The championship games failed to disappoint. There can be no better advert for the sport than the game we saw in Seattle.
The Seahawks were down and out going into the final quarter. Their fans, regarded by some as the best in the league, had given up on them. Hundreds of “The Twelves” had already left the stadium by the time their quarterback, Russell Wilson, led the team down the field and ran in a touchdown moments before the two minute warning.
Cue the onside kick. The Seahawks kicker, Steven Hauschka, was 1&4 for onside kick-offs as he ran up to the ball. The pigskin hung in the air, arching its way to Green Bay’s number one receiver. But it never made it never landed in the arms of Jordy Nelson. His blocker, tight end Brandon Bostick, sensed his moment of glory as he reached to pick the ball from the air. Rather than clutch it in his hands, he dropped the ball and handed possession to Seattle. The Seahawks scored and completed the two-point conversion which meant a Packers field goal in the remaining 1:25 would take the game into overtime.
Rodgers led the charge with a limp, set up Mason Crosby’s 48 yard field goal and added time ensued. The Seahawks won the toss and the rest is history. Jermaine Kearse caught the championship-winning touchdown for the second season in a row.
Russell Wilson proved why he’s set to become the league’s highest paid QB. Despite struggling for three quarters, throwing four picks, he rallied his troops when they needed him. A lesser team would have rolled over, but these defending champions have forgotten how to lose and they won’t give up their crown without a fight.
If Seattle are going to win back-to-back Super Bowls they’ll have to stop the greatest-ever post season quarterback. Tom Brady broke Joe Montana’s play-off record for touchdowns thrown against the Ravens last week. He led the Patriots in their AFC championship thumping of the Indianapolis Colts, beating Andrew Luck & Co 45-7.
The Patriots are heading to their sixth Super Bowl of the Brady-Belichick era. They rarely ran the ball last week, but it was a different story in this championship game. LeGarrette Blount rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns in this drubbing. This Pats team can mix it up when they have to, offensive lineman Nate Solder even caught a touchdown.
Super Bowl XLIX has all the hallmarks for a classic. Tom Brady vs the Legion of Boom. Russell Wilson vs the best Patriots defence for eight years.
The Seahawks defend their crown in Arizona, the scene of the Patriots’ toughest loss under Belichick. Expect to read plenty more plots over the coming fortnight as we gear up for a spectacular season finale between the two best teams in the league.