quarter: The game-winner, as Kearse atoned for having two passes go off him for interceptions.

Number to Note: 49. The Seahawks are heading to Super Bowl XLIX.

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