Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur:
"Well, all I can say is that was pretty indicative of our entire season right there with another game going right down to the wire. So proud of our guys and just the way they battle and play for each other. It's a resilient group. It wasn't always pretty at times, but you know, it was great at the end of the game. We made plays when we had to. Our defense stepped up and was able to get that sack on Russell (Wilson). There's no better way to close out a football game than in a four-minute mode where you have to convert a couple third downs. Really happy for all our guys. Jimmy Graham stepped up, made some plays. Jared Veldheer stepped in and did a great job for Bryan Bulaga. I thought our quarterback did an outstanding job. Obviously, Davante (Adams), I think he broke a record for receiving yards. There was a lot of great performances. Za'darius Smith was consistently in the backfield. It took everybody's best effort. You've got to give the Seahawks a ton of credit. We knew they were going to be a tough team and they took it right down to the wire."
(on the way Aaron Rodgers played)
"I thought he made some clutch throws. Especially, I think a good indication of really good quarterback play is look at third down. That was one of the best performances we've had all year on third down. We were (9-14) and just clutch throws and his ability to stand in there. He took a shot on that last play, on the shallow cross to Jimmy and I thought he did an outstanding job."
(on deciding to go for a first down late in the game instead of trying to run the clock down to punt and making the Seahawks potentially go the length of the field)
"I just think at the time, I thought that was the best thing to do was try to win the football game. I've got a lot of trust in our quarterback. I've got a lot of trust in our offensive line, our receivers to go out there and make a play and they did it."
(on how gratifying it was to have success on third down)
"I think it's all in the execution. Our guys knowing the plan and then going out there and executing and guys just making fantastic plays. It's something we've really put a lot of concentration on, is our ability to convert on third down. And that's a good defense. It's a physical defense and it's playoff football."
(on if the Packers would have went for it on fourth down had the review marked Graham short of the first down late in the game)
"Yeah, that's what we talked about doing."
(on the offense putting the game away with a four-minute offense)
"Well, I think it was the third down conversions. We were able to convert, I think it was two third downs there at the end, and it was huge."
(on the QB sneak)
"Well, these guys like to tease Aaron about the lack of QB sneaks that we've attempted. That's something we haven't had up too many times, but had it up for this game and they went out and executed it."
(on what he learned from the last trip to San Francisco)
"I think there's a lot to learn. First of all, I mean, that's a really good football team. We know we are going to have to be at our absolute best in order to compete with them and you know, I think unfortunately last time for whatever reason, we weren't."
(on what changed in the second half defensively after bottling up the Seahawks offense in the first half)
"It just seemed like every time I looked up he was making somebody miss in the pocket and creating and extending plays, which, I mean, he's done his whole career. That's why he is who he is. He's so good at that. That was one of the emphases going into the football game was we've got to make sure we contain him. Our rush lanes have to be disciplined, we've got to exhaust the play. Unfortunately, there were too many times where he'd make somebody miss and then it seemed like once he did that, he had all day to kind of create and extend. And those guys, they do a great job, everybody working for him. He was able to create a lot of big plays."
(on the 40-yard touchdown to WR Davante Adams)
"It was something that we had up for man-to-man coverage. The play prior to that we were in the same personnel grouping so we decided to call that right there. It was really good execution. Davante is as good a route runner as I've ever seen. And, you know, it was a great ball. And then he was able to run with it after the catch. Just two great football players making great plays. You've got to give it up for everybody up front, giving Aaron the time to allow that route to develop because it's not like it's a quick route. It's a double move. And the protection was great on that play."
(on the timing of when he knew RT Bryan Bulaga wasn't going to be available for the game)
"It was one of those deals where we found out this morning that he wasn't feeling well. We tried to go up all the way to that 90-minute mark before we have to turn in our inactives. And we just thought, 'hey, we're going to give this guy a shot to go because he's so valuable to our football team. He's a fighter now, he's as tough as they come. For him not to be able to go, that just tells you how bad he was feeling."
(on RT Jared Veldheer stepping in)
"It does show much for us. It allows us to run our offense and I thought he did a pretty darn good job. We'll take a look at the film and really evaluate it, but at no time throughout the game was I ever fearful of a call. I thought he did an outstanding job."
