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NFL Game Summary - New Orleans at Seattle



(Saturday, January 11th)

Final Score: Seattle 23, New Orleans 15

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 Saints made it very interesting, however. Brees hit Marques Colston for a 9-yard touchdown with 26 seconds left to cut the difference to 23-15, and New Orleans recovered the ensuing onside kickoff before ultimately running out of time at the Seattle 38-yard line.

"I'm proud of the way our guys competed," said New Orleans head coach Sean Payton. It's always tough when you get this far and you're not able to finish."

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.

"Whoever is coming in here, just be ready to play," said Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant. "Because we damn sure will be."

Brees finished 24-of-43 for 309 yards and the late touchdown pass for a Saints squad coming off its first-ever road playoff victory last week in Philadelphia, while top target Jimmy Graham was held to only one catch that came in the game's final seconds.

Colston had 11 catches for 144 yards, while Khiry Robinson rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown on 13 attempts.

The Saints came in determined to avoid a repeat of their last visit to CenturyLink Field, when they fell behind 17-0 after one quarter on the way to a 34-7 shellacking. However, several miscues and failed executions put them in another tough early hole they never quite got out of.

Steven Hauschka's first of three field goals, a 38-yarder on Seattle's initial drive, was set up by a 16-yard shank by New Orleans punter Thomas Morstead and a personal foul penalty on safety Rafael Bush for launching at a defenseless Percy Harvin on a third-down pass. The Saints moved inside the Seahawks' 30 on the following possession, but came up empty when Shayne Graham pulled a 45- yard field goal try wide left.

Seattle then marched back into New Orleans territory, keyed by Golden Tate's 13-yard catch over the middle on 3rd-and-4, to position Hauschka for a 49-yard kick that extended the lead to 6-0 late in the first quarter.

The second quarter began with another Saints' error, as Mark Ingram fumbled on the opening snap and Michael Bennett recovered for Seattle at the opposing 27- yard line. Two snaps later, Lynch took a shotgun handoff and powered his way in for a 15-yard score and a 13-0 Seahawks' advantage.

Bobby Wagner batted down a Brees pass on fourth down later in the period to thwart another New Orleans scoring chance, and Wilson proceeded to lead a 12- play, 63-yard series that furthered the margin.

Harvin made a leaping 16-yard grab on third down and Wilson hit Jermaine Kearse shortly afterward for a 25-yard gain to the Saints' 15. A defensive holding call on Keenan Lewis gave the Seahawks a 1st-and-goal from the three later on, though the New Orleans defense held to force Hauschka on for a 26- yard field goal 1:18 prior to halftime.

New Orleans endured more frustration during the third quarter, having its first two second-half drives stopped in Seattle's end, before finally getting untracked near the end of the frame.

Brees connected on a pair of deep strikes, a 23-yarder to backup tight end Josh Hill and a 25-yarder to Colston, during a 9-play, 74-yard sequence Robinson capped with a determined 1-yard run with 13:11 remaining. Ingram barreled across on the subsequent conversion attempt to suddenly bring the Saints within one score.

However, more problems ensued to prevent New Orleans from inching closer. A long catch by Kenny Stills to the Seattle 28 was wiped out by a holding penalty on the Saints' next trek, which ended in a punt. On their following drive, Shayne Graham missed badly on a 48-yard field goal try and the Seahawks took over with 3:51 left.

"We had some drives that were right on the outskirts of field goal range, opportunities to get points and we weren't able to cash in," Brees remarked. "In a game like this where every point opportunity counts so much, you've got to be able to take advantage of those."

After Wilson delivered a clutch 24-yard completion to Doug Baldwin, Lynch seemingly put the game away by ripping off a 31-yard run to the end zone that gave Seattle a 23-8 lead with 2:40 to go.

"We got a great look and it was an incredibly perfect throw," said Carroll of Baldwin's acrobatic catch down the sidelines. "It's a catch that Doug has made all year, and it couldn't have been more clutch."

Brees' TD strike to Colston on a fourth-down play kept New Orleans' hopes alive, and the Saints had even more life when Shayne Graham's onside squibber bounced off Tate's chest and Colston pounced on the ball at his own 41.

Colston was called for an illegal forward lateral upon making his final grab at the Seattle 38 with under 10 seconds showing, however, with the resulting run-off leaving New Orleans out of time for another play.

Game Notes

Harvin, playing in just his second game since undergoing offseason hip surgery, had three catches for 21 yards but was held out the entire second half after sustaining a concussion ... The Seahawks have now win six straight postseason games at CenturyLink Field, with their last home playoff loss coming to St. Louis in the 2004 Wild Card Round ... Pierre Thomas, New Orleans' leading rusher during the regular season, was inactive for a second straight week due to a chest injury ... New Orleans converted just 3-of-12 third-down opportunities ... The Saints fell to 1-6 all-time in road playoff games.

01/11 23:04:19 ET

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    Thursday at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
UNC
 
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
 
Final
MIA 7
FIU 2
 
Final
DET 12
FLASO 2
 
1:05pm Today
DET
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
MIAFLA
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
NEASTERN
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
PIT
 
3:05pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
3:05pm Today
OAK
SFG
 
4:05pm Today
BOS
BOSTONCOLL
 
5:10pm Tonight
ARI
ASU
 
Final
PHI 103
TOR 114
Final
BRK 110
GSW 108
Final
MIA 115
PHO 98
Final
MIN 105
LAC 110
Final
DAL 102
NOP 93
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
MIL
 
Final
TEX 61
BAY 59
Final
SYR 47
UVA 59
Final
SHSU 76
CARK 49
 
Final
NWST 92
SELA 79
 
Final
NCAT 67
COOK 50
 
Final
HOW 61
NORST 59
 
Final
DELST 85
HAMP 75
 
Final
STEPH 83
INCWORD 62
 
Final
MCNST 70
LAM 69
 
Final
NO 79
NICST 89
 
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
Final
ALAAM 75
TXSOU 77
 
Final
VT 59
BC 66
Final
MVSU 66
GRAM 62
 
Final
ISU 77
OKLA 70
 
Final
ALAST 65
PVU 67
 
Final
ARKPB 64
JST 62
 
7:00pm Tonight
UMO
AKR
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
ARMY
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
EMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUT
GEOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
IOWA
 
7:00pm Tonight
FLGC
JVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
USCU
KNST
 
7:00pm Tonight
BGU
KSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
NKENTUCKY
LIP
 
7:00pm Tonight
HC
GHND
 
7:00pm Tonight
RUTG
MD
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
UNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
OHIO
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
MISS
 
7:00pm Tonight
DAY
RIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
TOL
 
7:00pm Tonight
DET
YOUNG
 
7:30pm Tonight
UNF
STET
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
HOUB
 
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NDAK
NEOM
 
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NILL
WMICH
 
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ILLCH
WRST
 
9:00pm Tonight
MIZZ
AUB
 
9:00pm Tonight
UGA
KENT
 
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NW
MICH
 
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
UF
TEXAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
KU
WVU
 
9:15pm Tonight
CREI
VILL
 
Final
NYR 4
NAS 1
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
2nd Intermission
SJS 3
MON 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
NAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
BUF
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
OTT
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYI
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
ANA
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
LOS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
SJS