Winners, losers from Packers’ divisional-round win over Seahawks

By Jesse Reed
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks went into Wisconsin for a divisional-round matchup against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field and gave fans quite a scare.

Early on, it looked like it was going to be a blowout for the home team. The Packers jumped out to a 7-3 first-quarter lead, then pulled ahead 21-3 by halftime. But true to form, Russell Wilson wasn’t about to let the game end without putting up a fight.

In the end, Wilson and the Seahawks fell just short as the Packers did just enough to escape with a 28-23 victory, sending them to Santa Clara for a date with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.

These were the biggest winners and losers from the Packers’ narrow win at home over the Seahawks.

Winner: Davante Adams had a monster game

All year long, the Seahawks have featured a shaky pass defense. On Sunday, it once again struggled more often than not when Aaron Rodgers looked for his top receiver. Davante Adams feasted, especially early with this stunning touchdown catch, setting the tone for what would be a long evening for the Seattle secondary.

By halftime, Adams had six catches for 88 yards (nearly all of Rodgers’ 120 yards passing) and a score. He continued to plague the Seahawks in the second half, made some defensive backs look foolish and drove the dagger in with this catch late in the fourth quarter.

Adams finished the game with eight receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Just an absolutely huge performance by the star.

Loser: D.K. couldn’t replicate last weekend’s success

Rookie receiver D.K. Metcalf set an NFL playoff record last weekend, catching seven passes for 160 yards and a jaw-dropping touchdown as the Seahawks eked out a win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

On Sunday at Lambeau Field, Metcalf wasn’t nearly as effective. He did come through with some big catches but finished the day with just four receptions for 59 yards. Without his big-play receiver making big plays, Russell Wilson was unable to complete an epic comeback.

Winner: Aaron Jones strikes gold

Jones scored twice on the ground and provided outstanding balance as Green Bay build up its 21-3 first-half lead.

The Packers went away from the run game a bit in the second half and nearly paid a dear price for it. But overall, when Aaron Jones’ number was called, the third-year running back came through big for his teammates.

All told, Jones helped the Packers advance to the NFC Championship Game with a strong performance, tallying 66 tough yards and the two scores on 22 touches from scrimmage.

Loser: Russell Wilson is brilliant but can’t do it all by himself

The Seahawks entered the postseason with a brutal rash of injuries to their top running backs, necessitating the signing of veteran free agent Marshawn Lynch, who hadn’t played since the 2018 season. Entering Sunday’s divisional-round game, we highlighted Lynch as a huge X-factor because he was ineffective outside of a goal-line score last weekend.

On Sunday, Lynch did punch in two touchdowns, but neither he nor Travis Homer could give the Seahawks any consistent threat on the ground. The two of them tallied just 39 yards on 15 carries. Without any balance, especially early, the Seahawks had to rely completely on the magic of Russell Wilson. This time around, he didn’t have enough.

Winner: Smith Bros. come through

The Packers spent big, big money last offseason to bring in free agent pass rushers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith. The two of them more than lived up to the hype during the regular season, racking up 25.5 sacks between them.

On Sunday, playing against the most difficult quarterback to bring down in the NFL, the Smith Bros. were once again superb. They both had two sacks, tallying all but one of the five sacks Wilson endured during the divisional-round game.