Russell Wilson helped the Seattle Seahawks edge the Green Bay Packers 27-24 in the NFL on Thursday.
The Packers and Seahawks have provided some of the most timeless NFL moments, which date back to the coin-flip guarantee in 2004 and more recently the 2014 NFC Championship Game and of course, the 2012 Fail Mary.
All but one of those games featured quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Wilson, two of the more accomplished play-callers in the NFL that have had mixed success against each other. Wilson has never won a game at Lambeau Field and similarly, Rodgers has not won a game in the Pacific Northwest since becoming a starter in 2008.
With the contest taking place at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, the Packers were facing a tough test – not to mention Green Bay have not won on the road at all this season. That certainly remained the case against the Seahawks, who used a late score in the fourth quarter to pull ahead.
Seattle are all too familiar with close games, as all five of their losses have come by one score. But, now the narrow margin favoured the Seahawks, who moved to 5-5 while the Packers slipped to 4-5-1.
Early efforts matter... but not on Thursday
Both Rodgers and Wilson are known for their fourth-quarter comebacks, and against one another, Wilson definitely has the edge.
But, there is another statistic that is just as impressive and yet had no barring in Thursday's contest. Since Wilson joined the league in 2012, the Seahawks have been a perfect 50-0 when leading by four or more points at the half.
However, against the Packers, the Seahawks make things a little more interesting.
Last time the Packers visited Seattle, during the 2014-15 season for the NFC Championship Game, Green Bay were up 16-0 at the half and ended up losing. This time around, Green Bay led Seattle 21-17 at the half and again, ended up losing.
The Seahawks made some big adjustments on both sides of the ball, and held the Packers to three second-half points while Seattle's offense put up 10. The defensive efforts complemented Wilson's, as the Packers had just three first downs in the second half compared to the nine the Seahawks had in the fourth quarter.
Wilson capped off comeback with a go-ahead score late in the game.
Three is always better than one
The Packers do not just have one star named Aaron, they have two. Running back Aaron Jones had a career-best performance last week – rushing for 145 yards and two touchdowns – but followed that up with 40 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries against a tough Seattle defense. He also had a receiving touchdown.
But, the Seahawks also had a weapon in the backfield.
It is a stark contrast to an offense that has struggled with the run since the departure of Marshawn Lynch in 2015. The once-dominant run game that powered Seattle to back-to-back Super Bowls had been stagnant the last two years with Wilson as the team's second-best rusher in 2016 and their leading rusher last season.
However, the Seahawks seemed to find a replacement for Beast Mode and it was not with just one running back – it was with three.
The trio of Chris Carson, Mike Davis and rookie Rashaad Penny has provided Wilson with much-needed support and put Seattle back at the top of the league standings. For the first time since 2014, the Seahawks boast the number one rushing offense in the NFL with 152.2 yards per game.
On Thursday against Green Bay, Seattle out-rushed the visiting Packers 173 yards to 48.
The Seahawks' efforts were led by Carson with 83 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries. Penny chipped in 46 yards on eight carries, and Davis had four touches for 26 yards.
It was a must win to keep playoff hopes alive
Both teams entered the season with high hopes, and now with more than half of their games played the Seahawks and Packers are not where they would have liked to be. But, their postseason hopes are not lost yet.
The Seahawks, if they can keep up their success, will have an easier route to the playoffs. Now at .500, Seattle will next face the 6-3 Panthers in Carolina for week 12 action and then host the Vikings two weeks later. Minnesota also have their sights on the playoffs and sit at 5-3-1 and in second place of the NFC North.
For Green Bay, however, things get a little more complicated.
Now below .500 with six games to go, the Packers will have a hard time trying to catch divisional opponents the Bears (6-3) and the Vikings. Chicago and Minnesota will face each other this week with the winner of that game becoming the favourite in the NFC North. Unfortunately for the Packers, the loser of that game would still be ahead of Green Bay for the final wild-card spot.
