Facing third-and-8 with the game still very much hanging in the balance Sunday, Aaron Rodgers turned to his most trusted target.
The quarterback dropped back to pass and immediately turned to Davante Adams, who was streaking up the field in one-on-one coverage. Rodgers lofted a pass toward Adams, sending the ball over the head of defensive back Ugo Amadi, to the outside of closing safety Lano Hill and directly into Adams' bucket for a completion, gain of 32 and fresh set of downs.
So much for that final chance of Russell Wilson magic. Rodgers' and Adams' otherworldly connection was the only supernatural force in play at the end of this one.
"He was on one tonight," Rodgers said of Adams. "He was really crisp with his route-running. Just one of those special nights. He made a number of very heady plays. That was one of them because that wasn't exactly the check we were looking for. It was better. It was better than the check we were looking for.
"Tonight reminds me of the connection that Jordy [Nelson] and I had for years, where there are some unspoken things that we could do without even communicating anything about it, and Davante made three of four plays like that tonight. That was pretty fun."
Rodgers found Adams eight times Sunday evening, tallying 160 yards and two touchdowns in the 28-23 win and propelling the Packers to the NFC Championship Game. No matter that the Seahawks' best hope of defense -- keeping the ball of out Rodgers' hands -- nearly succeeded in the second half. When it mattered most, Rodgers held The Duke and put it on the mark.
The Packers posted a 13-win season in their first campaign under head coach Matt LaFleur with an offense that looked much different from the system run by former coach Mike McCarthy, and Adams has consistently been a focal point of it. He was essential again Sunday, gaining 60 of his yards on his two touchdown receptions. His second score was the most impressive because of the path he took to the end zone.
Adams started off the line running what appeared to be a deep crossing route, but with a single safety overtop and cornerback Tre Flowers trailing him, Adams broke off his route in the opposite direction toward open field. Rodgers seemingly anticipated this on-the-fly adjustment, firing a pass almost as soon as Adams planted his foot to change direction and putting it on him. Adams did the rest, cutting back again and sprinting across the goal line for a touchdown.
The completion was a tremendous display of the incredible understanding developed by thousands of reps shared between quarterback and receiver.
"Davante's as good a route runner as I've ever seen," LaFleur said after the Packers' win. "It was a great ball and then he was able to run with it after the catch. Just two great football players making great plays."