Seahawks/Packers Divisional Round Game Day Thread
Seeking a berth into the NFC Championship Game to face the 49ers, the Seahawks and Packers will rekindle their bitter rivalry at Lambeau Field as the final game of divisional round weekend.
Will Seattle's ailing offensive line hold up in protection for Russell Wilson? How big of a factor will Marshawn Lynch be in his return to Green Bay? Can Jadeveon Clowney and the Seahawks pass rush fluster Aaron Rodgers on his own home turf?
From kickoff until the final horn, I'll be tracking all the key plays, story lines, and moments in this divisional round game day thread. Feel free to comment and ask questions as the Seahawks and Packers look to advance in the NFC playoffs.
14:21: The Packers wasted little time moving into Seahawks territory, as Aaron Jones broke free for a 23-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and Aaron Rodgers found Davante Adams for a 14-yard gain on a play action boot leg pass to get to the Seattle 38-yard line.
10:42: Facing 3rd and 7 from the Seahawks 20-yard line, the Packers opened the game's scoring with a 20-yard touchdown from Rodgers to Adams. Cornerbacks Tre Flowers and Ugo Amadi looked to have a communication issue in coverage, allowing the star receiver to come wide open in the end zone and give Green Bay an early 7-0 lead.
9:50: Looking to counter Green Bay's quick touchdown drive, Russell Wilson completed his first pass of the night on a boot leg to tight end Jacob Hollister and it was initially ruled a first down. Officials reviewed the play and though Hollister did fumble, there wasn't a clear recovery visible on replay and the Seahawks caught a huge break. Seattle couldn't capitalize, however, as Wilson was sacked on second down and then misfired on a third down throw intended for DK Metcalf.
7:13: Getting pressure on Rodgers on both first and third down, the Seahawks promptly forced a three-and-out. Quinton Jefferson exploded through the line untouched on the first down play and planted Rodgers as he threw. Two plays later, Clowney chased Rodgers outside of the pocket and forced him to throw the pass away, leading to a punt.
3:05: The Seahawks went three-and-out with a drive featuring three runs by Lynch, but the defense responded again by generating their second straight quick stop. The drive was aided by a pass interference penalty against Allen Lazard, which wiped out a first down completion by Rodgers. On the next play, Bradley McDougald made a sensational tackle to stop Jones three yards short on 3rd and 12, forcing another punt.
0:28: Wilson nearly uncorked an ugly interception on the first play of Seattle's third possession, but he came back firing, hitting Tyler Lockett for a 28-yard reception down the left sideline. Hollister dropped a third down reception that may have had a chance to extend the drive, but the Seahawks still scored their first points of the night on a 45-yard field goal by Jason Myers.
10:48: Capitalizing on multiple penalties against the Seahawks, including a defensive pass interference flag on Shaquill Griffin covering Adams in the red zone, the Packers drove 75 yards on nine plays and Jones plunged in from a yard out at the goal line to expand the lead to 14-3.
5:43: For the second straight possession, the Seahawks were able to drive down the field and get into Packers territory thanks to a 31-yard reception by Lockett and a 13-yard catch by Metcalf. However, the drive sputtered at the Green Bay 32-yard line, as Za'Darius Smith sacked Wilson for the second time in the half and Travis Homer couldn't reel in a third down pass. From 50 yards out, Myers didn't get enough leg on the field goal attempt and was also wide right, leaving Seattle without any points to show for the eight-play, 50-yard possession.
1:30: Again taking advantage of Seattle's miscues, this time a "helmet opening" penalty called against Clowney, the Packers went 60 yards on 11 plays and chewed up over four minutes of clock. Knocking on the goal line again, Jones punched it in from a yard out to extend the lead to 21-3 late in the half.
9:44: Desperately needing a touchdown out of the break, the Seahawks answered with a 10-play, 69-yard touchdown drive. Wilson kept the possession alive early with a 22-yard scamper on 3rd and 6 and then moved the chains again with a 24-yard pass to Metcalf. Picking up 4th and 1 on a play action pass from Wilson to Lockett to move Seattle to the Green Bay one-yard line, Lynch punched it in on the ensuing play for his third touchdown in three games to trim the deficit to 21-10.
7:09: It's been a rough, rough night for second-year cornerback Tre Flowers, who should be held responsible for giving up two touchdowns to Adams. The second one came barely two minutes after the Seahawks found the end zone, as Adams used a double move to break free from Flowers and then put the young defender on skates. Sprinting back to the middle of the field, he raced into the end zone for a 40-yard score, extending the lead back to 28-10.
0:39: Refusing to go away with their season on the line, the Seahawks responded favorably to Adams' second score with a touchdown drive of their own. Relying heavily on his legs, Wilson scrambled for three first downs, including a nine-yard scamper that put Seattle inside the Green Bay 10-yard line. On the next play, he bought himself time rolling out to his right and eventually Lockett came uncovered in the end zone for a seven-yard score to make it a two-possession game again.
14:12: Finally getting a much-needed defensive stop, linebacker Bobby Wagner got a piece of a third down throw by Rodgers intended for Adams, forcing the Packers to punt for the first time of the half and putting the ball back in Wilson's hands.
9:33: Lynch continues to master the art of the goal line touchdown run. While he's remained relatively unproductive otherwise, he capped off a nine-play, 79-yard drive with his second rushing touchdown of the game from a yard out. Going for two points, Wilson was sacked by a blitzing Jaire Alexander, keeping the Packers lead at 28-23.
4:54: Just when Seattle needed a stop, they finished it off with help from an unlikely source. Green Bay had marched past midfield thanks to a holding penalty against Clowney, but on the ensuing third down, Shaquem Griffin came flying into the backfield on a stunt and brought down Rodgers for his first NFL sack. The Packers were forced to punt and the ball took a favorable bounce for the Seahawks, setting up Wilson with a chance to win the game.