(on what it's like as a coach going through the two replay reviews)
"It's a rollercoaster of emotions during those times. Especially once they ruled it a first down and then they took another look at it. I didn't know how it was going to turn out."
(on his emotions being one game away from the Super Bowl as a rookie head coach)
"I just think it's a credit to everybody in that locker room. It's a credit to our players, it's a credit to our coaches. We're going to have the same mindset like we do every week, and that's to go out there and find a way to go 1-0. But I couldn't be happier for our guys. They put in a lot of hard work. They're a group that sticks together and they don't blink."
(on what ways he feels his team is different since playing at San Francisco)
"I'd like to think we've improved quite a bit. It'll be a great challenge for us. We'll really see where we're at and see how far we've come because that is a really good football team and they're playing at a really high level. Obviously, they took care of the Vikings pretty handily yesterday and they're a really good football team."
(on the emotions of the last couple drives)
"You said it. It was a little rollercoaster. I just…I really don't know. I'm just kind of at a loss. I've got to go back and look at it, but you know, it was a little frustrating when we did convert that first down to G-Mo (Geronimo Allison) and didn't really do anything with it after that. We took the sack and had to punt. But again, our defense rose to the occasion and they made the plays when they had to."
(on Preston Smith getting back into the game and making a big play at the end after being out for awhile)
"I think our defense, there were so many plays that were extended, so our guys, they were giving great effort, they were pretty exhausted by the end of that football game. That's what we talked about, we knew that was going to be the case. But it was, obviously, huge of him to be able to go back in there. He's a really good pass rusher. I think he's an elite pass rusher. He was able to get to the quarterback and we were able to finish on the quarterback. Like so many times previously in the game, where we were there, we just didn't finish the tackles."
(on when the Packers will travel to San Francisco)
"We're going to stick to going out there the day before. We'll take a look at that going forward, but that's the plan right now."
(on if he learned anything about his team today or if this is the team he has seen all season)
"I think it's how we've found a way all year long. We just stick together, battle and like I said, it's not always pretty, but you know, all that matters is that you come out on top at the end and our guys continue to find a way and in those high pressure situations, they don't blink."
Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers
(on the last two third down conversions)
"Davante (Adams) ran a great route in the slot there, got great leverage. It looked like the defender might have jumped inside at the snap and he just got a great release, got off the ball and I just put it in a good spot for him. He was on one tonight. He was really crisp with his route running, just one of those special nights. He made a number of very heady plays. That was one of them because it wasn't exactly the check that we were looking for. It was better than the check. Tonight reminds me of the connection that Jordy (Nelson) and I had for so many years where there's some unspoken things that we could do without even communicating anything about it, and Davante made three or four plays like that tonight, so that was pretty fun. And the second one, I just tried to hold it as long as I could. At the snap, I was really thinking Davante pre-snap, (but) at the snap (Quandre) Diggs went to his right and kind of doubled so I knew we had one-on-ones on the backside. I'm pretty happy for Jimmy (Graham) to have a couple really big impact plays for us. All his catches, I believe, were on third down, all conversions. He's a great friend, great teammate and I'm really happy he made those plays."
(on how tough the throw was to Davante)
"Like I kind of just mentioned, his body control makes the margin of error on a throw like that a lot higher. He ran a great route and I had a lot of space, I felt like, to put it. I'm not sure what it looked like on the TV, but it felt like from where I was standing he had a good deal of separation."
(on if he was confident Jimmy Graham had the final first down)
"I didn't see, I just heard the noise, so I didn't exactly see where he ended up. I thought based on the throw that it was going to be a tough catch and then I didn't see the finish of it, so I wasn't aware, but when I saw him celebrating I was assuming he had gotten it. We kind of got hosed on that first quarter one (review), so I was hoping we didn't get hosed again."
