I don’t even know what to say about the NFC Championship game. It basically left me unable to articulate myself. I mean if you saw it you must kinda understand what I mean. What do you say about such a crazy game? You cant really recreate the experience with typed words. You had to experience the game live. However any self-respecting Seattle sports centered blogger has to make on post about his game. So, I am gonna try.
On Sunday the Seahawks beat the Packers 28-22 in the NFC Championship game. In a vacuum this result isn't that surprising. The Seahawks were favored in Las Vegas by 7.5 points. Leading up to the game they had been on a tear through the NFC. The had won seven straight games. The thing is this game shouldn't be viewed in a vacuum. With five minutes left in the fourth quarter, this victory was completely unexpected. From a nonbiased opinion, the game had been sloppy, but good to watch. From a Seahawk fan's point of view it was a complete disaster. The Seahawks offense had been so inept in the first half that quarterback Russell Wilson had complete more passes to the Packers than to the Seahawks (3-2). Then, in the third quarter, after another Seahawks offense series had stalled short, things got crazy. The series of very unlikely events started to unfold.
The story line of this game was too crazy. I doubt Hollywood would even consider writing a script like this. Outcomes like this just don’t happen, especially at the professional level. The Producers would assume everyone would deem it to unbelievable. Good thing Hollywood wasn't in charge of this game. Here is a recap of the craziness.
- The Seahawks trail the Packers 16-0 at half time and their star QB has 2 completions for 12 yards and 3 interceptions.
- On fourth down, during a field goal attempt, Seahawks P Jon Ryan takes off running and finds OT Garry Gilliam (whoever he is) running free in the endzone for a wide open TD pass.
- With Seahawks fans clinging to hope, Russell Wilson throws his fourth INT with 5:04 left in the game. The interception, like the first three, is on a pass targeted to WR Jermaine Kearse.
- After the pick, with the Packers looking to end the game by running out the clock the Seahawks defense comes in and forces a three and out.
- The Seahawks offense, which has been epicly bad at passing, drives 69 yards and scores a TD with a 1 yard Russell Wilson run.
- Down by five with 2:09 left in the game, the Seahawks were forced to attempt an onside kick. The ball bounces high and ricochets off the head of Green Bay player Brandon Bostick. Seahawks WR Chris Matthews (who had no catches during the regular season) snags the ball out of the air and keeps the Seahawks hopes alive.
- RB Marshawn Lynch catches a pass and tip toes 20+ yards into the endzone for what appears to be the go ahead score. Upon review it is clear Lynch stepped out of bounds.
- Shortly after his potential lead changing TD is overturned, in true Beast Mode fashion, Marshawn Lynch bursts free for a 24 yard TD run and gives Seattle their first lead.
- In order to secure a three point lead and eliminate the chance of a last second field goal beating them the Seahawks go for two. Running around in the back field quarterback Wilson hucks the ball high into the air in what appears to be an attempt at a throw away. Instead it turns out to be a pass that lands right in the hands of TE Luke Willson who converts the two point play.
- By scoring early the Seahawks gave the Packers a chance to possess the ball again with 1:25 to play. Aaro Rodgers, the best QB in the game, had three timeouts and plenty of time to drive down field and crush all of Seattle dreams. Instead the Seahawks defense held Packers to a FG and forced overtime.
- The Seahawks sent backup QB Tarvaris Jackson, K Steven Haushka, and P Jon Ryan (also maybe a backup QB) out for the OT coin flip. Collectively they stood their noded their heads to signale understanding of the overtime rules and watch the coin land heads (some might wonder if Tarvaris has psychic powers). This ensured the Seahawks offense would get the ball.
- Russell Wilson completes two 35 yard passes in OT. The first is to Doug Baldwin. The second is to Jermaine Kearse, the same WR that had seen four other passes directed towards him picked off. His final catch is for the game winning touchdown.
In case you dont believe what you just read let me recap the recap for you. The Seahawks scored 15 points in 44 seconds, recovered an onside kick, convert a PAT, held an amazing QB to a FG, and won in OT. This series of events unfolding, in this order, in the NFC Championship, and with so little time left, if super unlikely. It was probably the most unlikely finish in NFL history. ESPN calculated that after the fourth and final interception the Packers had a 96% chance of winning the game. That basically means the Packers win this game 25 out of 26 times. Realistically, the chances were probably even smaller because it was the NFC Championship game and two really good teams were playing. But probability is a funny thing. Just because an event is really unlikely doesn’t mean isn't going to happen. Sometimes people do flip a coin heads five times in a row. And sometime the Seahawks do sail into the Super Bowl of a huge helping of grit, determination and luck.