Russell Wilson erases ugly start with magical finish

For three-plus quarters, Russell Wilson just wasn't Russell Wilson.

Then the magic poured forth.

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Seattle's spectacular young passer looked anything but before overcoming four interceptions and a 16-point deficit to tug the Seahawks past Green Bay 28-22 in an NFC title game for the ages.

The win was a tale of two cities for Wilson, who finished the first half 2-of-9 passing for 12 yards with three picks and a quarterback rating of 0.0. When it mattered most, though, his final seven throws yielded six completions for 134 yards and Wilson's game-winning 35-yard rope in overtime to Jermaine Kearse.

"Funny thing is, I was on the sideline, right before we went out for that last drive, and I told (offensive coordinator) Darrell Bevell, be ready for the check -- to the play that we just ran for the touchdown," Wilson told Fox's Erin Andrews. "I said, 'I'm going to throw a touchdown and win the game.' And sure enough."

Wilson aimed the ball Kearse's way five times on Sunday. The first four were picked off, the fifth ended Green Bay's season.

The conclusion felt wholly improbable after watching Seattle shoot itself in the foot for most of the affair. Wilson tossed a pair of interceptions to safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix before completing his first pass of the game. His third pick to cornerback Sam Shields snuffed out a Seattle march inside Green Bay's 20-yard line, sending the 'Hawks into the half trailing 16-0. His fourth and final interception -- to safety Morgan Burnett with under six minutes to play -- seemed to put the game out of reach.

"Four interceptions and just keep playing," Wilson said. "The guys just kept believing in me."

Wilson has made a career of turning away his doubters: Those who said he wasn't big enough to play the part; those who wondered if his wild success at home was more a product of the Legion of Boom; and those who asked on Twitter -- with Green Bay up big on Sunday -- if the days of the running quarterback were over forever.

Instead, the win lifts Wilson to 26-2 at The Clink, tying John Elway's Broncos (1996 to 1998) and Brett Favre's Packers (1995 to 1997 and 1996 to 1998) for the most home wins over a three-season span.

Seattle wouldn't be moving on without an electrifying performance from Marshawn Lynch -- 183 total yards off 26 touches -- and just enough from a receiving corps that lacks anything resembling a No. 1 target. Wilson's clutch play down the stretch, though, has become a hallmark of his young career.

"The fight, the fight, the relentless fight over and over again," Wilson said. "The people that used to doubt, man. I'm just excited to be on this team."

Watching Wilson break down in tears after the win is proof of what this fight took out of him. What he ultimately gave back has Seattle headed to the promised land all over again.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps Championship Sunday, and breaks down the Seahawks' historic comeback against the Packers. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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