Gameday

Week 17 December 30  
Rams
(7-8-1)
 
 
 
Final 
 
 
Seahawks
(11-5-0)
at
Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 1:25PM PST
DirecTV: , HD
TV: FOX
Sirius: 93, 113
 
 
 
  1 2 3 4 OT Total
St. Louis Rams            
Seattle Seahawks            
DirecTV: , HD
TV: FOX
Sirius: 93, 113

Game Recap

On a night when the Seahawks knew they could afford to do almost nothing wrong, they found ways to do almost everything right.

Playing the NFC West-leading San Francisco 49ers on national TV, and with a playoff berth hanging in the balance, the Seahawks put together an all-three-phases effort on Sunday night at CenturyLink Field that turned into a 42-13 rout of a victory and at least the No. 5-seed in the conference playoffs.

Russell Wilson, playing nothing like the rookie quarterback that he is, passed for four touchdowns while completing 15 of 21 passes and tormenting the 49ers’ No. 2-ranked defense with his mobility. Marshawn Lynch ran for 111 yards and scored two touchdowns, one rushing and another receiving. The combination of Wilson’s arm and Lynch’s legs allowed the Seahawks to convert 11 of 13 third-down situations as they put together touchdown drives that consumed 8½, almost eight and more than 6½ minutes.

An aggressive, physical Seahawks defense held the kept the 49ers out of the end zone until the final two minutes of the game and limited them to three conversions in 11 attempts.

But the play that slapped an exclamation point on the Seahawks’ latest impressive performance was a blocked field by defensive end Red Bryant that cornerback Richard Sherman returned 90 yards for a touchdown that made it 21-0 just as the second quarter was getting underway.

“Whenever we get a blocked field goal, especially if I get a block, there’s guys behind the scenes who are making it possible,” said Bryant, who rattled through a list of teammates that included Heath Farwell, Chris Clemons, Alan Branch, Brandon Mebane. “All those guys, they make it possible for me to get through there.”

But it was Bryant’s fully extended, right-arm-all-the-way-up, effort that prevented David Akers’ 21-yard attempt from getting past the line of scrimmage.

“Richard Sherman. Richard Sherman. Richard Sherman,” Bryant said. “He picked it up and took it to the house. Big momentum swing. After that, we stuck a fork in them.”

It was a play that exemplified this game, and this season.

Asked if he thought the Seahawks could beat the 49ers so thoroughly, so convincingly, Bryant actually bristled a bit before offering, “I knew anybody we play, when we go into the game, and we’re right and we play offense, defense and special teams, this is what we expect.

“Not trying to be cocky, but we work hard, extremely hard. We prepare just as hard as anybody else in the league. And when we’re on our stuff, this is the outcome you get. So I’m not surprised. We expected to win.”

This most-impressive win made for the Seahawks’ 10th victory of the season – their fourth in a row, which is their longest winning streak since they won five consecutive games late in the 2007 season; and their sixth in the past seven games.

And, their latest blowout. In the past three weeks, the Seahawks have outscored the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills and 49ers 150-30. But while the Cardinals aren’t very good and the Bills aren’t much better, the 49ers came into this game already having won 10 games and allowing a league-low average of 15.6 points.

Now, the Seahawks can overtake the 49ers for the division title, if they beat the St. Louis Rams next Sunday and the 49ers lose to the Cardinals. Impossible? That’s what most would have conceded if you had told them the Seahawks would put up 42 on the 49ers.

“This is a terrific win for us because of the respect we have for this club,” coach Pete Carroll said. “These guys have been winning like crazy the last couple of years. … I take a lot of pride in the fact that we played like that against this team and these coaches.

“The thing has been happening, it’s been coming together. We’re getting better, and you can just feel it and see it. And it’s coming to life for us.”

On this rainy Sunday evening, things fell apart for a 49ers team that had beaten the Patriots 41-34 in New England last Sunday night. It began when Pro Bowl defensive lineman Justin Smith was declared inactive because of an elbow injury he got against the Patriots. It continued when tight end Vernon Davis when got with a concussion in the first quarter after taking a huge hit from strong safety Kam Chancellor. It continued when wide receiver Mario Manningham went out with a knee injury on a play where he fumbled the ball away to the Seahawks.

So instead of clinching the division title, the 49ers left wondering what had hit them.

“It’s a gut-check,” 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers said. “To be behind like that is uncharacteristic of this team. But we have been behind before, not to that extend. You’ve got to dig down, can’t give up, got to try and find a way to make plays, try to get yourself back in it, try to turn the momentum around.

“We didn’t do that.”

Because the Seahawks would not allow it.

They drove to touchdowns on their first two possessions – a 24-yard run by Lynch and Wilson’s 9-yard pass to Lynch. The 49ers drove to the Seahawks’ 3-yard line, only to have Sherman breakup Colin Kaepernick’s third-down pass to Michael Crabtree in the end zone to setup Bryant’s block that led to Sherman’s long scoring return.

