The Green Bay Packers held off a second-half Seattle Seahawks fightback to win their divisional round clash 28-23 and book a trip to face the San Francisco 49ers in next Sunday’s NFC Championship game.
Aaron Rodgers completed 16 of 27 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns to Davante Adams, who had eight receptions for a franchise postseason-record 160 yards.
The first of those touchdowns, a 20-yard strike, came on the opening possession of the game, while Aaron Jones – who gained 62 yards on 21 carries – too ran in for a couple of scores, seeing the Packers stretch out to a 21-3 half-time lead.
But, Russell Wilson led the Seahawks back in the second half, finishing 21 of 31 for 277 yards passing, and a touchdown, while adding 64 yards on seven carries to end up their leading rusher.
Marshawn Lynch registered only 26 yards on the ground off 12 carries, but he did run in for the first of two scores on Seattle’s first series of the second half to reduce the deficit, only for Adams to haul in a 40-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers on the Packers’ next possession to push the lead back to 18 points.
But, back came Seattle. Tyler Lockett, who had nine receptions for 136 yards and a score on the night, capped a 12-play, 84-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown reception.
Then, after forcing a three-and-out from Green Bay, the Seahawks made it three-straight scoring drives to start the second half as Lynch again rumbled in from down at the goal line. A failed two-point conversion attempt though left the score at 28-23 with roughly 10 minutes still to play.
After another Green Bay punt, the Seahawks took over from their own 23-yard line with just under five of those minutes still remaining and, after one first down, Wilson was crucially sacked by Preston Smith on third down, leaving them to punt on fourth and 11.
They would not get the ball back. Green Bay successfully ran out the clock with two critical third-down conversions from Rodgers – first finding Adams again for 32 yards, before then hitting former Seahawk Jimmy Graham for nine yards and the first down that clinched the game.
The No 2 seeded Packers will now visit the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday in the NFC Championship Game. The 49ers beat the Packers 37-8 in the same fixture earlier in the season.