The Seattle Seahawks advanced to Super Bowl XLIX with a 28-22 overtime win over the visiting Green Bay Packers. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw the decisive touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse in overtime to seal Seattle's second Super Bowl berth in as many seasons.
The Seattle Seahawks are returning to the Super Bowl.
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The Seahawks completed a stunning comeback from a 16-0 halftime deficit behind quarterback Russell Wilson's gorgeous touchdown throw to Jermaine Kearse in overtime, per Clare Farnsworth of the Seahawks' official website.
Farnsworth points out the Packers got off to a fast 13-0 start in the first quarter. However, it didn't go too well for Green Bay on its first possession of the game. The team marched the ball down to Seattle's 29-yard line, only for Pro Bowl Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman to intercept Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay returned the favor after safety Ha Ha Clinto-Dix intercepted Wilson's third-down pass and returned the ball to Seattle's four-yard line.
However, a taunting penalty on Mike Daniels set the Packers back 15 yards. Seattle fullback John Kuhn appeared to have scored a touchdown on second down, but further review of the play verified his elbow was down at the one-yard line. Seattle's defense stuffed running back Eddie Lacy on third down, so Green Bay had to settle for Mason Crosby's 18-yard field goal to make it 3-0, per Farnsworth.
According to Seahawks.com, the Seattle wide receiver and punt return specialist Doug Baldwin fumbled the ball on the ensuing punt return at his team's own 23-yard line. Fortunately, Seattle limited Green Bay to another Crosby field goal. The Seahawks had a chance to put some points on the board, but went three-and-out.
The Packers made them pay on Rogers' 13-yard strike to wide receiver Randall Cobb to make it 13-0 in their favor at the end of the first quarter, notes Farnsworth.
The Seahawks still couldn't get it going on offense as the second quarter whistle blew. They went three-and-out yet again. Packers punt returned Micah Hyde gave his team good field position with a 29-yard run to Seattle's 33. Aaron Rodgers' missed Cobb on a third-and-long pass which appeared to bring in Packers' punting unit. However, Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril was called for a hands-to-the-face penalty, giving Green Bay an automatic first down. Crosby capitalized by knocking down his third field goal of the half to put his team up by 16, per Farnsworth.
The two teams exchanged interceptions before Wilson threw his third pick of the half when Packers cornerback Sam Shields took the ball away. Farnsworth stresses Seattle finally forced Green Bay to punt the ball away on the latter's next possession.
Seattle failed to gain momentum in its first second-half possession after it went three-and-out. Green Bay also failed to move the sticks when it got the ball back. The Seahawks finally made a big play after they marched the ball 78 yards downfield, culminating in punter Jon Ryan completey fooling the Packers when he got the snap and threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to rookie tackle Garry Gilliam to make it 16-7, Green Bay, per Farnsworth.
Crosby's fourth field goal of the game made it a 12-point game in the Packers' favor, 19-7. Lynch then ran the ball to Green Bay's 45-yard line, but Green Bay sacked Wilson on first down. The Seattle quarterback threw two incompletions on second and third down. After the Seattle defense stopped the Packers on third down, Wilson threw his fourth pick off the game after his pass bounced off Jermaine Kearse and was intercepted by Morgan Burnett, per Seahawks.com.
After the Packers went three-and-out, Seattle advanced the ball 69 yards for a one-yard touchdown run by Wilson. It seemed the Seahawks scored several plays earlier, when Lynch caught Wilson's 35-yard pass. However, the officials ruled he stepped out of bounds, nullifying the touchdown, says Farnsworth.
Seattle decided to try an onsided kick, with 2:09 left and the Packers ahead, 19-14. The kick bounced off Green Bay's Brandon Bostic and was recovered by Seattle's Chris Matthews instead. Lynch and the Seahawks made the Packers pay dearly when he crossed the goal line on a 24-yard carry to give his team the lead. Wilson was on the verge of being sacked by the Packers' blitz, but he managed to loft the ball to tight end Luke Willson for the successful two-point conversion, per Farnsworth.
Seahawks 22, Packers 19.
A hobbling Rodgers managed to march his team to field-goal range. Farnsworth notes Crosby's fifth field goal of the game tied things up at 22 at the end of regulation.
The Seahawks won the coin toss in overtime. On the sixth play of extra time, Wilson threw a perfect 35-yard strike to Kearse for the game-winning touchdown, per Farnsworth.
An emotional Wilson told USA TODAY Sports' Jim Corbett he believed in his Seahawks all the way:
"There was no doubt in this team. When we were 3-3, there was no doubt. When we were 6-4, there was no doubt. When the score was whatever the score was and we needed two touchdowns, there was no doubt. When I threw that ball to Doug Baldwin, and I threw it to (Jermaine) Kearse, there was no doubt. It's because of this 12th man. God is too good, man."
The Seahawks will defend their title against the New England Patriots, who routed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7, in the AFC Championship Game.
I4U News will again bring you full coverage of the Super Bowl 2015 Ads. Super Bowl 2015 will take place on February 1, 2015 in Arizona. The Super Bowl XLIX game will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. NBC is broadcasting Super Bowl 2015. The Super Bowl 2015 Halftime Show will be performed by Katy Perry. The constantly updated Super Bowl Ads List is tracking all Super Bowl ads.
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