Seahawks best in so-so West

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By ASSOCIATED PRESS in Seat­tle

For all their flaws, the Seat­tle Seahawks are back where they al­ways ex­pected to be — in the post­sea­son, as cham­pi­ons of the NFC West.

“I think it’s a huge sig­nif­i­cance in terms of con­sis­tency,” coach Pete Car­roll said af­ter watch­ing his Seahawks whip the Los An­ge­les Rams 24-3 on Thurs­day night.

“It’s some­thing that we take great pride in be­cause of the im­pli­ca­tions for the play­offs.”

Rus­sell Wilson threw three touch­down passes, in­clud­ing one to Tyler Lock­ett, who fin­ished with 130 yards re­ceiv­ing.

The Seahawks claimed their third di­vi­sion ti­tle in four sea­sons, as­sur­ing them­selves at least one home game in the play­offs and keep­ing the pres­sure on the Detroit Lions in the com­pe­ti­tion for the No 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye.

Seat­tle also snapped a three-game los­ing streak to the Rams and be­came the first team in the NFL to clinch its di­vi­sion — thanks to a sea­son in which no team in the NFC West was par­tic­u­larly good.

The Seahawks have their short­com­ings — which were ob­vi­ous against the Rams — but they sim­ply have more tools to com­pen­sate than any­one else in the di­vi­sion

It wasn’t a com­pletely smooth evening for Seat­tle.

Richard Sher­man was seen yelling at his coaches on the side­line in the third quar­ter, mo­ments be­fore Doug Bald­win’s one-yard touch­down catch.

Sher­man said he was voic­ing his dis­plea­sure to­ward Car­roll over his in­struc­tion to Wilson to throw on first-and­goal — a pass that was nearly in­ter­cepted.

“We’ve al­ready seen how that goes. I’m sure you guys have seen that play enough times,” Sher­man said.

It wasn’t an im­pres­sive dis­play by the Seahawks (9-4-1), but was far bet­ter than their pre­vi­ous game — a blowout loss to Green Bay that saw Wilson throw five in­ter­cep­tions.

Wilson was good enough against the list­less Rams. Af­ter slog­ging through the first half, he hit Bald­win late in the third quar­ter for a 17-3 lead, then put the game away with a 57-yard TD strike to Lock­ett on the sec­ond play of the fourth quar­ter.

Wilson fin­ished 19 of 26 for 229 yards, but also threw a care­less in­ter­cep­tion at the goal line mid­way through the fourth quar­ter.

Seven of his passes went to Lock­ett, whose pre­vi­ous ca­reer high was 104 yards. Luke Will­son also had an 8-yard TD catch.

A mostly for­getable game was made at least some­what more en­ter­tain­ing by the Seahawks and their gaudy green uni­forms, which drew wild opin­ions all over so­cial me­dia.

Dubbed “Ac­tion Green,” the uni­forms in­spired very lit­tle ac­tion in the first half, be­fore a sec­ond-half ef­fort that as­sured an­other ban­ner would be raised at Cen­tu­ryLink Field.

A tu­mul­tuous few days for the Rams (4-10) af­ter the fir­ing of Jeff Fisher as head coach cul­mi­nated in their fifth straight loss and first un­der in­terim coach John Fas­sel.

The Rams’ de­fen­sive front caused prob­lems for Seat­tle in the first half, but LA’s of­fense pro­vided zero help.

“It’s just a les­son for me that you al­ways have to be ready to adapt and take on re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that you didn’t an­tic­i­pate,” Fas­sel said. “But it’s an ex­pe­ri­ence I’ ll never for­get.”

SCOTT EKLUND / AP

Seat­tle Seahawks’ Tyler Lock­ett lunges for a touch­down in front of a pair of Los An­ge­les Rams de­fend­ers dur­ing the sec­ond half of Thurs­day’s NFL clash in Seat­tle. Lock­ett had 130 yards re­ceiv­ing as the Seahawks clinched the NFC West ti­tle with a 24-3 vic­tory.

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