It was a long, lethargic-looking game for the Seattle Seahawks’ offense. Russell Wilson, like we have seen from him before in those few and far between matchups, struggled to move the offense. That is to be expected with a quarterback still playing on his rookie contract, but the poised leader and his unit were clutch with their season on the line. Every defense’s primary focus is on containing the ground game, both Wilson’s mobility and Marshawn Lynch.
Lynch and the Seahawks activated Beast Mode, grinding out 157 yards rushing and a touchdown on 25 carries. Wilson on the other hand, completed just under half of his passing attempts and the Green Bay Packers forced 5 interceptions. Faced with man coverage and so-so targets in the passing game, it really looked like the Cheese Heads were going to surprise us all with a convincing win on the 12th Man.
Good teams, especially champions, know how to win and that includes tight games or having to comeback. The Seahawks started the season with a convincingly victory over the visiting Green Bay Packers. All game long, the Seahawks’ offense was corralled, and they finally got on the scoreboard with a punt-fake, passing touchdown from punter Jon Ryan in the 3rd quarter. The offense still struggled after that, until the urgency of their season ending kicked in with a handful of minutes remaining. In the blink of an eye, the Seahawks charged downfield, Wilson runs in a touchdown, and they recovered an onside kick right before the 2-minute warning. Inside the final minutes of regulation, Lynch broke free for the go-ahead touchdown from 24 yards out. With about a minute and a half to play, Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to their 5th field goal of the game, where Mason Crosby knotted things at at 22 points.
Seattle won the toss and ran a few minutes off the clock, moving the chains for a couple of first downs. Then the man that I predicted to win Super Bowl MVP back in the preseason, wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, beats cornerback Tramon Williams on a deep ball in the middle of the field. The 35-yard strike from Wilson punched the ticket for the Seahawks to go for a repeat, awaiting the winner of the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts.
Credit goes to the defense for a pair of goal line stands int he first quarter. The Legion of Boom picked Rodgers off twice, one by Richard Sherman in the endzone, who played through an arm injury in the second half. Seattle’s dominant defense allowed only one touchdown despite the disadvantage in field position in the first half. They had to make up for a fumble on a kick return, Wilson’s turnovers, and held more than their own while the offense took nearly 58 minutes to come away with points.
The reigning, defending, Super Bowl champions will travel to a place they play once every year, Arizona. The great motivator, head coach Pete Carroll, certainly got the best from his team when their backs were against the wall. The Seahawks’ offense snapped out of their funk with just enough time to snatch the NFC Championship gear away from the Packers. They are just as hungry as last year to win the big game, led by the best defense in the NFL. Sherman will get a couple weeks to heal his arm, and the Seahawks will hit the film room to study up on Tom Brady or Andrew Luck, whoever survives in the AFC.