“Big Red blocked it and it just happened to bounce to me,” Sherman said. “It was a lucky bounce, it bounced right toward me. I just wanted to make sure I secured the ball and then run as fast as I could. Luckily, nobody caught me.”

Things continued to bounce the Seahawks way, as Wilson’s 6-yard TD pass to tight end Anthony McCoy capped a 13-play, 60-yard drive that consumed almost 8½ minutes of the second quarter.

The 49ers drove to the Seahawks’ 32-yard line on their first possession of the second half, only to have linebacker Leroy Hill force the Manningham fumble that Chancellor recovered to setup Wilson’s 4-yard TD pass to Doug Baldwin that capped a 15-play, 68-yard drive that consumed 6:43. The 49ers drove to the Seahawks’ 3-yard line on their next possession, only to have Sherman intercept a pass in the end zone and the Seahawks then went 80 yards in 12 plays – and burned almost eight minutes off the clock – to Wilson’s 6-yard TD pass to Baldwin.

“If you’re going to throw the ball late, I’m going to bait him into the every time,” Sherman said of the interception – his seventh of the season. “He tried to throw late across his body and you don’t do that against our defense.”

All of it made for one impressive victory for the Seahawks.

“If you had told me this would be the outcome, I wouldn’t have believed it,” Sherman said. “I would say you’re making this up, you’re talking about the Bears back in the day or something crazy like that.”

This one was indeed crazy, but no one was making anything up. The Seahawks avenged their Week 7 loss to the 49ers in San Francisco, and then some.

“It showed how talented we are,” Wilson said after passing for a career-high four TDs. “And how prepared we are for the rest of the season. There’s nothing I can say about where we’re going. All I know is what we have next.

“Obviously, it’s a special win to win on national television against a very good football team. To be able to do that in the fashion that we did is pretty special.”

Seattle Seahawks

Total Net Yards 362
Total Turnovers 0
Penalties Yards 10-80
Time of Possession 32:49

Seahawks Player Stats

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
Russell Wilson 15/19 250 1 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
Marshawn Lynch 18 100 0 24
Russell Wilson 10 58 1 15
Robert Turbin 2 -5 0 2
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Golden Tate 3 105 0 44
Anthony McCoy 1 49 0 49
Michael Robinson 3 33 1 19
Doug Baldwin 2 19 0 12
Zach Miller 3 18 0 9
Marshawn Lynch 2 14 0 8
Robert Turbin 1 12 0 12

Opponent Player Stats

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
Sam Bradford 25/42 252 1 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
Steven Jackson 11 52 0 15
Isaiah Pead 5 21 0 7
Sam Bradford 1 6 0 6
Daryl Richardson 2 0 0 0
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Chris Givens 2 54 0 37
Steven Jackson 7 45 0 12
Brandon Gibson 3 45 0 21
Lance Kendricks 3 33 0 15
Danny Amendola 4 27 0 9
Austin Pettis 3 24 1 15
Daryl Richardson 2 14 0 11
Matthew Mulligan 1 10 0 10

Opponent

Total Net Yards 331
Total Turnovers 1
Penalties Yards 14-98
Time of Possession 27:11

Game Day Videos

Quarter Recaps

First Quarter:

In a nutshell: 0-0. No points, but a lot of action as the Seahawks drove to the Rams’ 28- and 42-yard lines on their two first quarter possessions, only to go the wrong way after that because of three sacks of Russell Wilson and a pass interference penalty.

Player of the quarter: Chris Clemons. The Seahawks’ Leo end was very active in the first 15 minutes. On the Rams’ first possession, Clemons stopped Steven Jackson for a 2-yard gain on first-and-10 and then hit QB Sam Bradford as he was throwing on third down to force an incompletion. On their second possession, Clemons stopped Jackson for no gain on second down to help force another punt and a three-and-out for the Rams.

Play of the quarter: The Seahawks scored a touchdown on Wilson’s 28-yard pass to tight end Zach Miller. But a pass interference penalty on No. 2 tight end Anthony McCoy nullified the score and forced the Seahawks to punt after Wilson was sacked on two of the next three plays.

Number of the quarter: 0. After putting up 58, 50 and 42 the past three games, the Seahawks went scoreless.

Second Quarter:

In a nutshell: Rams 7, Seahawks 3. The Seahawks broke the scoreless tie on a 43-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka with 10:40 left in the half, but even that came begrudgingly as the “drive” covered 17 yards in five plays – despite the drive starting at the Rams’ 42-yard line because Johnny Hekker’s 33-yard punt went out of bounds and Marshawn Lynch broke a 24-yard run on the first play. The Rams then took the lead with six minutes left on Sam Bradford’s 2-yard TD pass to Austin Pettis to cap an eight-play, 76-yard drive that got a huge boost on Bradford’s 37-yard pass to Chris Givens to the Seahawks’ 4 on third-and-5.