|Southampton 3 Arsenal 2: Austin and Ings end Gunners´ long unbeaten run|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 1 Chelsea 2: Sensational Hazard proves the difference|
|Pogba on the bench as Clyne starts for Liverpool|
|Lipsky ends long barren spell in Malelane|
|Lakers´ Stephenson to repeat air guitar despite technical|
|Fletcher pushed Miller on to Broncos sack record|
|The Sarri effect: Hazard surpasses 2017-18 goal involvements in just 16 games|
|Van der Burgh retires on a high note with breaststroke double|
|Rashford: Liverpool was never an option|
|No team Liverpool play this season will be as motivated as Man United – Klopp|
|India surprised by contentious Kohli decision - Bumrah|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 15|
|Miller eyeing Joshua bout at Madison Square Garden|
|Finch cleared of serious damage after another finger blow|
|Rashford ´untouchable´ because he plays on his limits – Mourinho|
|It´s important to have his mentality - Mayfield thrilled with Kobe Bryant visit as Browns beat Bronc|
|Centurion Latham indebted to ´world-class´ Williamson|
|Spurs´ Dier out until January after appendix removal|
|A-League Review: Glory down Jets to stay unbeaten|
|Philander ruled out of first Test|
|Controversial Kohli dismissal puts Australia in command|
|Thunder´s Westbrook: ´When we defend like that — best team in the league´|
|Kante at his best further forward, reiterates Sarri|
|Rose capitulates in Indonesia to squander chance to top rankings|
|Fielding: The better man won but I lived a dream|
|Rallying Bulls stun Spurs, LeBron and Ball post triple-doubles|
|Latham century puts New Zealand in commanding position|
|Mayfield leads Browns past Broncos|
|Canelo-GGG trilogy? We can make it happen – Alvarez|
|Canelo outclasses Fielding by third-round TKO|
|Farmer retains title prior to Canelo-Fielding bout|
|Qatar unveils Lusail Stadium for 2022 World Cup|
|Lakers pair LeBron, Ball revel in triple-double feat|
|Allegri hails ´great professional´ Ronaldo|
|LeBron, Ball first Lakers team-mates with triple-doubles in same game since 1982|
|Premier League contenders Liverpool ready to win titles – Henderson|
|Hopkins´ two TDs help Texans close in on AFC South title with win over Jets|
|Courtois: Simeone criticises Real Madrid to boost popularity|
|Mourinho in the dark over transfers as Pogba rumours swirl again|
|Mourinho marvels at Salah going nuclear|
|The lucky ones - Mourinho assesses Liverpool´s title charge|
|Juventus boss Allegri turned his back on Ronaldo penalty|
|Dickerson hoping Barkley falls short of breaking his records|
|Bristol shock La Rochelle, Clermont win again|
|LeBron: Meeting Jordan for first time was godly|
|Ronaldo scores Juventus´ 5,000th Serie A goal|
|I was all over the place - Allen reaches Scottish Open final despite hangovers|
|Solari defends wasteful Asensio after slim Madrid win|
|Torino 0 Juventus 1: Ronaldo capitalises on Zaza woe|
|I do my work on the pitch – Icardi unconcerned by Inter contract discussions|
|Lyon defender Rafael set for three months out|
|Inter captain Icardi is the ´perfect´ striker – Spalletti|
|Fulham have to stick together, says Ranieri|
|Nuno hails ´very special´ Wolves achievement after third straight win|
|Stuttgart captain Gentner´s father dies at Hertha fixture|
|Valverde not desperate for new centre-back amid talk of Christensen loan|
|Toulouse and Saracens stay perfect in Champions Cup|
|Kovac lauds Bayern´s best performance of the season|
|Barcelona can get the best out of Coutinho and Dembele, claims Valverde|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Werder Bremen 1: Alcacer and Reus guarantee top spot for mid-season break|
|Bristol City 2 Norwich City 2: Canaries knocked off their perch despite late equaliser|
|Atletico´s fighting spirit lauded by Simeone, Godin|
|Hodgson relieved to see Palace end Zaha curse|
|Real Madrid 1 Rayo Vallecano 0: Benzema secures steady response to CSKA loss|
|Fulham 0 West Ham 2: Snodgrass, Antonio punish profligate hosts|
|Warnock brands refereeing situation ´a disgrace´ after Watford defeat|
|Inter 1 Udinese 0: Icardi penalty gets lethargic Nerazzurri back on track|
|Wagner retains belief in survival bid despite Newcastle defeat|
|Griezmann feeling the strain after busy 2018|
|Pochettino ´so pleased´ as tired Tottenham scrap to Burnley win|