Saturday 19 August 2017 / 10:55 PM

Seahawks, Patriots: one thriller, one blowout

Seahawks and Patriots advance to Super Bowl XLIX

It’s difficult to know where to begin with regards to Seattle’s improbable record-setting come-from-behind NFC Championship victory over the Green Bay Packers.

So difficult, in fact, that I’m going to start off here by talking about the late game – a forgettable 45-7 demolition project that saw Tom Brady and LaGarrette Blount each mark a trio of touchdowns against an inept Colts defense.

The win was Bill Belichick’s 21st postseason victory, allowing him to pass Tom Landry (20) on the all-time list.

And before you Patriot haters out there start whingeing about this supposed “deflated ball” scandal, double-check that final score. Forty-five. To. Seven.

You don’t score six times as many points as your opponent by taking half a pound of air pressure out of the pigskin. And if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.

The Luck stops here

Just one week after sending Peyton Manning home for the season (and perhaps for good), Andrew Luck looked more like a rookie in over his head than an emerging veteran ready to take his place among the league’s elite.

It’s no secret that #12 needs more support in Indy if the Colts are going to win a title, but 12 of 33 passing for 126 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs is hardly the stat line of a lonely superstar stuck on a bad team – and really, how “bad” can the Colts be? They made it all the way to the AFC Championship.

Any way you shake it, poor play on the part of Indianapolis’ quarterback was certainly a factor in Sunday evening’s debacle in Foxborough. While Andrew Luck seems destined to one day grace the Hall of Fame, some statistics simply don’t lie – like the one that points to 12 total interceptions in just six playoff games.

This stat’s not so pretty, either:

It’s one thing to be a gunslinger. It’s an entirely different animal to be sloppy with the football.

Luck was responsible for the second-most turnovers in the NFL this season and he won’t be hoisting a Lombardi until he learns to take better care of the ball.

To say he wasn’t ready for this Prime Time match-up is an understatement.

Cast off to blast off

There’s more to the story of course than shaming the Steelers for the mid-season cutting of a player that would then go on to rush for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns in the AFC Championship. After all, Pittsburgh’s “other” back was, and is, Le’Veon Bell.

But, LaGarrette Blount’s waiver wire to Super Bowl story makes for good Twitter fodder – and really, isn’t that what sports is all about?

Tom Brady to play in sixth Super Bowl

Only one quarterback has played in as many Super Bowls as Tom Brady. (John Elway was 0-3 in the big game with the Broncos prior to winning back-to-back titles in Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII.)

As of February 1, 2015, Brady will be alone at the top as the only player to start at QB in six title games. Unlike Elway, Brady was victorious in his first three attempts (Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII & XXXIX) before falling in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI.

For as great as Tom Brady has been over the course of his career, it’s been a decade since he last lifted the trophy and he’d love to join Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the only QBs with four Super Bowl wins.

Brady played “business as usual” in the AFC Championship, quietly throwing 3 TDs with 1 INT on 23/35 passing for 226 yards.

The Legion of Boom did a solid job of containing a hobbled Aaron Rodgers in Seattle but they will get all they can handle with Brady, Edelman and Gronkowski on a neutral field in the desert.

Hawks overcome 4 Russell Wilson INTs

If you call yourself a football fan, then you’ve undoubtedly already got the skinny on this year’s wild “Instant Classic” NFC Championship.

Just 12 months after Richard Sherman became a household name by tipping Kaepernick’s would-be game-winning pass to Michael Crabtree, the Seahawks offered up yet another thrilling NFC title game by breaking the championship round record for biggest comeback ever.

The Seahawks are going back to the Super Bowl, where they’ll look to become the first team to defend their title since the Pats did it 10 long years ago.

The first half was just about as bad as it gets for Seattle. Russell Wilson threw three interceptions and his offense compiled just 8 (yes, eight) total yards through the air before the break. Add in a Doug Baldwin kickoff return fumble and the Hawks went into the locker room humbled – and trailing 16 to zip.

Starting with the ball to kick off the second half, the Seattle offense needed to get something going, and fast, but once again the Packers defense forced a punt.

It wasn’t until midway through the third quarter that the Seahawks finally got on the board, a 19-yard TD pass from John Ryan to Garry Gilliam. Don’t worry if you don’t recognize those names, it’s not every day the punter completes a fake FG pass to the back-up tackle. WTF? Yeah, that’s how they roll in the Pacific Northwest.

Green Bay tacked on another Mason Crosby field goal (Crosby was 5-5 on the day) to make it 19-7 – and that’s when it got wild.

With just minutes left to play Russell Wilson tossed his 4th interception of the game, the second time a catchable pass caromed off the fingers of Jermaine Kearse, but Seattle forced the Packers into a 3-and-out to keep their hopes alive.

On the ensuing drive, Wilson pulled the Hawks within one score with a 1-yard touchdown run after Marshawn Lynch had his score called back when the review showed his gold-plated cleat crossing the sideline.

Owning just one more time-out with the 2-minute warning looming, Pete Carroll had little choice but to try the onside kick.

Enter Brian Bostick and his Leon Lett moment.

He wasn’t even supposed to catch the ball. His assignment was to block. After the game he said, “I let my team down.”

No worries Mr. Bostick. You may wind up looking for a new job over the off-season, but it takes more than a single blunder to blow a 16-point halftime lead when your QB is a shoe-in for league MVP.

Within the blink of an eye Beast Mode was rumbling into the end zone from 24 yards out and RW3 found Luke Willson on an impossible “Hail Mary” type 2-pt conversion to give Seattle a three-point lead with a minute and a half to go.

All that was left was to rely on the NFL’s #1 defense to prevent Aaron Rodgers from tying the game.

Woops. No such luck.

Mason Crosby drained a 48-yarder to send the game to overtime while hundreds of piss-poor Seahawks fans banged at the gates to get back in the stadium after they’d left with tails between legs.

Sorry bitches, “No Re-entry”.

Coin toss. Hawks get the ball. And Jermaine Kearse redeems an otherwise forgettable outing with perhaps the biggest catch of his career.

And to top it all off, Russell Wilson bawls his eyes out during the post-game interview.

Oh, and one more thing. You know things are goin’ good when a black guy can steal a police bike and get a standing ovation:

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Michael Airhart

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