Streak­ing Seat­tle earns le­git­i­macy

With out­side shot at di­vi­sion ti­tle, team seeks home edge in the play­offs.

Austin American-Statesman - - NFL - Bytim Booth

REN­TON, WAsH. — Former Longhorn Earl Thomas says there is no room on the Seat­tle Seahawks’ band­wagon. If you weren’t on the ride al­ready, Thomas says it’s too late.

Even if the Seahawks are sud­denly one of the teams peo­ple are try­ing to latch onto as they surge to­ward the post­sea­son.

“Don’t jump on the band­wagon now,” Thomas said Sun­day night. “We have a chip on our shoul­der and we play with it, and showed it.”

Seat­tle won its fourth straight game by beat­ing NFC West-lead­ing San Fran­cisco 42-13 on Sun­day night be­fore a na­tional TV au­di­ence.

That clinched at least a wild-card berth for the Seahawks send­ing Pete Car­roll to the post­sea­son for the sec­ond time in his three sea­sons in Seat­tle.

The win also kept Seat­tle’s slim hopes of win­ning the di­vi­sion alive and with it ex­actly what no one else in the NFC wants: be­ing forced to make a trip to Seat­tle for the play­offs.

Seat­tle needs to beat St. Louis in the sea­son fi­nale and get an Ari­zona win at San Fran­cisco for the Seahawks to win the di­vi­sion.

“Now we’re there with the op­por­tu­nity to still win a di­vi­sion cham­pi­onship which would be huge for us and that ob­vi­ously takes a lot of work some- where else but we have to take care of our busi­ness first,” Car­roll said.

Seat­tle (10-5) was al­ready rolling to­ward the post­sea­son with con­sec­u­tive games reach­ing the 50-point mark, be­com­ing the first team since 1950 to reach the half-cen­tury mark in back-to-back games. But those came against lesser com­pe­ti­tion in blowouts of Ari­zona and Buf­falo.

The win over the 49ers le­git­imized what Seat­tle has been build­ing. The Seahawks scored with ease on what was the top scor­ing de­fense in the NFL, led by rookie Rus­sell Wil­son’s four TD passes.

Seat­tle doesn’t hide that it plays with a feel­ing of be­ing over­looked. The Seahawks’ most no­table moment this sea­son was the “Fail Mary” against Green Bay where the Seahawks were on the re­ceiv­ing end of a blown call that even­tu­ally helped set­tle a la­bor dis­pute with the of­fi­cials.

The blowout of the 49ers grabbed the kind of at­ten­tion the Seahawks have wanted.

“The chip on the shoul­der? That’s not some­thing we just man­u­fac­tured for the sake of get­ting fired up. The guys in this room feel that. Al­most ev­ery one of th­ese guys has their rea­sons. I feel like that my­self. We just kind of share in that chip and we don’t even have to pass it around,” Car­roll said.

“We all have one. That’s just kind of how it’s been. Just look, we’re up here in the North­west and they like talk­ing about us af­ter they talk about ev­ery­body else.

ELAINE THOMPSON / AP

Earl Thomas (right) has helped the Seahawks clinch a spot in the play­offs. ‘We have a chip on our shoul­der and we play with it, and showed it,’ he said.

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