It's Seahawks-Packers for a spot in the Super Bowl.
Green Bay's rally from 21-13 down in the fourth quarter at home to beat Dallas 26-21 today in the other NFC divisional playoff game means the Seahawks will host the Packers for the NFC championship next Sunday at 12:05 p.m. Pacific Time.
"We're going to crank it up," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said last night.
The second NFC title game in Seattle in as many Januarys is a rematch of the first game of the NFL season, Sept. 4 at CenturyLink Field. Seattle had a 17-10 lead at halftime and won 36-16 in what was the Seahawks' most complete game until December. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Russell Wilson completed 19 of 28 passes for 191 yards and touchdowns to Ricardo Lockette and now-on-injured-reserve fullback Derrick Coleman.
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Seattle (13-4) and Green Bay (13-4) were the only NFL teams to finish the regular season with seven wins in eight games.
"Little different now (than opening night)," Packers receiver Davante Adams, who scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to help beat Dallas, told Westwood One radio inside Lambeau Field right after the game. "We've got a head of steam. We going to go out there to take care of business."
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was limping noticeably throughout today's game with a calf injury that Fox television reported will take two months to fully heal. Whatever Rodgers did (took) at halftime today worked; he looked like a different quarterback from first half to second.
Rodgers did not target Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman once in 36 drop backs in that last meeting on Sept. 4. He finished that game 23 of 33 for 189 yards, a touchdown pass and an interception. His passer rating of 81.5 last night is the second-lowest for him this season. Defensive ends Cliff Avril, O'Brien Schofield and Michael Bennett each sacked Rodgers that night.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy later said he made a mistake having that game plan of not being more aggressive at Sherman and the Seahawks' defense.
Last night Bennett said he was hoping to play the Cowboys, because "I'm from Texas. And they beat us (Oct. 12)."
Not that Bennett and his Seahawks teammates are disappointed or anything in being in the NFC title game against the Packers instead.
--News Tribune colleague Don Ruiz is in Green Bay. He covered today's game and will be filing his story soon. In the meantime, I sends this from Lambeau Field:
--Here is my game story from that first Packers-Seahawks meeting.
Here is the link to the pdf of the official game stats from that night: 090414GreenBayW36-16
--The Seahawks have confirmed rookie wide receiver Paul Richardson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee last night. Fox Sports reported it is the same knee on which he had surgery will the second-round draft choice was playing collegiately at Colorado.
Richardson was hurt in the third quarter Saturday night. One play after he had a 21-yard catch the rookie second-round pick from Colorado got tangled with Carolina cornerback Bene Benwikere trying to catch a pass near the goal line. He did not return.
Richardson had 29 catches on 43 targets during the regular season, with one touchdown. Rookie Kevin Norwood was inactive against Carolina but is likely to be active against Green Bay, with Lockette moving up in the receiving rotation as perhaps the No. 3 receiver now.
Here's what he tweeted this afternoon, a Seahawks off day: