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Seahawks’ comeback attempt falls short as Packers get 28-23 playoff win

After a poor first half, the Seahawks needed a comeback of the caliber of their amazing win over the Green Bay Packers five years earlier in the NFC Championship to keep their playoff run alive Sunday night.

They came up just a bit short.

Packers 28, Seahawks 23 | Glaring need |Β Instant reaction | 3 key moments

The Seahawks scored three touchdowns in the second half, but Aaron Rodgers and his receiving corps proved to be too much as the Packers escaped with a 28-23 victory in the divisional round of the playoffs at chilly Lambeau Field.

Rodgers, who connected with wide receiver Davante Adams eight times for 160 yards and two touchdowns, led Green Bay to the victory with 243 yards on 16 for 27 passing.

Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch had a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs after Seattle fell behind 21-3, but Russell Wilson was sacked five times, and the final time proved to be the biggest as it forced the Hawks to punt with just over 2 1/2 minutes left to go.

Seattle never got the ball back, as Rodgers completed passes to Adams and former Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham for first downs, allowing Green Bay to run out the clock.

Wilson threw for 277 yards and a touchdown to Tyler Lockett on 21 for 31 passing, and he led Seattle in rushing for the second straight game with 64 yards on seven carries.

Lockett had 136 yards on nine receptions, while DK Metcalf caught four of five targets from Wilson for 59 yards.

Seattle’s season ends a win short of meeting the 49ers in a score-settling rubber match for the NFC title. Instead it’s the second-seeded Packers who head to the Bay Area next week to decide who will go on to the Super Bowl.

The Seahawks, who entered the playoffs as the NFC’s No. 5 seed after going 11-5 in the regular season, end the campaign with 12 wins thanks to their Wild Card win over Philadelphia a week earlier.

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at the Seahawks’ season-ending loss.

First quarter

Packers 7, Seahawks 3

The Seahawks’ defense has been all about a bend-but-don’t-break mentality, so it wasn’t alarming that the Packers opened the game by reaching the red zone just six plays after the opening kickoff. What was alarming was what Green Bay did once it reached the 20-yard line.

On third-and-7 from the 20, Packers wide receiver Davante Adams slipped behind the Seahawks’ coverage, and Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers found him for an easy go-ahead touchdown.

As bad as that start was for the Seahawks, it almost got worse. Tight end Jacob Hollister caught an 11-yard pass on Seattle’s first offensive play, but he fumbled the ball as he was flipped over on the tackle. The call on the field was that Hollister was down before the ground caused the fumble, but a replay review showed otherwise. The Seahawks got a break, however, as it was ruled there was no evidence of a clear recovery, allowing Seattle to retain possession. Not it did anything with the break – Marshawn Lynch was stuffed for no gain, Russell Wilson was sacked and then threw an incompletion on third down, forcing the Hawks to punt.

Seattle got things going in the right direction on Green Bay’s next drive, however. Defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson pressured Rodgers on first down to get a QB hit and force an incompletion, the Seahawks blew up an Aaron Jones run on second down, and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney provided more pressure on Rodgers on third down to make him throw it away.

While Marshawn Lynch opened Seattle’s second offensive series with a bruising 8-yard run, he gained just 1 more yard on two more handoffs that followed, and Seattle and Green Bay traded punts before the Seahawks started to get moving on offense late in the quarter. Tyler Lockett caught a 28-yard pass from Wilson despite being held by Packers cornerback and former UW Husky Kevin King (the penalty was declined), and Jason Myers hit a 45-yard field goal to get Seattle on the board with 28 seconds left in the first.

GB – Davante Adams 20 pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick, 7-0 GB), 10:37
SEA – Jason Myers 45 FG (7-3 GB), :28

Second quarter

Packers 21, Seahawks 3

The second quarter was not ideal for the Seattle Seahawks.

