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Social Simplified: Deconstructing the Miracle Comeback

The Seahawks pulled off one of the most exciting late-game comebacks in playoff history. Did it break the Internet?


Sunday's NFC Championship was anything but expected. The Seahawks were down 16-0 in at the end of the first half, but mounted an incredible fourth quarter comeback to win the game 28-22.

The odds didn't look good for the Seahawks as the game came down to the wire (some experts had put their chances at 3% at this point in the game), but a last-ditch onside kick was recovered by Chris Matthews, and followed by a Marshawn Lynch touchdown to give the Seahawks their first lead of the game. On Twitter, as well as on the field, this changed everything.

Before the onside kick, the average number of Tweets per minute was 1,335. Post-onside kick, this average rocketed to 5,120 Tweets-per-minute.

The entire game had been rife with drama. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had thrown four interceptions, Richard Sherman played much of the second half with a clearly injured left arm, and Green Bay started to look way too comfortable on the field.

After winning the coin flip, Wilson went into redemption mode, hitting Jermaine Kearse (who had been on the receiving end of the majority of the game's interceptions) with a 35-yard game-ending touchdown pass. The redemption in that touchdown, after both players had struggled to convert throughout the game, completely lit up the internet.

The touchdown, and overall excitement about the win, caused mentions of #GBvsSEA to spike at 12,647 per minute and mentions of @seahawks to hit 7,137 per minute.

Mentions of @Seahawks throughout the day trumped all three of the other teams that were still in contention, including the Patriots. @Seahawks was mentioned 328,647 times on game day, and @Patriots was mentioned 287,733 times (although they've drawn more attention in the following days due to the deflated ball scandal plastered across the ESPN homepage).

But as we all know, after the party is the after party, and it was the post-game celebration that really got fans going on social. This photo of Michael Bennett snagging a police bicycle and cruising around the field was the most popular Seahawks Instagram post of the day, netting over 85,000 Likes and comments.

"Best bike ride I've ever had." - @mosesbread72 #NFCChamps

A post shared by Seattle Seahawks (@seahawks) on

And on Twitter, the post-game celebration also took top billing, with this Tweet tallying over 15,000 @Replies, Retweets, and Favorites, generating nearly 10 million potential impressions.

While it's hard to imagine the emotion of the NFC Championship being matched, the social chatter around the Super Bowl dwarfs almost anything, and we can expect to have a lot to talk about after the Feb. 1 meeting between our boys in blue and the New England Patriots. Are you ready to do it all again?

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