The Green Bay Packers season started in Seattle way back in week 1 of the NFL season and it started with a 36-16 loss. Now, after coming from behind to knock off the Dallas Cowboys 26-21 in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, the Packers are hoping their season doesn’t end in Seattle, in the NFC Championship game.
Mike McCarthy’s Packers are in the NFC Championship game for the third time under McCarthy. The first came in 2007, McCarthy’s second with the Packers. The Packers fell to the Giants 23-20. The second NFC Championship appearance came in the 2010 season when the Packers beat the Bears 21-14 before moving on to beat Pittsburgh 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV.
Aaron Rodgers got off to a slow start in the first half, passing for 90 yards and a touchdown, but the Packers trailed 14-10 at halftime.
The second half was a different story, as Rodgers found ways to be a bit more mobile, moving around to complete 15 of 20 passes for 226 yards and two second half touchdowns. He finished with 316 yards and three touchdowns on the day.
Rodgers said he was able to make some adjustments throughout the game, to figure out what worked with his left calf injury and what didn’t.
Rodgers final touchdown pass was a 13-yard strike to rookie tight end Richard Rodgers to give the Packers a lead.
Rodgers was very limited in the first half and was having marginal success. But the Packers needed Rodgers to step his game up in the second half or they’d be forced to watch another post season opportunity at home go by the wayside.
Rodgers answered the bell. He found rookie Davante Adams (7 rec. 117 yds 1 td) on a 3rd and 15 pass play that turned into a 46-yard scoring strike. Adams gained 29 of those 46 yards after the catch.
Rodgers would go on to finish with a 125.4 quarterback rating for the game and the Packers finished a the season at Lambeau Field with a 9-0 record.
The Packers victory came with a big play late in the game with the Cowboys on offense. On fourth and two, Tony Romo decided to take a shot down the left sideline to his top receiver Dez Bryant. It was ruled a catch on the field, down to the 1-yard line. But Mike McCarthy challenged the catch and it was overturned. Bryan caught the ball and appeared to take a couple of steps and reach for the goal line. But when the ball hit the ground, it came loose and the officials said by rule, the definition of a catch hadn’t been met and the Packers would take over possession.
Then, just as it looked as if Dallas would stop the Packers drive and force a punt, Aaron Rodgers pass was tipped and landed in the hands of a diving Randall Cobb for a Green Bay first down and the Packers then just ran out the clock.
After exacting revenge on the Cowboys for those playoff losses in Dallas in the mid-1990’s, the Packers will now take their show on the road to Seattle to try to do the same against the Seahawks. Kickoff on Sunday at CenturyLink Field is set for 2:05pm.
A win would put the Packers in the Super Bowl for the sixth time in franchise history.