Green Bay tacked on a pair of touchdowns to its early lead, and Seattle missed a field goal attempt as the Packers took a 21-3 advantage into halftime.

The Packers opened the quarter with a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended on a disputed 1-yard Jones rush to paydirt on third-and-goal. There were no camera shots on the FOX TV broadcast that showed Jones breaking the plane of the goal line with the ball, but the call was a touchdown on the field, and there wasn’t indisputable evidence to overturn it.

Seattle reached Green Bay’s 28 on its next series, but Wilson took a 4-yard loss on a sack that may have been even more costly than on its face, as two plays later Myers was just wide on a 50-yard field goal.

Green Bay made the most of the opportunity that presented, using a number of Seahawks penalties – including a neutral-zone infraction by Clowney on third-and-goal – to tack on another 1-yard Jones TD to cap off an 11-play, 60-yard drive and give the Packers a three-score lead.

Injury notes: Seahawks left guard Jamarco Jones was being evaluated for a concussion late in the second quarter and replaced by rookie Phil Haynes. Clowney missed a few plays late in the Packers’ first TD drive of the second quarter with an apparent arm injury but returned for the next defensive series. Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard was deemed questionable to return with an ankle injury.

GB – Aaron Jones 1 run (Crosby kick, 14-3 GB), 9:49
GB – Jones 1 run (Crosby kick, 21-3 GB), 1:30

Third quarter

Packers 28, Seahawks 17

Just when it looked like the Seahawks were beginning to crawl back into this one, the Packers had an answer. But Seattle kept pushing to make sure it still had a shot at a comeback in the fourth quarter.

Seattle opened the second half with a 10-play, 69-yard touchdown drive, with a trademark Marshawn Lynch 1-yard run getting the Hawks into the end zone to cut Green Bay’s lead from a commanding 21-3 to 21-10. Wilson had the big play with a 22-yard scramble on third-and-6.

The Packers’ offense didn’t take that lying down, however, and Adams ran a perfect route to score on a 40-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to push the Green Bay lead back to 18 points. That gave Adams 128 yards and two scores on seven catches.

The good news is the Seahawks obliged in making the game into a shootout. Another Wilson scramble gave Seattle a much-needed first down in Green Bay territory, and he found an open Lockett for a 7-yard TD strike that made it 28-17 with 39 seconds left in the third quarter.

SEA – Marshawn Lynch 1 run (Myers kick, 21-10 GB), 9:44
GB
– Adams 40 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick, 28-10 GB),
SEA – Tyler Lockett 7 pass from Russell Wilson, (Myers kick, 28-17 GB) :39

Fourth quarter

Packers 28, Seahawks 23

In a game between two of the NFL’s best in one-score games, did we expect anything less?

Coming into the fourth quarter down 11 points, the Seahawks saved their best for last. The only question was whether it would be enough – and it wasn’t.

Seattle moved within five points of Green Bay’s lead on Lynch’s second 1-yard touchdown run of the game, though Lynch missed picking up a block on a blitz and Wilson was sacked on a two-point conversion attempt.

The Packers responded with a pair of first downs on their next drive, but the first NFL sack by Shaquem Griffin – with some help from twin brother Shaquill – kept the Packers out of field goal range and forced them to punt.

Unfortunately for Seattle, the Seahawks also had to punt on their ensuing series after a demoralizing drop by wide receiver Malik Turner and a sack of Wilson on third-and-5, giving the Packers the ball back with just over 2 1/2 minutes to go – a dangerous time to be giving the ball to Rodgers.

Too dangerous, it turned out.

While the Seahawks made Green Bay face third-and-8, Rodgers found Adams for yet another big pass, this time for 32 yards just before the two-minute warning. Another Rodgers pass, this one to Graham, gave the Packers a first down inside of two minutes after a replay review, and with Seattle out of timeouts, Green Bay was able to kneel down three times and run out the clock.

SEA – Lynch 1 run (two-point conversion failed, 28-23 GB), 9:33

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