Aaron Rodgers played one of his best games of the season, helping the Green Bay Packers beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-23 in the NFC Divisional playoffs and securing a rematch with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game.
Rodgers and Davante Adams put the Packers on their backs, connecting eight times for 160 yards and two touchdowns. The 160 receiving yards for Adams is a Green Bay Packers playoff-franchise record.
When the Packers needed a big play, Rodgers was there to deliver a series of pinpoint accurate passes, helping his team to a season best 9-of-14 on third downs (69%). That is the best third down accuracy rate for the Packers since the 2016 season.
Rodgers sealed the victory with a pair of third-down passes, a 32-yard pass to Adams on a third-and-8 with 2:19 left, and a nine yard strike to tight end Jimmy Graham just after the two-minute warning.
All three of Graham’s catches (49-yards) were third-down conversions. All of Adams receptions were either for first downs or touchdowns.
Aaron Jones also rushed for 62 yards and two first-half touchdowns. Rodgers finished 16 for 27 for 243 yards.
The Seahawks (12-6) trailed 21-3 at halftime, but Russell Wilson almost pulled off another great comeback. Wilson completed 21-of-31 for 277 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 64 yards on seven carries, directing second half touchdown drives of 69, 84 and 79 yards.
Marshawn Lynch was was held to just 26 yards on 12 carries, but scored two touchdowns. Tyler Lockett had nine catches for 136 yards, scoring the Seahawks other touchdown.
Seattle got the ball back with 4:54 to play at their own 22-yard line, but the Packers, who had little answer for Wilson in the second half, found a way to get a stop as Preston Smith came up with a third down sack, his second of the game.
With three timeouts left, the Seahawks chose to punt, hoping to get the ball back. The Packers never gave it back to them.
The Seahawks losing streak at Lambeau Field has now reached nine straight games with the last Seattle victory coming in 1999.
The Packers played without starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga (illness). Veteran Jared Veldheer, who was retired earlier this season and actually watched the Packers vs. Bears opener from the stands, stepped in at right tackle and the Packers didn’t skip a beat.
The Packers head to their third NFC Championship game in the last six years. They lost to the 49ers 37-8 back on November 24th. The rematch is at 5:40 p.m. CT on Sunday for the right to head to Miami for a shot at a Super Bowl win.