(on the feeling of closing out the game the way they did)
"It's a special feeling. That's kind of what we talked about in the huddle before the last drive, these are the moments that you work for and you think about in the offseason, the chance to put a game away. And like I've said most of the year as you guys have talked about the aesthetics of our wins, it doesn't have to be pretty, but what we've done is closed out games the right way, and our defense, although they gave up a few scoring drives in the second half, (they got a) big stop and then we put together a drive that closed the game out. That was very special and it's a good feeling."
(on if this win is personally satisfying for him)
"Winning is always satisfying but there are moments in a season that rank higher than others and this obviously is one of those moments where based on the way their offense was moving the ball I knew I was going to have to make some plays tonight and felt good about the preparation and the performance. I felt really locked in from Wednesday on and practiced well and felt really good today all day, just felt like there was going to be one of these types of performances tonight."
(on how 'on' he was)
"As opposed to our last game we played in Detroit where I felt pretty good about most of the throws and statistically I was way off, I felt good about all the throws tonight. I felt good about the ball coming off my hand and it was one of those feelings – it starts to creep up in warmups – where you really feel like you're locked in and it's fun when it translates to the field."
(on what they learned from the last trip to San Francisco)
"We've got to play a lot better obviously. They're a great football team, have a great front, obviously get after the passer and don't need to rush a lot of guys to do that. (They have an) excellent pass rush, really good on the back end, smart. They play the time clock of the pass rush really well. Obviously their offense has a number of studs. Jimmy's (Garoppolo) had a really nice season and they've got a bunch of (running) backs who've had really good years, the rookie receiver's (Deebo Samuel) a very good player. Obviously, picking up Emmanuel (Sanders) was a nice pick and then you've got the tight end (George Kittle), so it's one of those games where we know every possession's going to be really important and it's going to be loud, but this is where it gets really fun. There's only four teams left and we're one of them and we've got a legitimate chance.
(on carrying over third down success to next week)
"I don't think you carry over a lot from this game. You've got to start your own momentum each week. I thought we were very efficient. I thought we had a good plan on third down and then we went out and executed. It wasn't necessarily what we were looking for every time on third down as far as guys kind of made some plays. Jimmy (Graham), we (were) running a little three-step combination and he turns it into kind of the big high-cross and makes a nice play on it, and Davante (Adams), again, on the big third down, he had such a great release and kind of turned it into a different route, so we just adjusted really well on the fly."
(on how the offensive line played without Bryan Bulaga)
"I think I saw it. We were in warmups and we ran a play and he kind of turned and motioned for Jared (Veldheer) to come in and at that point I figured it was going to be tough for him to go. He's such a physically tough, mentally tough guy; it obviously was killing him to not be out there. I know this was bothering him, whatever illness he has, from this morning on, and I didn't realize that until I got in the facility around 2 (p.m.) that there was question about whether or not he would play. Knowing Bryan and the fact that he's kind of an ornery person in general, I figured this was kind of right up his alley, but obviously it was too difficult for him and Jared stepped in and did a great job, he really did. I was teasing him in the third quarter during a long TV timeout. I said 'You were retired this year and here you are starting a playoff game,' and he said 'Hey I was at your first game in the stands,' so it's just funny how life is sometimes. We're really happy to have him and he's been really good for us."
(on how he knew what Adams was doing when he changed his route on the long third down catch)
"I think it's a little bit intuition. Like I was trying to talk about earlier, the feeling I used to have with Jordy (Nelson) was I just kind of knew whatever he was doing based on his body movements, where he was headed, and as I tried to kind of keep my eyes down the middle and peeked out there, I could tell he'd gotten off so good he didn't do anything inside and I just wanted to make sure I got it over there as quick as I could. Those are the kind of things that give you even more confidence in the connection and obviously we're going to need another big week out of him next week."
(on the 40-yard touchdown to Adams)
"The funny thing we were laughing about on the sidelines is we've had a similar play to that a few times this year and he hasn't run it consistently the same way. But the beauty in the communication that we have is we came in at halftime and we talked about a number of things we wanted to get done the second half, and as far as play-pass was concerned, we talked about a different concept, but Davante had told, it had kind of gotten through the chain, that he wanted that play. So right as we left the locker room, Matt (LaFleur) and I were chatting and I said 'I think we want this other play,' and he's like 'OK, cool,' and Davante ran it perfectly. It was about his body language selling the over and then taking it back up, and luckily I threw a bad ball to him that stopped him and allowed him to score there, but that was just a very precise route by him, which allowed him to get so much separation."
