Aaron Rodgers makes two clutch passes to keep Russell Wilson on sideline, Packers survive Seahawks and advance
Imagine if the Seattle Seahawks would allow Russell Wilson to be Russell Wilson before they dig a big hole.
The Seahawks like to establish the run, and plenty of their games follow the same script. They fall behind, have to turn things over to their future Hall of Fame quarterback, and Wilson plays out of his mind to drag the Seahawks back in the game.
Sometimes, he doesn’t have the time to dig Seattle out of its hole. Seattle fell behind 21-3, rallied to put a scare into the Green Bay Packers, but eventually came up just short in a 28-23 loss. The Packers move on to face the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game next Sunday, with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line.
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Seattle was terrible early in the game, and the Packers looked like they’d have an easy win. It was anything but easy in the fourth quarter. The Packers’ future Hall of Fame quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, made the two clutch throws he needed to make to keep Wilson on the sideline in the end.
Packers started hot
Early on, it looked like a Packers rout.
Green Bay took an early 7-0 lead on a 20-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams. Then it was 14-3 on a 1-yard Aaron Jones touchdown run, and 21-3 after another 1-yard touchdown by Jones. The Seahawks scored to start the second half but when Adams answered with a 40-yard touchdown catch it seemed everything had calmed down for the Packers. They led 28-10.
But Wilson, when allowed to carry the Seahawks offense by the coaches, can do special things. Wilson kept making plays and slowly got the Seahawks back in the game. When Marshawn Lynch scored his second touchdown, Seattle had cut the Packers’ lead to 28-23.
Green Bay got a bit of a drive going after that, but a third-down Shaquem Griffin sack on a blitz brought out the punt team for the Packers. Wilson was getting the ball back with about five minutes left, and that’s more than enough time for him.
Russell Wilson almost leads Seahawks back
There had to be some flashbacks to the NFC championship game from five seasons ago. The Packers led the Seahawks 19-7 in the final few minutes, and somehow lost. A lot has changed since then, and that game was in Seattle and not Green Bay, but it was hard to not draw some parallels.
Preston Smith’s sack of Wilson with a little more than three minutes left shut down that drive. The Seahawks punted instead of going for it on fourth-and-11, hoping the defense could get the ball back and give Wilson one more shot at the win.
It almost happened. The Packers had a third-and-8 just before the two-minute warning. And Rodgers made a vintage Rodgers throw, lofting one to Adams with two Seahawks defenders chasing him for a 32-yard gain. Adams had 160 receiving yards, a Packers postseason record. Then on another third down, Rodgers delivered a pass under pressure to Jimmy Graham for the first down — he got a favorable spot that the Seahawks didn’t agree with — and the Packers could run out the clock.
The Packers aren’t relying on Rodgers as much as they have in the past, but he’s still capable of making great plays. Had he not dropped that pass to Adams, or hit Graham over the middle, it seemed inevitable Wilson would drive the Seahawks right downfield with the game on the line.
Rodgers made sure that didn’t happen. Perhaps if the Seahawks would lean on Wilson before they’re in desperation mode, they wouldn’t have had to worry about Rodgers slamming the door on them.
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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab
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