Despite all odds against them, the Seattle Seahawks made an improbable run to the playoffs this year. While Seattle’s 2022 season may be over, fans can reminisce today about another long-odds Seahawks playoff memory as today is the eight-year anniversary of their improbable comeback over the Packers in the NFC Championship game.
The Seahawks had completed a 12-4 season and once again earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the second straight year. On January 18th, 2015, the Seahawks hosted the similarly 12-4 Green Bay Packers. It was a rematch of their Week 1 matchup, where Seattle easily handled Green Bay in a 36-16 rout. Unfortunately, the Packers proved to be a much more potent adversary this time around.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers may have thrown two first half interceptions himself, but he was still severely outplaying Russell Wilson, who had three himself. Green Bay’s defense had Wilson completely flummoxed as Seattle trailed 16-0 at intermission. Eventually, the Seahawks found themselves on the scoreboard with under five minutes left in the third quarter, but it came via punter Jon Ryan, who threw a touchdown pass to tackle Gary Gilliam on a fake field goal.
Relive all of the trickery from the 2014 NFC Championship game. 👻
Down 16-0 in the third quarter, punter Jon Ryan threw this absolutely iconic touchdown pass to Garry Gilliam. pic.twitter.com/XOAbpIcCQM
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) October 31, 2020
Green Bay still remained in control and extended their lead to 19-7 midway through the fourth quarter. Wilson threw yet another pick with a little over five minutes remaining and all hope seemed lost. At that point, Wilson had only completed 8-of-22 passes for 75 yards and four interceptions.
The Legion of Boom forced a Packers punt after the interception and the Seahawks offense managed to complete their first meaningful drive of the afternoon. Wilson kept the ball for himself on a read option play at the goaline and cut the deficit to 19-14 with his touchdown.
Now, Seattle’s fate was in the hands of their onside kick team… or, more accurately, wide receiver Chris Matthews, who caught the ball as it ricocheted off the facemask of Packers tight end Brandon Bostick. Suddenly Seattle had life with over two minutes left to play! The Seahawks had completed the unthinkable, as Marshawn Lynch barreled his way in for a touchdown to give the Seahawks their first lead of the day. A successful two-point conversion from Russell Wilson to Luke Willson had Seattle leading 22-19.
Ironically, the Seahawks actually scored their comeback points too quickly, as Aaron Rodgers still had 79 seconds to drive for a game-tying field goal, which is what he did. The Packers forced overtime as both teams were deadlocked at 22-22.
Seattle won the coin toss to start overtime and the rest, as they say, is history. On the opening possession of overtime, Wilson found Jermaine Kearse for a 35-yard game-winning touchdown.
How does he do it?
That’s the question we’ve been asking since @DangeRussWilson hit the league in 2012.@Seahawks #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/LQA5D0xbKO
— NFL (@NFL) November 29, 2019
Seattle prevailed 28-22 and advanced to Super Bowl XLIX, their third appearance in franchise history. Somehow the Seahawks managed to outdo themselves in terms of a memorable NFC Championship, following their iconic 23-17 victory over the Niners the year prior.
A lot has changed in the last eight years, but the memories from January 18th, 2015 are forever woven into the tapestry of Seattle sports history and will live on as one of the greatest Seahawks wins of all time.