9. The critical play that turned this game around was a dropped ball from reserve tight end Brandon Bostick that shockingly gave Seattle the ball back. A classic zig-zag run from Marshawn Lynch gave Seattle its first lead of the game with just 1:25 remaining in the game. A composed drive from Aaron Rodgers and 48-yard field goal with just 14 seconds remaining from Mason Crosby tied the game at 22... momentarily.
8. As he did a year ago in defeating Chicago in overtime, Wilson stole any possibility of the Seahawks losing the game in overtime by taking the ball and scoring on their first drive of the extra period. Wilson threw two beautiful deep balls on the final drive, completing the first to Doug Baldwin and the game-winner to Jermaine Kearse. Each pass covered 35 yards.
7. Give Green Bay credit. For much of the game, the Packers' linebackers penned Wilson in the pocket, negating his running ability. With Seattle turning the ball over, dropping several passes and lacking any kind of playmaking element on the perimeter, the Packers simply had to keep Marshawn Lynch from taking the game.
6. Wilson's nightmare first half numbers: 2 of 9 for 12 yards and three interceptions and a zero QB rating. He doesn't deserve all of the blame. His first interception on a pass that slipped through the hands of Jermaine Kearse and was picked by Green Bay free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. (Kearse was guilty of letting a 4th quarter pass slip through his hands for a fourth interception that effectively sealed Green Bay's win.) The Alabama product showed soft hands and quick recognition to pick off another pass from Wilson in the second quarter, though the elements may have been the main culprit on this one. After much of the first half was plagued by steady rain and gusts, the clouds parted and the sun came out just as Wilson took the ball from center Max Unger. Looking directly into the sun, Wilson uncharacteristically threw the ball into double coverage and Clinton-Dix picked it off. Wilson's worst throw was his final interception - a desperation attempt to Kearse again. This time it was Sam Shields, who was in perfect position to "shield" Kearse from the ball and make the easy pick. This throw robbed Seattle of at least an opportunity for a field goal.
5. One of the few early bright spots for the Seahawks was the fake field goal attempt that resulted in a touchdown pass from punter Jon Ryan to backup offensive tackle Garry Gilliam, an undrafted rookie from Penn State and converted tight end. The fake was carried out so successfully that Ryan was able to lob the ball in to a wide-open Gilliam.
4. As anticipated, Julius Peppers was a significant factor in this contest, beating new starting right tackle Alvin Bailey for a sack that indirectly led to a Seahawks' punt. Bailey is starting in place of Justin Britt, who had started all 17 regular and post-season games for the Seahawks this season. Bailey is a reasonable fill-in but his lack of ideal size (listed at 6-3, 320) made him vulnerable to Peppers' incredible combination of burst and length (6-7, 287). Bailey was one of many Seahawks guilty of mental errors, as well, getting called for a false start in the third quarter.
3. The season-long penalty problems were never more frustrating than in this contest with Seattle contributing to all three of Green Bay's scoring drives with flags, with defensive linemen Michael Bennett and Tony McDaniel getting flagged for off-sides and Cliff Avril drawing a penalty for hands to the face. For as bad as it was for the Seahawks, it could have been worse. Maxwell got away with popping Nelson on a second quarter pass that the Packers' wideout dropped.
2. Other than the penalties, the Seahawks' defense performed well. The Seahawks have attempted to create pressure on Rodgers with speed rushers Avil, Bruce Irvin and O'Brien Schofield on the perimeter but Green Bay has done a terrific job of minimizing their effectiveness because of Rodgers' frequently changing the snap count.
1. With the Patriots obliterating the Colts in the AFC Championship 45-7, the Super Bowl matchup is set, with the Seahawks facing Pete Carroll's old team and the last club to win back to back to NFL championships.
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