Seahawks Soar To Victory Over Niners; Advance To Super Bowl XLVIII

Seahawks Clinch 2nd Super Bowl Appearance – SB Nation

After clinching home-field advantage in the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks took advantage of a golden opportunity to make a Super Bowl run. With its win against NFC West rival San Francisco on Sunday, Seattle won the NFC Championship and will move on to Super Bowl XLVIII.

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Seattle trailed the 49ers heading into the second half, but they put up 20 points to take a 23-17 lead once the San Francisco offense started to stall out. Colin Kaepernick couldn’t run the ball anymore, and Marshawn Lynch started to get the running game going for Seattle. In the end, it was the defense coming up with two huge plays to seal the win, with Kaepernick getting intercepted on both of San Francisco’s final two possessions.

The game ended at 23-17, with Wilson kneeling out the remainder of clock.

Seattle came up just short in the playoffs last year, blowing a lead in the final 30 seconds against Atlanta. Had the Seahawks held on, they would have played San Francisco for the right to go to the Super Bowl. Despite the missed opportunity, the Seahawks returned one of the most talented rosters in the NFL this season. Unlike last year, when Seattle lost a few games it probably shouldn’t have, the Seahawks took care of business during the 2013 regular season, clinching the NFC West and the No. 1 seed. That meant that NFC foes would have to advance through the playoffs by beating Seattle at CenturyLink Field, a very tough place for opponents to win as New Orleans found out last week and San Francisco this week.

Although the run to the Super Bowl shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, it is still a rarity for the Seahawks and Seattle fans. The game on Sunday was just Seattle’s third appearance in a conference championship, and the franchise will advance to its second Super Bowl. The 2005 Seahawks rode home-field advantage to Super Bowl XL, eventually losing to Pittsburgh. That loss still aggravates Seattle fans nearly 10 years later. The current crop of Seahawks will have a chance at redemption and an opportunity to bring the city its first major sports championship since the Seattle SuperSonics won the 1979 NBA Championship.

The Seahawks made the playoffs in eight of the last 11 seasons. This season, however, is only the second time they have advanced past the Divisional round during that stretch. While making the playoffs isn’t anything new for Seattle, having success – and being favored to win – is a drastic change. This season was just the fourth in franchise history that the Seahawks won more than 10 games. The 2005 team was often regarded as the best in franchise history, but the 2013 team may have already taken that mantle. It has advanced as far as any team, won as many games and has the opportunity to finish with the Super Bowl victory the 2005 team couldn’t capture.

There will be a bit of history on the line in the Super Bowl. Seattle hired Pete Carroll away from USC, and he and general manger John Schneider have assembled one of the deepest and most talent-laden rosters in the league. With one more win, Carroll will join Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer as the only coaches to win an NCAA and NFL championship.

While they had the benefit of playing at home, the Seahawks’ path to the Super Bowl was not an easy one. Nine of their 18 games came against teams with at least 10 wins. Seattle beat San Francisco twice, New Orleans twice and Carolina once. In total, the Seahawks won six games against teams with double-digit wins. The Seahawks now need just one more such win to cap the season with the Lombardi Trophy.

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Seahawks, incompetent refs best Packers 14-12 Troglopundit hardest hit

I feel bad for Lance Burri and his fellow cheeseheads, this was the worst call I have ever seen, and the NFL is making it worse by defending it as a correct call

NEW YORK — The NFL has upheld the Seahawks’ 14-12 win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

The league said in a statement Tuesday that Seattle’s last-second touchdown pass should not have been overturned.

The NFL says Seahawks receiver Golden Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference before the catch, which would have clinched a Packers victory, but that cannot be reviewed by instant replay.

Wow, is the NFL seeking to catch up with NBA refs in incompetence?

