Upon Further Review: Packers play complete game to send Seahawks home
That’s the Aaron Rodgers we know and love.
Whenever Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers needed to make a play, they did. It was that simple. Behind Rodgers’ two touchdown passes and an impressive performance from the defense, Green Bay survives and advances to the NFC Championship game after a 28-23 win over Seattle.
The Packers had five possessions in the first half. Two went three-and-out, but Green Bay punched in a trio of touchdowns on the other three drives to open up a 21-3 lead at the break.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson figured things out in the second half (as we knew he would), but the Seahawks ran out of time, thanks to the Packers making just enough plays to run out the clock.
Sunday’s win also marked the debut of a new twist to the Packers’ offense – the “yellow weasel,” new terminology barked out by Rodgers to change a play in the fourth quarter.
It didn’t work — running back Aaron Jones scampered for just one yard – but head coach Matt LaFleur’s offense was effective when it needed to be.
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) January 13, 2020
Here’s a recap of Sunday’s game:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Adams was making Seahawks defenders look silly from the start. He was the Packers’ most productive offensive player on Sunday night, catching eight passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Adams beat two Seahawks defensive backs Tre Flowers and Ugo Amadi for a 20-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter that put the first points on the board, then toasted Flowers again in the third quarter for a 40-yard score.
— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) January 13, 2020
DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME
It’s easy to forget about tight end Jimmy Graham in a Packers’ offense that features Rodgers, Jones and Adams. After all, he finished fifth on the team in receiving yards. Graham showed up on Sunday, though. He caught three passes from Rodgers for 49 yards on four targets, moving the chains on all three catches – with all three coming on third down. Graham’s biggest catch sealed the win for Green Bay, but more on that later …
Following the two-minute warning, the Packers faced a third-and-9 from Seattle’s 45-yard line. A first down would allow Green Bay to kneel the ball and run out the clock for the win. But if the Seahawks stopped Green Bay, they had one timeout remaining to stop the clock, meaning Wilson would get the ball back with about 1:55 to work with.
As he did twice previously in the game, Rodgers targeted Graham on a third down. Graham caught the ball and was taken down almost immediately, dragging his body across the first-down marker. The referees gave Green Bay a rather generous spot, but that was only the start to the controversy.
The FOX television broadcast that projects an estimate of where the first-down marker lies was about a half-yard off, which didn’t bode well for the screengrabs surfacing on the internet.
The spot of the ball was reviewed and upheld, and the Packers kneeled the ball three times to run out the clock. Game over.
Hey #seahawks fans, Pete Carroll, the city of Seattle and the rest of the world who can't compute "the yellow line is unofficial".#jimmygraham got the 1st down. Now please & kindly shut up. #GoPackGo pic.twitter.com/mxd4guOtwa
— Mike Wickett (@mikewickett) January 13, 2020
135 – Seattle’s total net yards in the first half. Green Bay’s defense forced the Seahawks into punts the first two possessions, allowed a Jason Myers 45-yard field goal in the second quarter and benefited from a Myers miss later in the half.
THEY SAID IT
“This is where it really gets fun. There’s only four teams left, and we’re one of them, and we’ve got a legitimate chance.” — quarterback Aaron Rodgers
“I couldn’t be happier for our guys. They’ve put in a lot of hard work. They’re a group that sticks together, and they don’t blink.” – head coach Matt LaFleur
“I’m just going to enjoy a nice glass of scotch tonight and get on to the film of San Fran and get ready for a tough opponent.” – Rodgers
The Packers meet San Francisco in the NFC Championship game, a rematch of the 37-8 drubbing that Green Bay took on Nov. 24. A win would give the Packers their first Super Bowl berth since 2010. The last time the Packers were in the NFC Championship, they found themselves trailing 31-0 to Atlanta in the third quarter, losing 44-21 to the Falcons in 2016.