The Seahawks are playoff bound thanks to a thrilling Week 18 win over the Rams, and a Lions win over the Packers.
Heading into Week 18, the Seahawks needed a win and some help, and they did their part by beating the Rams 19-16 in overtime. A few hours later, the Lions, who were eliminated from playoff contention by Seattle's win, came through with a 20-16 win over the Packers that knocked their NFC North rival out of the playoffs and handed Seattle the NFC's No. 7 seed.
The Seahawks will travel to the Bay Area to face the 49ers, the NFC's No. 2 seed, on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. PT. It will be the third meeting between the team this season, with San Francisco winning each of the past two.
Sunday's win caps an up-and-down regular season in which the Seahawks won four in a row to get to 6-3, then lost five of six before winning their last two to make the playoffs.
"It's really been a terrific year," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said on KING 5 following the Lions win. "We just weren't able to quite feel it, and so we needed to win a couple of games here at the end, needed to get to the playoffs, and now let's go and let things go the way they can, and we're going to have some fun with this."
This is the Seahawks' 10th playoff berth in 13 seasons under Pete Carroll and John Schneider, and comes after an offseason of transition with the future looking bright. The Seahawks are not only playoff bound, but they also head into the offseason holding the No. 5 overall pick thanks to the trade that sent Russell Wilson to the Broncos, as well as their own first-round pick, and a pair of second-rounders.
"We're going to take the culture that we have created on this team with us," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after the game and before Seattle knew its playoff fate. "I mean, I've been around a bunch of teams, and this is exactly the mentality that we need moving forward to do some great stuff. This is a championship team, and so we'll get opportunities to add to it and all of that, but the heart, togetherness, the willingness to work. We make our own attitude. We create our own attitude. Attitude is everything. Well, we got that. So we just need to get a little more experienced and help ourselves grow, as naturally will happen, and be a better executing team in all situations. You know, we're in a pretty good place right now."
The Seahawks win and the Lions loss allowed them to go from last place in the division in 2021 to the playoffs, and while few outside the organization expected a team that went 7-10 a year ago to make the postseason after trading Wilson and releasing Bobby Wagner, the belief inside the building never wavered.
"We really did keep it in the building," Carroll said on KING 5. "There was a lot of talk going on outside, and we knew that, but we really didn't address that. We know what we're doing and our messaging and our intent is really what's most important, and we really just kind of brushed it off. That wasn't a factor for us. Early in the year, people were praising us for doing better than they thought; we weren't satisfied with that either. It's been hard, it's been a challenge, we haven't gotten it done the way we wanted to, but yet here we are now and we're ready to go. We're going to be tough to play against now. Our guys are ready to go."
The Seahawks know they face a big test heading Santa Clara to face the NFC West-champion 49ers, who won 10 in a row to close out the regular season, but they're embracing that challenge.
"They've won 10 or 11 in a row or something like that," Carroll said. "They're going to be as high and flying as you can go. That sounds great; if you're going to do something special at the end, you've got to beat really good teams, so let's start off with these guys and go get this thing going."