By John Boyle
Turns out the third time was a charm for the Seahawks, who after missing out on chances to clinch the NFC West twice this month, did so Sunday, beating the St. Louis Rams 27-9 to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC and their second division title under Pete Carroll.
Seattle’s first playoff game will be on Jan. 11 at 1:35 p.m. Tickets go on sale Tuesday morning; you can get more info here at Seahawks.com.
I posted injury updates earlier, but if you missed it, you can find it here.
Now, some notes from Sunday’s win:
—Not only did the Seahawks match a franchise best with their 13-3 record, they also had a plus-186 point differential, toping the previous high-water mark of 181 they set in 2005.
—The 231 points allowed by Seattle (14.4 per game) is also a franchise record in addition to leading the NFL this season. The Seahawks also led the league in yards allowed (273.6), passing yards allowed (172.0) and interceptions (28) and had the league’s best turnover margin (plus-20).
—Marshawn Lynch established a career high with 14 total touchdown, besting by one his 2011 total.
—Russell Wilson’s passer rating of 101.2 was slightly higher than last year’s total of 100.0, breaking his own team record. He also matched his 2012 total with 26 touchdowns.
—the Seahawks set an attendance record with 545,577 fans this year, ahead of the 2007 mark of 545,551.
And some superlatives…
Play of the game
The Rams actually picked up a couple of first downs early on their first possession, but after Malcolm Smith sniffed out a reverse and made a tackle for loss, he came up even bigger on the very next play, intercepting a Kellen Clemens pass and returning it 37 yards to set the tone early.
Player of the game
The defense as a whole was the more dominant unit, but the standout individual was WR Golden Tate, who established career highs with 8 catches and 129 receiving yards. Tate put the exclamation point on the win with a 47 yard catch down the left sideline that looked a lot like the long catch and run he had in St. Louis earlier this year—minus the egregious taunting, of course.
13—St. Louis’ rushing total matched a Seahawks record for fewest by an opponent, matching a 1990 game against Green Bay. Not only that, but St. Louis had negative-2 rushing yards in the first half, this just half a season after the Rams ran for 200 yards against Seattle.