NFC Wild Card Recap: Packers Maul Redskins; Seahawks Edge Vikings
NFC teams squared off on the second day of the NFL playoffs. Here’s a recap of Sunday's games:
Green Bay 35, Washington 18
Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and the Green Bay Packers surged past the Washington Redskins, 35-18, in the NFC wild-card game in Landover, Md. on Sunday. Green Bay overcame a sluggish start to beat Washington and advance to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, where they’ll face the Arizona Cardinals next Saturday.
Rodgers' two first-half touchdown tosses allowed the Packers to take a 17-11 lead into halftime and erase the Redskins’ early 11-0 lead. The Redskins had taken a 2-0 lead on a safety, and were pressing to score at the one yard line after a long completion to DeSean Jackson. But Green Bay's defense stiffened, knocked the Redskins for two consecutive losses, and they had to settle for a field goal to make it 5-0. Although they did score to go ahead 11-0, that goal line stand seemed to invigorate the Packers.
Washington jumped back ahead 18-17 when Kirk Cousins scampered into the end zone from three yards out with 9:41 left in the third quarter. However, those were the Redskins’ last points of the day, as Rodgers and Co. seized control of the game. Eddie Lacy and James Starks each ran for a score to help the Packers put the game away in the second half.
Cousins was sacked six times and pressured all game. He finished 29-of-46 for 329 yards and a touchdown. Redskins tight end Jordan Reed caught nine passes for 120 yards and a score.
Rodgers finished 21-of-36 passing for 210 yards and no interceptions on the game. Green Bay’s victory gave the visiting teams a sweep of all four games during the NFL’s wild-card weekend.
Seattle 10, Minnesota 9
Blair Walsh missed a potential game-winning 27-yard field goal with 23 seconds to play, and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Vikings, 10-9, in the NFC wild-card game in frigid Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.
The freezing temperatures — minus-six degrees with wind chills at 25-below zero — stymied both offenses for most of the game. The Vikings led 9-0 heading into the fourth quarter thanks to three Walsh field goals, but Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson rallied his team to 10 points in the final period, including a three-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin with 11:41 left.
On Minnesota's ensuing drive, the Seahawks recovered Adrian Peterson's fumble, which set up Steven Hauschka’s 46-yard field goal that gave Seattle the lead for good with 8:09 to play.
The Vikings marched to the Seahawks' 9-yard line on their final drive of the game, but Walsh's kick sailed left of the uprights to set off a celebration by Seattle. The two-time defending NFC champs advanced to the divisional round where they will face the Carolina Panthers next Sunday.
Wilson finished 13-for-26 for 142 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.
Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had a solid day, going 17-for-24 for 146 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Peterson carried 23 times for 45 yards with the costly fumble.