SEATTLE – The Seahawks waited until the final quarter of what was likely their final chance to keep their playoffs alive.
It was worth the wait.
The Seattle Seahawks fell behind in an ugly first quarter but rode a strong running game and some just-in-time heroics from Russell Wilson to beat the Green Bay Packers 27-24 Thursday night at CenturyLink Field, improving to 5-5 and finding themselves very much in the postseason hunt entering the final six games of the season.
The night got off to a miserable start for the Seahawks, who took the opening kickoff and immediately watched Chris Carson fumble on the first play from scrimmage. The teams traded punts, then Mason Crosby missed a field goal with 10:46 left to play in the first quarter.
Rashaad Penny sparked the Seahawks on the next play from scrimmage, running back and forth in the backfield before cutting loose for a 30 yard run. Penny immediately limped off the field and was examined by trainers on the bench, but soon returned to the game.
Seattle couldn’t get in the end zone however, as Russell Wilson missed passes to wide-open Doug Baldwin and David Moore in the end zone. The Hawks settled for a 39-yard field goal to make it 7-3 Rams with 6 minutes left in the first quarter.
The Packers got right back on the board, however. Aaron Rodgers came up with a very Aaron Rodgers-esque play that made up the bulk of a 75-yard drive, dipping and dodging in the backfield before hitting tight end Robet Tonyan for a 46-yard touchdown pass with just over 3 minutes to play to make it 14-3.
“I was really fired up for the guys that they finished the game, came back and won it,” Carroll said. “That 14-3 didn’t look very good.”
The Seahawks came alive in the second quarter. They shook off two false start penalties and drove 77 yards in 14 plays, capping it off with Doug Baldwin’s first touchdown of the year. It was a 6-yard reception from Wilson that made it 14-10 Packers with 8:03 left in the second quarter.
“(Baldwin is) ready to have big games,” Carroll said. “We didn’t throw the ball very much so there’s not a lot of throws, but he’s such a great player, such a great come-through guy.”
They took the lead on their very next possession after quickly forcing a Packers punt. A 48-yard pass interference on Raven Greene on the first play of the drive was followed two plays later by a 17-yard catch by Nick Vannett and then a 1-yard Chris Carson touchdown run that made it 17-14 with 3:22 left to play in the first half.
Even more quickly, they gave that lead back. Rodgers couldn’t be stopped on the ensuing drive, completing five straight passes capped off by a 24 yarder to running back Aaron Jones that made it 21-17 with 0:44 to play in the half.
The Packers tacked on three more with 8:23 to play, but it could’ve been worse. Rodgers showed why he’s a Hall of Famer, hauling back and hitting Davante Adams with a 57-yard pass on a third and 9 that set up Crosby’s 36-yard field goal to make it 24-20.
But the Seahawks struck back as Wilson came to life, hitting Tyler Lockett on back to back passes of 18 and 34 yards to set up Ed Dickson’s 15-yard touchdown catch on 3rd and 9 to take the lead at 27-24 with 5:08 to play and seal the final margin.
Seattle had another strong game on the ground, rushing 35 times for 173 yards and a touchdown. Carson was again the leader, carrying it 17 times for 83 yards and that TD.
Wilson had a decent night after a slow start, completing 21 of 31 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns, absorbing three sacks.
Tyler Lockett had yet another nice outing, with five catches for 71 yards, and Doug Baldwin caught his first touchdown pass of the season on a night when he caught seven balls for 52 yards.
Bobby Wagner led the Seahawks with nine tackles, while Frank Clark continued to drive up his price tag heading into a free-agent offseason with four tackles including two more sacks that brought his season total to 10.
“Frankie had another great game,” Carroll said. “Just causing problems.”
The Seahawks get a nice long break before resurfacing in Carolina on Nov. 25, when they’ll play the Panthers at 10 a.m. in a game that will be televised on Q13 FOX.