In a nutshell: Seahawks 7, Rams 0. The Seahawks scored first, and it was their No. 1-ranked defense that did it as Malcolm Smith intercepted a Kellen Clemens pass that went through the hands of Lance Kendricks and returned it 37 yards for a score with 9:50 left in the quarter. Other than that, there were five punts.
Player of the quarter: Smith. He is subbing for an injured K.J. Wright at weak-side linebacker, but his play in the opening quarter was all strong-side stuff. Just before making his pick-six, Smith was not fooled on an end around by Chris Givens and dropped the Rams’ wide-out for a 4-yard loss along the Seahawks’ sideline. The first person to give him a slap on the helmet? Wright.
Play of the quarter: The only scoring play, of course, as Smith grabbed the pass Kendricks couldn’t and ran untouched into the north end zone.
Number of the quarter: 0. As in the Seahawks were 0 for 3 on third downs, continuing an unnerving trend that saw them go 2 for 13 against the Cardinals last week and 3 of 13 the week before against the Giants.
In a nutshell: Seahawks 13, Rams 0. The Seahawks pushed their lead to 10-0 on a 28-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka with 6:14 left in the half that capped an 11-play, 65-yard drive that consumed 6½ minutes. Marshawn Lynch carried six times for 34 yards and Russell Wilson was 2 of 3 for 24 yards. Byron Maxwell came up with his fourth interception in four games, and the Seahawks’ 11th in the past three games, with 5½ minutes left. But the offense went three-and-out. A 35-yard field goal by Hauschka made it 13-0 with 3 seconds left, capping a 10-play, 44-yard drive in which the Seahawks converted a pair of third-down situations.
Player of the quarter: Lynch. In the Seahawks’ Week 8 win in St. Louis, he had 23 yards on eight carries. In this quarter, he had eight carries for 40 yards.
Play of the quarter: Maxwell’s interception, but let’s start with what happened before the pick. Brandon Mebane, the Seahawks’ nose tackle, was throwing his weight around the entire first half – just the latest indication of why this guy needs some Pro Bowl recognition. On the pass that Maxwell intercepted, it was Mebane who was in Kellen Clemens’ face.
Number of the quarter: 76. That’s Russell Okung’s uniform number. The Seahawks’ left tackle was penalized for holding the Rams’ Robert Quinn on what would have been a TD pass to Golden Tate late in the quarter. It forced the Seahawks to settle for Hauschka’s second field goal.
In a nutshell: Seahawks 20, Rams 3. The Rams got on the board when Greg Zuerlein kicked a 36-yard field goal with 10:49 left in the quarter to cap a five-play, 13-yard drive. The Seahawks’ offense and special teams assisted the Rams, as Russell Wilson was penalized for grounding to move the ball back to the Seahawks’ 6-yard line and the special teams then gave up a 32-yard punt return to Austin Pettis – more punt return yards than the Seahawks had allowed all season – to the Seahawks’ 31. The Seahawks came right back, driving 80 yards in 13 plays to a 2-yard TD run by Marshawn Lynch. The drive consumed 8½ minutes included a personal foul and two unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties on the Rams. Wilson was 3 of 3 for 34 yards on the drive.
Player of the quarter: Lynch. The Seahawks’ Beast Mode back carried seven times for 22 of the toughest yards you’ll ever see on the drive to his 12th rushing TD of the season and also caught a 4-yard pass.
Plays of the quarter: On back-to-back snaps on the opening possession of the half, Brandon Mebane dropped Zac Stacy for a 1-yard gain on second-and-2 and the Seahawks’ nose tackle then bulled through an attempted block to pressure Kellen Clemens into an incompletion on third-and-1.
Number of the quarter: 15. The number of minutes standing between the Seahawks and clinching the NFC West title.
In a nutshell: Seahawks 27, Rams 9. The Seahawks pushed their lead to 27-3 when Golden Tate made a nice adjustment on a sideline pass from Russell Wilson to catch the ball at the 20 and then ran it in for a 47-yard touchdown. The four-play, 61-yard drive started with three runs for 14 yards by Marshawn Lynch before Wilson went to Tate for the TD. The Rams scored their first TD against the Seahawks this season with 4:13 left on a 2-yard pass from Kellen Clemens to Lance Kendricks. The two-point conversion failed when Bryon Maxwell punched a pass from the grasp of Jared Cook in the end zone. The Rams drove 71 yards in 13 plays.
Player of the quarter: Kendricks. The Rams’ tight end not only had the TD catch, he also caught passes for 6 and 7 yards to provide first downs on the scoring drive.
Play of the quarter: The TD pass from Wilson to Tate, which was his fifth of the season to tie for the team lead with Doug Baldwin and Zach Miller.
Number of the quarter: 1. The Seahawks are not only NFC West champions, they are the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. The only other time in franchise history that happened was in 2005, and the Seahawks used home-field advantage to make their run to the Super Bowl.