Bears Maul Seahawks, Advance To NFC Title Game

Bears Maul Seahawks, Advance To NFC Title Game – Washington Times

The Bears’ 35-24 dismantling of overmatched Seattle on Sunday sets up the biggest game in their 90-year series with the Packers. Chicago and Green Bay will play for the 182nd time next Sunday, but their first meeting for the NFC title.

Jay Cutler ran for two touchdowns and threw for two as Chicago (12-5) pounded the Seahawks (8-10) from the outset, gliding through the snowflakes to score 21 first-half points. The defense was monstrous enough when it mattered, shutting down an offense that scored 41 points against New Orleans last week, but that gained only 111 through three periods at Soldier Field, where Seattle managed a 23-20 victory in October.

Although it got closer at the end, this was the result many projected the first division winner with a losing record would sustain, making it difficult to measure how good the Bears are. The NFL will find out next week against the Packers, who have beaten third-seeded Philadelphia and top-seeded Atlanta on the road this month. But to compare these Bears with the “Super Bowl Shuffle” bunch that won Chicago’s only Super Bowl 25 years ago is a stretch.

“Now that we have beaten the Seahawks, it just doesn’t get any better, as I see it, than for the NFC championship coming down to the Packers coming down on our turf this time,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “The Packers and Bears to finish it up.”

Cutler, in his first postseason game, showed none of the wild swings that often have marked his five-year career. He did show some shifty moves on a 6-yard run that made it 21-0, essentially turning everyone’s attention to next weekend.

“We’re both familiar with each other, so nothing’s going to be new,” Cutler said. “We have our hands full.”

Not much was expected of the Bears when the season began, but they’ve improved mightily since falling to 4-3 heading into their bye week. They clinched a playoff berth with two games remaining, grabbing their first NFC North championship since 2006 – when they lost to Indianapolis in the Super Bowl.

Unlike Atlanta and Pittsburgh on Saturday, they showed no rust from having a bye in dominating Seattle. Then again, the Seahawks showed none of the surging emotions or big-play abilities they sprung on the Saints at home. It was merely a one-week reprieve, and they went even flatter after tight end John Carlson was carted off with a head injury in the first quarter following a nasty spill; Carlson landed on the side of his helmet and his shoulder, but had movement in his extremities.

Seattle lost cornerback Marcus Trufant to a head injury in the third quarter when he collided with Kellen Davis’ knee while trying to make a tackle. Trufant also was carted off, but he also had feeling in his extremities.

Chicago put away the game with touchdowns on three of its first four possessions, by which time Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers and the rest of the defense had taken charge.

“Now we’re back, playing together, hopefully peaking at the right time,” Urlacher said.

Greg Olsen, showing impressive speed for a tight end, streaked past safety Lawyer Milloy for a 58-yard TD reception on Chicago’s third offensive play. Chester Taylor added a 1-yard TD run and Cutler’s 6-yarder built an insurmountable lead.

Cutler liked using his feet so much he added a 9-yard sprint in the third quarter to make it 28-0. He even threw in a 21-yard scramble in the fourth quarter and finished with 43 yards rushing, 9 more than the Seahawks.

“It was fun,” Cutler said of his own shuffling. “That first one was called, second one was kind of improv.”

Olindo Mare’s 30-yard field goal got the first points for Seattle, which will get mixed reviews in Pete Carroll’s first season as coach. The Seahawks went 7-9, hardly what they had in mind when they hired Carroll away from Southern Cal. Still, they won the weak NFC West, and they eliminated the defending Super Bowl champions in the wild-card round.

But the prospect of a .500 team playing for a berth in the Super Bowl is gone, even though Matt Hasselbeck threw for three fourth-quarter touchdowns.

So bring on the Packers, who lost to the Bears 33-14 at Wrigley Field on Dec. 14, 1941 in their only previous playoff meeting. Green Bay beat Chicago 10-3 in the season finale to clinch a playoff spot earlier this month. The Packers haven’t been to the Super Bowl since the 1997 season, when they lost to Denver.

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