The Seattle Seahawks close out the regular season with yet another 4th quarter game winning drive as rookie quarterback Russell Wilson ran for a 1-yard touchdown, leading the Seahawks to an 11-5 record entering the playoffs. Although the Seahawks had already secured a spot in the playoffs they hoped to clinch the division and a home playoff game if the Arizona Cardinals held off the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park but the ‘Niners came away with a 27-13 win, at which point it became a game of broken records for the Seahawks.
Neither team was able to score in the first quarter although three sacks on Russell Wilson had many wondering if the risk of holding on to the ball is worth the reward if those sacks could have been avoided by throwing the ball away in time. Defensively, the Rams showed up strong and proved to be a good workout for the Seahawks, who scored the first points of the game with a 43-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka.
Marshawn Lynch had his fourth consecutive 100+ yard game this year, (tenth this season) for a total of 1590 rushing yards in the regular season. Rams RB Steven Jackson on the other hand, was held to only 52 yards during the game. Rams QB Sam Bradford completed a 2-yard TD pass to Austin Pettis with 6:00 remaining in the half, which ended with a missed 51-yard field goal by Rams’ Greg Zuerlein.
It was a strange feeling for the 12th Man as the Seahawks trailed the Rams 7-3 at halftime, the first time in 16 quarters the Seahawks were behind in a game, but the Hawks kicked off the second half with a 55 yard drive that ended in a 49-yard field goal by Hauschka.
The Rams returned with a field goal of their own before Russell Wilson followed a 31-yard pass play to Golden Tate with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Michael Robinson, taking the lead at 13-10. This was Wilson’s 26th touchdown pass, effectively tying the record set by Peyton Manning for touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback. Wilson appears to be following steadily in the steps of the League’s great quarterbacks; on top of the record he completed 15 of 19 passes for 250 yards, a TD pass and a TD run, proving he has earned his spot in the top 10 of the NFL quarterback rankings.
The Rams tied the score at 13-13 with a 25-yard field goal by Zuerlein early in the fourth quarter. Seahawks respond with a 90-yard drive that included a nullified touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch before Russell Wilson runs it in for a 1-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 20-13 with 1:39 left in the quarter.
The Rams made a strong attempt to tie the score again in the last minute, Bradford even made a Wilsonesque attempt at running the ball to gain yards but in the end it was Richard Sherman who secured the win for the Seahawks with a fourth down pass interception at the goal line.
The win may not mean much for the Hawks in terms of the post season but the 11-5 regular season record and five game winning streak has put the 2012 Seahawks team in franchise record books as the third team to go undefeated at home (alongside the 2003, 2005 teams); the third team to break 11 wins in a season (1984, 2005) and this 5th consecutive win ties them with the 1986 team for longest streak to end the season.
Next, the Seahawks will head to FedEx Field on Jan. 6 to face the Washington Redskins, the NFC East champions and Wilson’s fellow rookie quarterback, RGIII. The Seahawks expect to keep up the same momentum on the road as they have at home and the last five games, by taking the Redskins out of the playoff picture in this much anticipated matchup of two top rookie quarterbacks.
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