Down 16-0 at halftime, the Seahawks scored 15 points in the final 2:09 of regulation to force overtime, then got a 35-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse to beat the Packers, 28-22, in the NFC Championship.
Wilson struggled all game, throwing four interceptions, but rallied his team late to punch a second consecutive Super Bowl ticket. On the first drive of overtime, he found Kearse with a perfectly lofted bomb, fitting the ball into tight coverage for the game-winning score.
After watching the Seahawks score 15 points in the final 2:09 to take an improbable three-point lead, Mason Crosby drilled a 48-yard field goal with 14 seconds remaining to send it to overtime.
With just over two minutes left in regulation, Wilson finished off a late drive with a one-yard touchdown run to make it 19-14. The Seahawks then recovered an onside kick to set themselves up at the 50-yard line with 2:09 remaining. Marshawn Lynch busted loose for a 24-yard touchdown run to take the lead with 1:25 on the clock.
Wilson, who threw four interceptions in the game, then converted the two-point conversation to go up by three.
Despite the turnovers, the Seahawks managed to hang around, holding the Packers to field goals on four of their trips into Seattle territory. What could have been a massive halftime deficit was limited to a manageable 16-0. The Seahawks came into this game having outscored their opponents, 102-20, in the second halves of their seven-game win streak and they made another late push in this game.
Seattle pulled back into the game thanks to a brilliant field trick play late in the third quarter. Facing a fourth-and-10 on the Packers' 19-yard line at the tale end of a promising 10-play drive, the Seahawks lined up in field goal formation. But at the snap, punter/holder Jon Ryan pulled the ball out and scrambled out to the left. That sucked the defense up and Ryan dumped the ball over the top to Garry Gilliam for the first Seattle points of the game.
1) Russell Wilson was BAD ... until it mattered.
It's not good when your punter has a better throwing day than your quarterback. Wilson, who came into this game with the highest passer rating in the playoffs of any quarterback in the history of the NFL, had a rating of 0.0 at halftime.
After one of those picks, Wilson took a hard shot to the head from Clay Matthews. He stayed in the game and it was reported that he'd been cleared of a concussion, but he did not look himself from that point forward, routinely misreading coverages.
Credit Wilson for not hanging his head, though. Struggling throwing the ball, he made several key plays on the ground to fuel the late rally, including the critical 1-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes left. Then he delivered what might be the best throw of his career to win it in overtime.
2) Green Bay had a chance to put it away early.
When you throw in Doug Baldwin's first-quarter kickoff fumble, the Seahawks turned the ball over four times in the first half, three times in the their own territory. But the Packers couldn't convert their opportunities, scoring a touchdown on just one of them.
After the first pick, Green Bay squandered a first-and-goal after John Kuhn's 1-yard touchdown run was overturned and Eddie Lacy got stonewalled just shy of the end zone on third down. With the ball sitting just inches from the goal line, Mike McCarthy elected to kick the field goal. He made the same decision minutes later after Baldwin's fumble led to another first-and-goal. The Seahawks defense made another goal line stand and the Packers once again settled for three with the ball on the 1-yard line.
The Packers also left points on the board on their opening drive when Rodgers was picked in the end zone by Richard Sherman. All told, Green Bay could have been up 21-0 by the end of the first quarter.
3) The Packers threw at Richard Sherman.
After not targeting Sherman once back in Week 1, Rodgers threw his way several times in the conference championship. He had mixed results -- Randall Cobb did beat Sherman for a 13-yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter, but Sherman also made this brilliant pick in the end zone:
Sherman battled an injury down the stretch, leaving the game temporarily while nursing his arm. He returned in the fourth quarter and played out the rest of the game.