The Seahawks returned home to the rowdy support of the 12thMan at Qwest Field as they faced the St. Louis Rams in a Week 17, winner-take-all contest to see which team would claim the NFC West title and a trip to the playoffs.
Seahawks quarterback and team captain Matt Hasselbeck took center stage in the locker room before the game.
Starting safety Lawyer Milloy is a study in concentration in the dark of the tunnel before being the last player introduced to a roaring crowd and national television audience.
Seattle's offense started fast, with a wide-open Ruvell Martin making a 61-yard catch from Charlie Whitehurst in front of the St. Louis sideline to set up a first quarter touchdown.
Charlie Whitehurst made his second career NFL start matter, leading the Seahawks efficiently and without turnovers.
Wide receiver Mike Williams was wide open on the left side of the end zone and scored Seattle's only touchdown on a pass from Charlie Whitehurst.
Williams then saluted the 12thMan as an NBC camera beamed his pose to the rest of the country.
Head coach Pete Carroll congratulates Williams after the touchdown.
Matt McCoy gets pumped after one of his four tackles on special teams against the Rams.
Raheem Brock played his best game as a Seahawk, leveling St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford for a sack on this play with teammate Chris Clemons.
Chris Clemons celebrates after the sack.
Clemons again brought pressure on Bradford, this time forcing an incomplete pass as the Rams tried to score after a Seattle turnover.
Head coach Pete Carroll praised all three aspects of his team's play -- offense, defense and special teams. Free safety Earl Thomas made a diving tackle on Rams return specialist Danny Amendola, flipping him through the air.
Linebacker Will Herring made the game's biggest defensive play, intercepting a pass by St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford in the fourth quarter which set the stage for Seattle's final scoring drive.
Seattle's Marshawn Lynch was key in the fourth quarter as he carried the ball ten times on a 13-play drive to help seal the victory.
Seattle kicker Olindo Mare kicked three second half field goals including a final 34-yard effort with 1:41 left in the game to cement the win.
Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and fellow assistants celebrate Mare's field goal with gave the Seahawks a 16-6 lead.
Quarterbacks Charlie Whitehurst and Matt Hasselbeck share a laugh on the sideline near the end of the game.
Head coach Pete Carroll lets out a holler along with assistants Gus Bradley (left) and Dan Quinn (right) as the game clock ticks down to 00:00.
Defensive tackle Craig Terrill, wearing a hat proclaiming the Seahawks as NFC West Champions, runs over to the stands to give his wife Rachel a kiss before heading to the locker room.
Center Chris Spencer presented the game ball to head coach Pete Carroll, who returned the Seahawks to the top of the NFC West and back to the playoffs in his first season with the team.
Carroll pauses to collect his thoughts as the team gathered around him in the locker room following the emotional victory.
Carroll congratulated his players, coaches and staff on the win, then reminded them that a bigger challenge awaited as a rematch with the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints was less than a week away.
General manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, who made 275 personnel moves since taking over, congratulate each other in the locker room after winning the division title.
A recap of the day’s activities:
A show of hands. The Seahawks practiced today without their starting wide receivers. Again.
Leading receiver Mike Williams and flanker Ben Obomanu have not practiced this week, but coach Pete Carroll said their status for Sunday’s big game against the 49ers in San Francisco will be a game-day decision. Each is listed as questionable.
“Ben can run and do all that kind of stuff, (but) he won’t have caught a ball until Sunday,” Carroll said. “We’ll wait that out. We know he can go out there and perform and run around and all. Mike’s a little more an issue because we have to make sure he can run full speed on Sunday.”
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