The Seattle Seahawks booked their trip to the Super Bowl with a shocking, 23-17 win over visiting arch-rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, in the NFC Championship game Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson didn’t play like the future superstar that he is touted to be throughout most of the game. He fumbled on the first play of the afternoom. The ball was picked up by San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith on Seattle’s 15-yard line and led to an early field goal for the visitors.
The 49ers led by 10 points in the second quarter but failed to score at all for the final 21 minutes of the game, as their hometown paper, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Wilson was sacked four times, fumbled again and was held to zero yards rushing on just five carries, a disappointing outing for the usually mobile quarterback.
But when the Seattle Seahawks needed their young leader, he was there for them. His team trailed the 49ers 17-13 with 13:44 to play in he fourth quarter. On a fourth-down and seven play from the San Francisco 35, as ESPN reported, Seattle Coach Pete Carroll decided to go for the first down rather than let kicker Steven Hauschka try a 52-yard field goal.
The 25-year-old, second-year Seattle Seahawks quarterback tossed the ball all the way into the end zone where receiver Jermaine Kearse hauled it in with a leaping catch.
The touchdown gave Seattle its first lead of the game and one it would never relinquish as the NFL-leading Seahawks defense forced San Francisco into four turnovers in the fourth quarter, holding the 49ers scoreless the rest of the way.
“We played so hard,” Wilson said in USA Today. “We talked at the beginning of year, `Why not us? Why not us?’ That’s kind of been our mind-set.”
The crowd, known as the Seattle Seahawks 12th Man, was deafening throughout the NFC Championship game.
“This is really special,” said Carroll, who brings the Seattle Seahawks to their first Super Bowl trip since 2005 and only the second in franchise history. “It would really be a mistake to not remember the connection and the relationship between this football team and the 12th Man and these fans. It’s unbelievable.”
The Denver Broncos advanced to the Super Bowl by defeating the New England Patriots 26-16 earlier Sunday, in the AFC Championship at Denver’s Mile High Stadium. The Broncos, in their seventh Super Bowl appearance, will be the Seattle Seahawks’ opponents at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey February 2.