(AP) — The road team is 4-0 thus far in the NFL playoffs, which means each wild-card team has advanced to the divisional playoffs. The Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks each shook off slow starts to win on Sunday.
Chico’s Aaron Rodgers threw for a pair of first-half touchdowns and the Packers also ran for two scores in a 35-18 win at Washington. Green Bay’s first venture into the end zone was when Rodgers was sacked for a safety early in the first quarter, helping the Skins take an eventual 11-0 lead. But he threw scoring passes to Randall Cobb and Davante Adams while the Packers were scoring the last 17 points of the first half to take a 17-11 lead.
Green Bay didn’t allow another point after quarterback Kirk Cousins ran for a three-yard touchdown on the first possession of the second half. James Starks put the Packers back on top to stay with a four-yard run on the next possession. Eddie Lacy’s two-yard run was followed by a two-point conversion that gave Green Bay a two-touchdown lead with 12:23 remaining.
The Butte College and Pleasant Valley High product Rodgers was 21 of 36 for 210 yards and no interceptions for the Packers, who take on the Cardinals in Arizona next weekend.
The Seahawks went the first three quarters of their NFC wild-card game without scoring a single point, but they still managed to advance to the divisional playoffs against the Panthers in Carolina.
The Seahawks were able to celebrate a 10-9 win at frigid Minnesota only after Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal with 26 seconds left. Walsh had converted kicks of 22, 43 and 47 yards to help the Vikings take a 9-0 lead into the fourth quarter before his potential game-winning kick sailed very wide of the left goalpost.
The bad kick wasn’t the only major fourth-quarter mistake by the Vikings. Adrian Peterson’s fumble set up Steven Hauschka’s (HOWSH’-kuhz) 46-yard field goal, putting the Seahawks ahead with 8:04 remaining. The fumble occurred one drive after Russell Wilson hit Doug Baldwin for the game’s only TD.
Wilson had trouble throwing the ball with game time temperature at minus-6 degrees and a -24 wild chill factor, completing 13 of 26 passes for 142 yards and an interception. His best play came on a scramble as he gathered a fumbled snap and rolled away from the Vikings’ defense before hitting Tyler Lockett for a 35-yard completion that set up Baldwin’s touchdown.
Minnesota’s offense also struggled in the deep freeze. Peterson gained just 45 yards on 23 carries, and Teddy Bridgewater was 17 of 24 for 146 yards.
The Vikings finish the season 11-6.
(AP) — Regardless of the outcome of Monday night’s College Football Playoff championship game between No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Alabama, a case can be made that no team in the history of the sport has had a better run than the Crimson Tide under coach Nick Saban.
If Alabama beats the Tigers to win a fourth national title in seven seasons, the argument may be settled.
There was talk early in the season after Alabama lost to Mississippi that the Tide dynasty was in decline. Now Alabama (13-1) is one victory away from an unprecedented achievement.
The Tide can become just the third school in college football’s poll era, dating back to the creation of The Associated Press media poll in 1936, to win four championships in a 10-year span.