For Seattle to book a return trip to the Super Bowl, a lot of things had to go right for the Seahawks and wrong for the Packers. A look at six keys that secured Seattle’s 28-22 OT victory.
1. Faking ’em out
Trailing 16-0 with the third quarter winding down, Seattle faced fourth-and-10 from the Green Bay 19. In came the field goal team, but that was only a ruse. Holder Jon Ryan took the snap, then took off running before passing the ball to a wide-open eligible tackle Garry Gilliam for a touchdown that trimmed the Packers’ lead to 16-7 with 4:44 left in the quarter.
2. Feeding the Beast
When Russell Wilson threw his fourth interception with 5:13 left in the fourth quarter and Green Bay up 19-7, the Seahawks appeared cooked. But the Seattle defense forced a three-and-out, and Wilson hooked up with Marshawn Lynch for a 35-yard gain to the Packers 9. A pair of 4-yard runs by Lynch and a 1-yard keeper for a TD by Wilson trimmed the deficit to 19-14 with 2:09 left.
3. Onside was on their side
The Seahawks were down to one timeout, so they had to try an onside kick. Steven Hauschka booted it, the Packers’ Brandon Bostick jumped high but bobbled it and Seattle’s Chris Matthews recovered it at midfield with 2:09 left.
4. Somewhere, under the rainbow
Wilson needed only three plays to move the Seahawks to the Green Bay 24 before then Lynch powered off left tackle and eased into the end zone, giving Seattle a 20-19 lead with 1:25 to play. Hoping to boost the lead to three points, Seattle went for two. Wilson did his best Fran Tarkenton impression, scrambling around to buy time. Finally, he launched a rainbow-like pass that tight end Luke Willson caught in front of Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who did not try to knock the ball away. Those two points proved important, because Green Bay marched down the field and tied the score 22-22 on Mason Crosby’s 48-yard field goal with 14 seconds left.
5. T-Jack, the good-luck charm
This game required overtime, and Seattle sent out backup QB Tarvaris Jackson — yep, Vikings fans, that Tarvaris Jackson — as part of its coin toss contingent. Our guy T-Jack didn’t have to do much, just indicate “we’ll take the ball,’’ because Green Bay called tails and the coin came up heads. But his mere presence had to help the Seahawks, right?
6. Goats become heroes
Through most of the game Wilson and wideout Jermaine Kearse were brutal. In fact, Kearse was the target on all four of Wilson’s interceptions. But in overtime, they shed their goat horns. First, Wilson came up big on third-and-7 for a 35-yard hookup with Doug Baldwin to the Packers 35. Then, Wilson delivered the dagger, hitting Kearse in stride for the winning 35-yard TD pass.