Breno Giacomini thinks his offense is built to thrive in the playoffs, when the rain and wind take hold and teams have to rely on moving the ball on the ground.
I think so, especially when you have three really good backs like we do, Giacomini said. If we can control the game with the run game, why not, especially when its cold. When we go outside, the ball might be a little slippery or whatever. But as an O-lineman I want to run the ball every play.
Well see what happens, but it is pretty good to go into the playoffs with a hell of a running game.
The Seahawks ran the ball a league-high 57 percent of the time during the regular season. Against St. Louis, the Seahawks once again leaned on running back Marshawn Lynch, who finished with 100 yards on 18 carries, becoming the third player in team history to rush for more than 1,500 yards in a single season. Lynch (1,590) joins Chris Warren (1,545 in 1994) and Shaun Alexander (1,696 in 2004 and 1,880 in 2005).
Lynch also ran for 100 yards for the 10th time this season.
This year has been great for him, Michael Robinson said. People dont want to tackle that guy this late in the season. He just does such a great job for us. Déjà vu for Sherman
Richard Sherman had been quiet all game. Well, quiet in the sense he hadnt made a big play, because hes rarely reticent on a football field. But late in the game when the Seahawks needed it most, he made his presence felt. Sherman intercepted Sam Bradfords fourth-down pass with 40 seconds to go in the game to help secure a Seattle win.
I was hunting, he said. I was waiting on the opportunity all day. Id been patient. Id been playing tight coverage and didnt get too many opportunities. So when I got an opportunity, I got my hands on it.
It was Shermans eighth interception of the season. It led the Seahawks this year and tied him for second-most in the NFL. That total is the best Seahawks mark since Darryl Williams led the AFC with eight in 1997.
But more important to Sherman than his number of interceptions was the fact that Brandon Browner will return to the corner spot opposite him, after missing the last four games because of a suspension for violating the leagues policy on performance-enhancing substances. The Seahawks have used several different players to fill the void with varied success. But having Browner back for the playoffs is big.
Thats my right-hand man, Sherman said about Browner. Thats my guy. Hes one of my best friends. He completes us. He makes us whole. Wagner sets record
While rookie QB Russell Wilson has garnered the headlines and television coverage by rewriting the Seahawks record books, another Seattle rookie has put together a fantastic first season.
Bobby Wagner has stepped in at middle linebacker and flourished. A second-round pick out of Utah State, Wagner had 10 tackles against the Rams on Sunday, giving him 140 for the season. The mark set a franchise record for most tackles in a season by a rookie, breaking the previous record held by Terry Beeson, which was set in 1977.
Wagner has an outside shot of winning the NFLs defensive rookie of the year award. His primary competition is Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly, who led all rookies with 164 tackles this season.
GIBSON GETS NOTICED
Rams receiver Brandon Gibson, formerly of Rogers High School and Washington State University, grabbed three passes Sunday, giving him 51 this season.
Gibson, a native of Puyallup, said the Rams progress already has him looking forward to next season, which will be his fifth in the NFL.
Im happy that I got to get together with a great group of guys, he said. Im glad this young team meshed quick. I really feel like this team can be special in the future. (We were) one game from being undefeated in the division. I really feel like this team could really take off and really be special.
Russell Wilson became the first rookie to win the Steve Largent award, given to the Seattle player who best exemplifies the spirit, dedication and integrity of the team. Defensive tackle Red Bryant won the award last year. Coach Pete Carroll reported no significant injuries after the game against St. Louis, and said he expects a healthy roster as his team prepares for the postseason. The Seahawks held St. Louis to two third-down conversion in 11 tries. Seattle also totaled 14 penalties for 98 yards, the fifth time this season the Seahawks have finished in double digits in penalties. The Seahawks led the league in scoring defense, allowing 15.3 points a contest, the fewest points allowed for a full season (245) in team history. The Seahawks allowed 261 points in 1991 and 271 in 2005. Seattles 2013 opponents include home games against New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Minnesota and NFC West foes Arizona, San Francisco and St. Louis. Away games for Seattle are Atlanta, Carolina, Houston, Indianapolis, the New York Giants and NFC West opponents Arizona, San Francisco and St. Louis.
Staff writers Ryan Divish and Don Ruiz contributed to this report.