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Seahawks win NFC West, lock up No. 1 seed
Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Golden Tate caught eight passes for 129 yards and a touchdown and Marshawn Lynch rushed for 97 yards and a TD as the Seattle Seahawks locked up the NFC's No. 1 seed with a 27-9 win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
Russell Wilson was 15-for-23 passing for 172 yards and a score and Malcolm Smith returned an interception for a touchdown for the Seahawks (13-3), who won the NFC West and secured home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs.
Kellen Clemens completed 21-of-30 passes for 157 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for the Rams (7-9), who were held to just 13 rushing yards.
St. Louis will have the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft after Washington's loss earlier on Sunday. The Rams will receive the Redskins' pick to complete the Robert Griffin III trade.
After going three-and-out on their opening possession, the Seahawks cashed in on an early mistake from Clemens as Smith intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 37 yards for a score.
Seattle drove down the Rams' 6-yard line on their first drive of the second quarter, but Wilson was sacked on second down before throwing an incomplete pass on third and the hosts settled for a 28-yard Steven Hauschka field goal.
The teams traded empty possessions from there until Hauschka made it 13-0 with his 35-yard field goal with three seconds left in the first half.
St. Louis finally got on the board just over four minutes into the second half. Austin Pettis returned Jon Ryan's punt 32 yards down to the Seattle 31- yard line. After picking up a quick first down on a short pass to Stedman Bailey, Zac Stacy was stopped at the line and Clemens threw two quick incomplete passes to set up a 36-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal.
The Seahawks answered with a 14-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that took nearly 8 1/2 minutes off the game clock. On 1st-and-10 from the Rams' 23, Lynch rushed to the right side for no gain. Alec Ogletree was flagged on the play for a late hit on Lynch, who was well out of bounds.
On the next play, Ogletree was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct once again for his actions after tackling Seahawks running back Robert Turbin. Also on the play, St. Louis' Kendall Langford was ejected after making contact with a game official. As Langford was defending his teammate, he raised his arm and accidentally knocked the hat off of the official. As he was leaving the field, Langford spiked his helmet on the turf for yet another penalty.
Lynch punched it in two plays later for a 20-3 edge.
Wilson connected with Tate for a 47-yard touchdown completion early in the fourth to all but seal the win.
Clemens tossed a two-yard touchdown pass to Jared Cook with 4:13 left, but was unable to connect on the two-point conversion attempt to account for the final difference.
Seattle finished 7-1 at home this season ... The Seahawks won the time of possession battle 33:40-26:20 ... Seattle picked up 20 first downs and held the Rams to just 11 first downs ... Lance Kendricks led the Rams with five catches for 54 yards.
12/29 20:26:05 ET
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