Improbable comeback sends Seahawks back to Super Bowl
SEATTLE, USA - Super Bowl champions Seattle earned a chance at an NFL title repeat on Sunday, January 18 (Monday PH time) with a stunning 28-22 overtime playoff triumph over the Green Bay Packers.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson shook off four interceptions and hit Jermaine Kearse with a game-winning 35-yard touchdown pass on the opening possession of the extra period to give Seattle the victory in the National Football Conference title game.
The Seahawks, who trailed 16-0 at halftime and 19-7 early in the fourth quarter, scored two touchdowns in less than a minute in the final period of regulation in their remarkable rally.
A year after humbling Denver in last season's Super Bowl they will return to the NFL's championship showcase in suburban Phoenix, Arizona, on February 1.
Seattle will play the winner of the American Football Conference championship tilt between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts.
"I'm honored to be on this team," a tearful Wilson said as he was mobbed on the field. "We're going to the Super Bowl again."
Wilson's one-yard touchdown dash with 2:09 left in the fourth quarter pulled the Seahawks within 19-14.
Seattle then recovered the ensuing onside kick, as Steven Hauschka's effort bounced through the hands and off the helmet of the Packers' Brandon Bostick.
Seattle's Chris Matthews seized the ball at midfield to launch the Seahawks on a drive capped by Marshawn Lynch's 24-yard touchdown run and a Luke Willson's catch of a two-point conversion heave from a scrambling Wilson.
That gave the Seahawks a 22-19 lead - their first of the game - with 1:25 remaining in regulation.
The Packers responded, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers guiding a drive that ended with Mason Crosby's fifth field goal of the game, a 48-yarder that knotted the score at 22-22 with 14 seconds remaining.
Seattle won the overtime coin toss and Wilson capped their 87-yard opening drive with a textbook toss over the middle to Kearse, whose only catch of the contest was the game-winner.
Seattle, already the first Super Bowl champions to win a playoff game the following season since the 2005 Patriots, will now try to become the first team to win back-to-back NFL crowns in a decade -- since the Pats won Super Bowls 38 and 39. - Rappler.com