By Justin Sandoval |Asst. Sports Editor|
On Championship Sunday Jan 18, the Seattle Seahawks came back from the largest deficit in championship history and defeated the Green Bay Packers to reach consecutive Super Bowls.
The National Football Conference (NFC) Championship game had a weather forecast of heavy rain and winds up to 25 miles per hour, conditions which would favor a strong running game and tough defense.
According to the NFL, Seahawks finished first in the regular season stats for both categories.
The Seahawks have been mentioned as the best defense in the league, with a pro bowl secondary that consists of Richard Sherman, Cam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas.
On the other hand, Green Bay’s offense consisted of Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best quarterback in the game when healthy, and running back Eddie Lacy.
The Packers received the opening kickoff and Rodgers moved the ball effectively during the first drive of the game and Lacy was running the ball well.
With the offense heading down field, Rodgers took his shot at the end zone throwing to Davante Adams.
The pass, short and inside, was intercepted by Sherman for a touchback. Now on the 20-yard line with momentum on their side, Seattle started their first offensive drive.
Within a minute of possession time, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was picked off for the first time by Green Bay Packers cornerback Ha’Sean “Ha Ha” Clinton-Dix
Rodgers and the Packers offense put together a solid drive down field but failed to capitalize, settling for a field goal.
The kick-off to follow continued in the Packers’ favor as Seahawk’s Doug Baldwin fumbled during the return leaving Green Bay on their own 23-yard line.
Rodgers and the offense again failed to capitalize, settling for a second field goal.
The Seahawks went three and out on their next drive.
Now making their fourth red-zone drive Rodgers threw a pass to Randall Cobb for the first touchdown of the game finally putting a gap in the lead, 13-0.
At the half, Green Bay was up 16-0. Wilson had the worst half of his career being intercepted for the second time by Clinton-Dix and finally throwing his third interception to Packer defensive back Scott Shields.
The game, which was very one sided at the half, was not out of reach. However, according to CBS Sports, no team had ever returned from a 16-point deficit at half time in any Conference Championship.
Midway through the third quarter, Seattle scored for the first time, putting the Seahawks within two possessions.
Green Bay scored another field goal early in the fourth to make the game 19-7.
ESPN at this point began reporting that “the 12th man” began leaving the stadium early.
With just four minutes of regulation left to play, the Seahawk offense and Wilson put together a momentum shifting drive bringing the score to 19-14.
Seattle had no choice but to onside kick, the Packers where ready for it.
Eighty-six of the Green Bay Packers, Brandon Bostick, droped his assignment as a blocker and attempted to make a play on the ball, which was falling to the guy with the best catching ability on his team, Jordy Nelson.
The Seahawks scored within just a minute of possession, when head coach Pete Carol decided to go for the two-point conversion.
Seattle lead the game for the first time 22-19.
Green Bay, able to recover with a 48-yard field goal, tied the game 22-22, taking it into overtime.
The Seahawks won the coin toss, and Wilson finished the game with a touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse, completing the largest Championship game comeback in the history of the NFL.
Wilson and the Seahawks will attempt to become the first team since their Superbowl opponents, the New England Patriots, to repeat as NFL Champions.