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Seahawks withstand Saints, reach NFC title game

Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Pete Carroll may be the quintessential West Coast guy, but his Seattle Seahawks are definitely in a New York state of mind.

The NFC's No. 1 seed moved within one game of a trip to the outskirts of Manhattan for Super Bowl XLVIII after holding off the New Orleans Saints with a 23-15 decision in a conference Divisional Playoff at a stormy and soggy CenturyLink Field.

Seattle used a familiar formula to reach the NFC Championship Game for the first time since the 2005 season. Workhorse running back Marshawn Lynch churned out 140 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries, while the NFL's top- ranked defense kept Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints well under wraps with another stifling performance.

Russell Wilson managed just 103 yards on 9-of-18 passing, running a Seattle offense that generated next to nothing for much of the second half, but had a turnover-free game as Lynch and the defense made a 16-0 halftime lead stand up.

The Seahawks will face either Carolina or San Francisco in next Sunday's conference title game at their hostile home of CenturyLink Field, where they've gone an intimidating 16-1 in Wilson's two years as the starting quarterback.

Brees finished 23-of-42 for 296 yards and a late touchdown to Marques Colston for a Saints squad coming off its first-ever road playoff victory last week in Philadelphia, while top target Jimmy Graham was held to one catch that came in the game's final seconds.

Colston had 10 catches for 131 yards in defeat, with Khiry Robinson rushing for 57 yards and a touchdown on 13 attempts.

01/11 19:48:46 ET

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