(on that TD throw not being a great throw)
"It was high and behind him. Like I said, it worked out because it stopped him enough for him to go, but it wasn't a great throw."
(on the last time he ran a QB sneak)
"The guys have been giving me a lot of crap about it. I guess they put together some 20-clip sneak reel where they watch my sneaks and I was 16-for-20, I guess, effectiveness. I said 'That's pretty good,' so we talked about it. I came over to the sideline before that play and Matt (LaFleur) was talking about running it, if I wanted to run it, and I said 'Yeah,' and he said 'Alright, if we don't get it, fourth down.' I said 'Hold on, hold on, I'm going to get this one,' and you know some of the guys in the circle probably were thinking 'Yeah, you better,' or 'I don't know if he will.' When I came in the huddle and talked to them about it, I think the way I sold it probably helped, but now after seeing that I actually had some positive momentum moving forward, I'll probably get just a tad more respect on my sneak ability."
(on the postgame conversation between him and Marshawn Lynch)
"Marshawn and I became fast friends back in 2004, the only year we got to play together. He is one of my all-time favorite teammates and I only got to play one year with him, but he has just an incredible personality and charisma and he's just so fun to be around. There was a conversation years ago about picking him up in a trade that fell through. That would have been a lot of fun to play some more years together, but I just have a ton of respect for him and his career. He's one of those transcendent players that is so likeable and so respected by so many people, and I'm just fortunate to have gotten to play with him for a year. So we were just catching up, talking about some silly stuff that happened back in the day and seeing where he's at. He's a lot of fun to be around and it's fun to see him."
(on why their four-minute offense has been so good this year)
"I've said it, it's the character of the football team. I think we have had some ugly wins this year, but a lot of them have involved some moments of adversity that we've pushed through, and I think it's a characteristic of our football team, in those moments, we've come up with plays – whether it's a pass or the line blocking and a run springing, or a defensive stop, or a game-winning punt – we've had a lot of those moments where we've needed a play in a certain time. We needed a stop on defense, Preston (Smith) came up with a sack. We needed a couple big third downs and we made it happen. That's just the character of this football team. It's very high and there's a lot of belief in those moments that we're going to get the job done and today was fun to have to have plays and to make them."
(on the feeling of knowing they're one win away from the Super Bowl and the connection with the home fans)
"It's the last home game of the year and we have such a special relationship with our fans. Guys who've been other places understand how special it is here. It's a different connection. We don't have an owner, we have thousands of people who have a piece of paper that's a stock certificate, but people feel like they're invested in what we're doing, and they stuck with us through a couple rough years, so to walk off the field being a two seed where, let's be honest, I don't know if even our fans felt supremely confident in us, which I know that a lot of the media didn't as well. But to be able to walk off that field again victorious, there's no feeling like it. I stopped myself in the second quarter and I was looking around when there was a TV timeout and they were waving the towels, and it was just a special moment, just seeing the whole stadium waving those white towels and I just think I was really in that moment just grateful for the opportunity and loving what I do. There's nothing like having the ball in your hands in a clutch situation and knowing you've got 78,998 or whatever it was today, most of them, cheering you on."
Packers Defensive Lineman Kenny Clark
(on the defense taking some momentum away at the end of the game with a sack)
"Yeah, man, we're just a resilient bunch of guys. We got them behind the sticks a little bit, got to that third down, everybody got back in the huddle and said, 'Let's get after it, you know, let's do it.' Coach called a great play. We all pretty much bull- rushed him and Preston came around and got the sack."
(on what he was thinking watching Rodgers and the offense come up with plays at the end of the game)
"Man, when Tae caught that pass and the pass that Jimmy caught, you know, that's what great quarterbacks do. Just happy he's on our side. He's been making plays like that all year. Every four-minute situation, every two-minute situation at the end of the game when we're up, the offense usually runs out the clock and ends the game. That's what great teams do when they know you've got to run out the clock and run the ball and all that kind of stuff. Great teams finish that off."
