Super Bowl 49 will feature the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots after a shocking ending to the NFC Championship and a blowout in the AFC Championship.
The two conference championship games of the NFL playoffs could not have been any more opposite than they were.
The NFC Championship was one of the most exciting games ever and possibly the most devastating ever for Green Bay Packers fans as the Seahawks rallied from a 16-0 halftime deficit to win, 28-22, in overtime.
Meanwhile, the New England Patriots quickly disposed of the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship with a 45-7 victory.
Super Bowl 49 will feature a clash between Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots offense against the Seattle Seahawks defense, which has ranked first in the NFL for two years in a row.
Since the playoffs continued to have memorable moments, here are six takeaways instead of the typical five from the championship games.
6. The Green Bay Packers defense will be a force for years to come
Don’t let the final score fool you. The Packers defense did their job as they held the Seahawks to seven points until the end of the fourth quarter, where the entire team inexplicably melted down. Special teams was a primary culprit as tight end Brandon Bostick let an onside kick slip away, but the offense missed opportunities early on that ended up costing the Packers the game. Allowing a fake field goal touchdown didn’t help matters either. On two early first quarter drives, they were able to reach the Seahawks’ red zone but had to settle for field goals.
Running back Eddie Lacy nearly had a touchdown run in the first quarter, but he was stuffed just in time before the officials ruled him down before breaking the plane. The defense came up with five sacks and five turnovers, but the offense sputtered in the second half due to conservative play calling by head coach Mike McCarthy. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers may have been affected by his calf injury as he seemed to be in even more pain and didn’t give his best performance, but safety HaHa Clinton-Dix’s two interceptions along with other performances gives hope for the future of the Packers defense.