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NFC Championship Recap

After enduring a miraculous roller coaster ride of emotions, the Seahawks are on their way to Super Bowl XLIX.

Mightily struggling to generate any offensive points in the first three quarters, the Hawks managed to piece together an amazing late-game performance to defeat the Packers 28-22 in overtime. That overtime period ended with a 35 yard connection between quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.

Kearse’s game ending catch couldn’t be more exemplary of redemption. Having missed all five of his previous targets, four of which fell into the hands of Packers defensive backs, Russell Wilson threw Kearse’s way once again. Recognizing the bump and run coverage with no help over the top, Wilson gave Kearse a hot route which he executed to perfection. Slipping his man to the inside and running a fly pattern to beat Packers’ cornerback Tramon Williams to the endzone, Kearse proceeded to catch a dime of a throw from Wilson. Overcome with emotion following his efforts, the traditionally soft-spoken Kearse burst into tears.

The victory was comparable to the summary of their entire season in a way; battling to stay afloat at the beginning but reclaiming dominance in the end.

Totaling 46 yards of total offense while turning the ball over on four out of their seven possessions, the Hawks were completely dependent on their defense in the first half. Remaining strong despite the uneven time of possession in which the Packers exceeded the Hawks by seven minutes and twelve seconds at halftime, the Hawks defense had strung together two goal line stands and two interceptions to hold the Packers to just 16 points. For anyone that had witnessed the self-destructive play of the offense in the first half, the 16 point deficit seemed unfitting.

With no points on the board and just under five minutes to go in the third quarter, the Hawks attempted a fake field goal. Former tight end and current lineman Garry Gilliam caught a 19 yard pass thrown by punter Jon Ryan. The play gave hope to a potential super bowl berth, but on the first play of their second drive of the fourth quarter, Wilson threw his fourth interception. It appeared as if the possibility to reclaim their NFC Championship title was fading, but one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history was in the works.

After forcing a crucial Packers’ 3 and out, the Hawks received the ball with just 3:52 left in the final quarter. Four plays into the drive running back Marshawn Lynch caught a pass from Wilson and scampered 35 yards for a touchdown. But after further review the officials marked Lynch out at the nine yard line. The Hawks then managed to score on third down with one yard to go, on a quarterback option play in which Wilson kept the ball and rushed in for a touchdown.

Down by a score of 14-19 with only two minutes and nine seconds remaining, the Hawks attempted an onside kick. The onside kick ricocheted of Packers tight end Brandon Bostick and into the hands of Hawks wide receiver Chris Matthews. One play after the two minute warning, Lynch ran 24 yards for a touchdown, giving the Hawks a one point lead.

Ahead by only one point following the touchdown, the Hawks needed to attempt a two point conversion in order to go up by a field goal. On their two point conversion attempt, the pocket collapsed and Wilson struggled to find an open receiver before scrambling backward in his efforts to avoid being sacked. But, at the last second, Russell heaved a pass out of desperation and tight end Luke Willson was able to secure the ball for what would prove to be a necessary two points.

Orchestrating two sequential touchdown drives that took a miniscule two minutes and 28 seconds, Wilson lead the Hawks to overtime, where they would pull of an incredible victory to secure back to back super bowl appearances.

Exuding an incredible sense of resiliency in order to comeback, the Hawks victory was simply outstanding. As a result they have now earned consecutive NFC Championship titles and remain a force to be reckoned with as they now face the New England Patriots in Glendale on Feb 1.


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Week 6: Seahawks vs. Titans Recap

Regardless of their sloppy performance, the Hawks managed to defeat the Titans by a score of 20-13 last Sunday at home. The Hawks passing defense looked weak in the Titans second offensive drive, but then they managed to lock down on the Titans’ passing game. Throughout the course of the entire game, the Hawks managed to allow only 157 passing yards. They had significant success stopping the run and running the football, as they allowed only 66 total rushing yards, and rushed for 151 yards. RB Marshawn Lynch and CB Richard Sherman were the standout performers in last week’s game, Lynch had both of the teams TD’s and Sherman had a key interception that helped the Hawks seal their fate.

Although they were able to continue their offensive success that they had in previous weeks, they also continued to have botched plays and third down conversion failures despite winning the game. The Hawks have struggled and still struggle to convert on third down, only converting on 5 of their 13 attempts. The Hawks also had problems place holding following the injury to Seahawks K Steven Hauschka. Punter and back up place kicker Jon Ryan normally holds for Hauschka, but with Hauscka’s injury, Ryan was forced to attempt a field goal late in the second quarter. With Ryan kicking the field goal, Chris Maragos came in to hold. Not used to place holding, Maragos fumbled with the football and attempted to pass it. The field goal block team smothered him and caused him to fumble, they then returned the ball for a TD right before the first half ended.

Despite their unfortunate fumbled field goal, the Seahawks pulled out another victory and move to 5-1 on the year. Russell Wilson remains undefeated at home and the Hawks continue their 11 game home win streak. The Hawks have a short week as they travel to the desert to face the Cards on Thursday Night.

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