Player of the quarter: Bradford. He was 5 of 6 for 47 yards on a half-closing drive the ended with Greg Zuerlein missing a 51-yard field goal. He was 5 of 6 for 55 yards on the drive to his TD pass.

Play of the quarter: The 37-yard pass to Givens, which came on a slant against rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane.

Number of the quarter: 5. The first-half sacks by the Rams, one more than the previous season-high on Russell Wilson for an entire game.

Third Quarter:

In a nutshell: Seahawks 13, Rams 10. The Seahawks took the second-half kickoff and drove 55 yards in seven plays to a 49-yard field by Steven Hauschka. The big play was Russell Wilson’s 49-yard pass to tight end Anthony McCoy on a third-and-2 play, as the Seahawks netted 1 yard on their other five offensive snaps. The Rams took the ensuing kickoff and drove 60 yards in 11 plays to a 39-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein that made it 10-6 with 5½ remaining in the quarter. The drive included a 15-yard run by Steven Jackson and Sam Bradford’s 8-yard pass to Austin Pettis on third-and-7. The Seahawks regained the lead, 13-10, when Wilson passed 10 yards to fullback Michael Robinson for a touchdown to cap a six-play, 65-yard drive. The big play was Wilson’s 31-yard pass play to Golden Tate on third-and-5.

Player of the quarter: Wilson. He was 4 of 5 for 61 yards on the go-ahead drive.

Play of the quarter: Wilson’s third-down pass to Tate. It wasn’t a TD, but the Seahawks would not have scored the go-ahead TD without it.

Number of the quarter: 26. The TD pass was Wilson’s 26th, tying Peyton Manning’s NFL rookie record from 1998, and also a completion to No. 26 – Robinson.

Fourth Quarter:

In a nutshell: Seahawks 20, Rams 13. The Rams tied the score at 13 with 11:23 left in the quarter on a 25-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein to cap an 11-play, 52-yard drive that began at the end of the third quarter. But the Seahawks came back and drove 90 yards in 10 plays to a 1-yard scoring run by Russell Wilson with 1:39 left. The big play was Golden Tate’s leaping catch of a 44-yard pass from Wilson at the Rams’ 29. The Rams drove to the Seahawks’ 29 in the closing seconds, but Richard Sherman intercepted Sam Bradford’s fourth-down pass at the goal line.

Players of the quarter: Tate and Wilson. Before he made his big catch, Tate recovered a Marshawn Lynch fumble on the second play of the drive. Wilson passed and then ran the Seahawks to the winning score.

Play of the quarter: Facing a third-and-5 from their 27-yard line on the game-winning TD drive, Wilson went to Tate, who made a leaping grab over cornerback Trumaine Johnson for a 44-yard gain to the Rams’ 29.

Non-plays of the quarter: Facing a third-and-9 from their 35-yard line, Wilson uncorked a deep pass that Doug Baldwin came down with for a 49-yard gain to the Rams’ 16. But a holding penalty on tight end Anthony McCoy nullified the play, and the Seahawks had to punt. Then, it appeared Chris Clemons came up with a fumble-forcing sack of Bradford and Malcolm Smith returned the ball for a touchdown. But the officials reviewed the play and determined it was an incomplete pass.

Numbers of the quarter: 8 and 0. As in the Seahawks went 8-0 at home for only the third time in franchise history, and first time since 2005, when they made their run to Super Bowl XL.

Scoring Summary

Game Day Headlines

Game Day Photos

  • Rams Seahawks Football Marshawn Lynch, Craig Dahl

    Posted Dec 30, 2012

    St. Louis Rams' Craig Dahl, left, hits the turf as Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch steps near the end zone during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Seattle. Lynch gained three yards on the play, which was originally ruled a touchdown but reversed on a challenge call. The Seahawks won 20-13. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Rams Seahawks Football Pete Carroll

    Posted Dec 30, 2012

    Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll cheers on his team late in their NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 20-13. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

What did you win?

Oberto Beef Jerkey

We scored in the Oberto Red Zone! Bring your ticket stub to a Puget Sound 7-Eleven for a FREE bag of Oberto beef jerky & slurpee. (shwks.com/zone)

Top Pot

Marshawn Lynch rushed for 100 yards! 100+ Rushing Yards = a FREE coffee at Top Pot! Show you ticket stub to redeem this week. (shwks.com/rush)

Top Pot

Golden Tate finished 105 receiving yards! 1oo+ Receiving Yards = a FREE doughnut at Top Pot! Show you ticket stub to redeem this week. (shwks.com/rush)

Papa John's

Victory for the Seahawks = 50% off Papa Johns pizza tomorrow! Click here to find out more & order. (http://shwks.com/pizza)

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