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Photoblog: A Close One on Christmas Eve

The Seahawks hoped to continue their five-game winning streak with a Christmas Eve game against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field. Santa hats were everywhere, but the 49ers played the part of the Grinch and escaped with a hard-fought 19-17 victory, essentially eliminating the Seahawks from playoff contention.

Seahawks fans were both in the Christmas spirit and the Skittles spirit as they hoped for a big day from Skittles-loving running back Marshawn Lynch.

In the locker room, Lynch prepared a new pair of Skittles-themed Nike shoes for the game.

Seahawks receiver Golden Tate is introduced to a raucous crowd at CenturyLink Field.

Rookie wide receiver Ricardo Lockette was active for the first time in his young career, and wasted no time making his mark by hauling in a deep ball from Tarvaris Jackson.

San Francisco defensive back Carlos Rogers didn't make it easy, fighting for the ball as Lockette landed with a 44-yard reception on the second play from scrimmage.

Receiver Doug Baldwin celebrates after scoring on a 13-yard touchdown reception from Tarvaris Jackson, giving the Seahawks an early 7-0 lead.

Richard Sherman kept San Francisco's Michael Crabtree from making a catch on a deep ball in the first quarter.

Doug Baldwin flies towards the first down marker after a reception from Tarvaris Jackson.

Shoes were a hot topic but not these cleats as Marshawn Lynch (right) tried to stretch the ball over the goal line just before halftime. After an official's review, the ball was placed at the one-yard line.

Seattle's defense, including Chris Clemons, chased San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith all afternoon, but Smith's ability to buy time kept many 49ers drives alive.

Linebacker K.J. Wright tackles 49ers running back Frank Gore from behind for one of his four tackles.

Seattle's special teams came up big when Heath Farwell blocked a punt by San Francisco's Andy Lee in the fourth quarter.

Marshawn Lynch made sure the Seahawks capitalized on the turnover as he raced into the end zone from four yards out to give the Seahawks a 17-16 lead.

Lynch celebrated with Ricardo Lockette as Skittles rained down into the end zone after the touchdown.

Members of the Seahawks grounds crew used blowers in an effort to remove the Skittles from the field.

After a San Francisco field goal gave them the lead at 19-17, Seattle tried to rally but a fumble by Tarvaris Jackson ended hopes.

Doug Baldwin sat alone on the bench in the waning minutes.

Earl Thomas walks dejectedly towards the Seahawks locker room after the game.

Seattle's locker room was somber after the defeat, but head coach Pete Carroll reminded them how far they'd come this season and that they still had the opportunity to finish strong next week in Arizona.


Photoblog: Monday Night Madness

Monday Night Football returned to Seattle for the first time since 2007, and the Seahawks did not disappoint as they defeated the St. Louis Rams, 30-13 at CenturyLink Field.

In the broadcast booth hours before the game, microphones waited for Monday Night Football announcers Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron “Jaws” Jaworski.

Monday Night Football play-by-play man Mike Tirico reviews his notes in the booth long before the stands at CenturyLink Field were filled with members of the 12thMAN.

Safety Earl Thomas warms up on the field as the last of the December sun fell on CenturyLink Field.

Skittles-mania has overtaken Seattle thanks to Marshawn Lynch, and sure enough, a bag could be found in the depths of his locker before the game.

Marshawn Lynch greets his mom on the sidelines during pregame. When asked about the Skittles habit after the game, Lynch replied, "you've got to ask my Mama."

Head coach Pete Carroll speaks briefly to the team before they took the field.

Customarily one of the last players to leave the locker room, Marshawn Lynch "taps in" as head coach Pete Carroll follows.

Chris Clemons, who Pete Carroll identifies as a key acquisition last season, stares into the television camera before leaving the tunnel during pregame introductions.

Defensive lineman Alan Branch and linebacker K.J. Wright combine to put a vicious hit on St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford.

Michael Robinson scooped up Doug Baldwin's blocked punt and returned it for a touchdown, setting the tone for the Seahawks victory.

Members of the Seahawks special teams celebrate in the end zone after they blocked a punt for a touchdown.

This member of the 12th MAN didn't feel the need for a hat in the winter cold, he just painted a helmet on his bald head instead.

St. Louis safety Darian Stewart lost his helmet in an effort to bring down Seattle receiver Ben Obomanu.

Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner collected his team-high fifth interception of the season, sitting in wait for a route he remembered from the two teams first meeting in St. Louis earlier in the season.

Doug Baldwin continued to improve and impress as he not only caught seven passes for 93 yards and a touchdown, but also blocked a punt that the Seahawks returned for a touchdown.

Tight end Zach Miller has been a stalwart blocking for the running game, but also caught two passes against St. Louis.

Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, Brandon Mebane and his teammates dominated the Rams for the second time this season.

Safeties Earl Thomas and Atari Bigby celebrate after forcing St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford into an intentional grounding penalty in the red zone.

Seattle's running game features Marshawn Lynch, who went "Beast Mode" in the second half on his way to a game-high 115 yards.

Lynch's 16-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for the Seahawks.

After Lynch's touchdown, Skittles rained down on the turf in the end zone. Skittles are Lynch's "go-to" candy before, during and after game as was widely-publicized after his last prime-time performance on Thursday Night Football two weeks ago.

Head coach Pete Carroll lets out a yell after the final touchdown, as he saw his team win its fourth game in the last five outings. Seattle travels to Chicago as they seek to continue their newfound success.