A missed chip-shot kick in the final seconds saved the day for the Seattle Seahawks as they edged the Minnesota Vikings in sub-zero temperatures.
Blair Walsh’s 27-yard field goal attempt with 26 seconds remaining hooked wide left to keep Seattle’s push for a third straight Super Bowl appearance alive.
With the temperature a bone-chilling –21ºC (–31ºC with wind chill) at TCF Bank Stadium, the game marked the third coldest in NFL history.
Next weekend: Chiefs-Patriots Packers-Cardinals Seahawks-Panthers Steelers-Broncos Yes please! pic.twitter.com/ofAq6v4B8x— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 11, 2016
The climate appeared to affect the flow of the game as neither team could establish much traction on offence, resulting in a grind-itout affair devoid of a touchdown until the fourth quarter.
Seattle finally got on the board when quarterback Russell Wilson found his trusty wide receiver Doug Baldwin for a 3-yard score with 11:37 left in the contest.
The trip to the end zone was set up by Wilson recovering a botched snap, avoiding the incoming rush and connecting with Tyler Lockett for 35 yards two plays earlier in a moment of sheer elusiveness and improvisation.
After receiving the ball back, Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson lost a fumble two plays into the drive to give the Seahawks favourable field position at the Vikings’ 40-yard line.
A first down was all that was needed before Steven Hauschka boomed a 46-yarder through the uprights to put Seattle ahead 10-9.
Both teams then traded possessions through punts before Minnesota’s defence secured a crucial three-and-out stop following the two-minute warning to get the ball back for one last chance.
A pass interference penalty advanced the Vikings to the Seahawks’ 42-yard line, but it wasn’t until Teddy Bridgewater hooked up with tight end Kyle Rudolph for 24 yards that the offence got into field goal range.
Walsh, however, missed the potential game-winner after making all three of his earlier attempts from 27, 43 and 47 yards out.
The victory advances the Seahawks to the Divisional round for a meeting with the top-seeded Carolina Panthers, who finished an NFL-best 15-1 in the regular season.
Know more about Sport360 Application