(on him being gassed but making the hustle play to get the sack on Russell Wilson)
"It's all about hustling when you're playing against him (Wilson). He's a great quarterback. He's going to run around, he's going to scramble. Coach has been preaching all week that if one guy misses or if you miss that you've got to get back up, you've got to keep on fighting. We did that all game, just resilient. Gave as much effort as we can and we came out on top on that."
Packers Guard Billy Turner
(on Jared Veldheer finding out late he was starting at tackle)
"That's crazy, it's a crazy situation. I was fortunate enough to play with him last year in Denver, so it wasn't too much stress. There weren't too many things going on out there with him playing next to me because we know each other, so on and so forth. But anytime you get in a situation where you get thrown out there and you find out right before the game starts, that's a tough situation, but I think he handled it and he excelled in it."
(on having some ups and downs in his career but finally making it to an NFC Championship)
"It feels great, man. It's about time. I mean, it's been a long five and a half, six years. You know what I mean, playing on some bad football teams, but it's great to be on a team that has a lot of good energy and a team that is capable to go the distance, a team that is just all together as a family within the locker room."
(on how important it was playing this game at Lambeau with the home crowd)
"It was dope, man. It was awesome. Being able to get playoff games at home, that's a big thing, especially being able to go out in front of these great fans that have been here year in and year out, pushing us and as you can see, the crowd this year being able to get those, whatever it was, 14 offside penalties, you know what I mean. Things like that are special and you definitely owe that to the Green Bay Packer fans."
Packers Tackle Jared Veldheer
(on how he found out he might be playing today) "Yeah, so I was watching the pregame for the Chiefs-Houston game and heard some breaking news that Bryan (Bulaga) was sick, so I got in my car and got down here as soon as I could to check out what was going on. You know, it was something that has been going around, the same kind of like, stomach virus. That thing is awful...you can't function. Got it through my head pretty quick that I'd have to be ready for this ballgame and it was a fun one to be a part of. Yeah, step in and give it all I got."
(on how he initially found out that Bulaga was sick) "Initially, it was that report that broke on TV that he was questionable with an illness. I just got in my car and I just came in. Just go straight to the source and see what's going on."
(on how much it helped playing next to Billy Turner)
"Billy's great. We're kind of on the same, you know, wavelength as far as how to communicate on the ball without overdoing it and kind of tipping your hand to the defense. He's just a very composed guy. I think that goes for really the whole offense. There's just a great amount of composure, and that's contagious. You look around, everyone's confident, you're confident. It's just a cohesion. You're just going to go out there and you're going to do it. If you don't get it done, we're going to go back to the sideline and figure out something to get it done. This is the first full game that I've been able to play, but just being around this team, watching this team, that's kind of been the MO of all the games that I've been here is finding a way to get things done."
(on how it felt diving in and having to start tonight)
"I think I've had good time to prepare and my body felt like it was in shape. You know, I didn't feel tired. I didn't feel like I was starting to lose it out there in the second half or anything. Yeah, it felt good."
Packers Linebacker Blake Martinez
(on how a win like this gives the team confidence going into the 49ers game) "Every win gives us confidence. This is another one that we made the corrections that we didn't do last week in the first half, or two weeks ago in the first half. Doing those things, it's just going to keep building and keep building and I think we've got a good shot to go out there and win next week."
(on the Smiths' performance tonight, especially Preston's sack at the end of the game) "Oh yeah, we just ran a perfect stunt and kept him (Wilson) bottled up and Preston finished it off like usual."
(on how it feels heading into the NFC Championship) "It's huge. It's just what a competitor always wants; he wants to be able to play in big games. And that's another big game and I trust every single one of these guys in the locker room that we're going to do the things necessary to go out and there and win that game."
(on the defense coming up with big plays in a big game) "It's huge. I think it's just something we've been building on throughout the year, from OTAs until now. We just put in the work necessary. We do the extra things. Me and this group's talking all the time about little things we want to correct and we're just getting better each week."
Game action photos from the Seattle Seahawks' Divisional matchup against the Green Bay Packers.