Fourth quarter

Peephole perspective: With apologies to Al Michaels, do you believe in miracles? The seven-win Seahawks eliminated the defending Super Bowl champion Saints. Seahawks 41-36.

Player of the quarter: Marshawn Lynch. With the Seahawks looking to burn clock, the Seahawks’ “Beast Mode” back burned the Saints with a 67-yard TD run.

Play of the quarter: With the Saints threatening to erase the Seahawks’ lead, Lynch broke his long run – by breaking five tackles – to give Seattle a 41-30 lead with 3:22 to play.

Number of the quarter: 4. As in the fourth-seeded Seahawks live to play another day. Either next weekend in Atlanta or Chicago, depending on who wins the Eagles-Packers game on Sunday.

The bigger picture: The Saints’ drive that consumed the final three minutes of the third quarter carried over the first four plays of the final quarter and ended with RB Julius Jones scoring on a 4-yard run to cap the 12-play, 87-yard possession and make it 34-27 with 13:11 to play. Drew Brees completed seven passes, including a 14-yarder to RB Reggie Bush on third-and-10.

After the Seahawks went three-and-out, the Saints drove 53 yards in eight plays to a 21-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley that made it 34-30 with 9:13 to play. Brees was 4 of 5 for 48 yards, including a 33-yarder to Jones to the Seahawks’ 23.

“Beast Mode” took over on the Seahawks’ next possession as Marshawn Lynch broke a 67-yard TD run, while breaking five tackles, to give the Seahawks a 41-30 lead with 3:22 to play.

The never-say-it’s-over Saints then drove 70 yards in nine plays to a 6-yard TD pass from Brees to WR Lance Moore. But the two-point PAT run by DeShawn Wynn was stopped.


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