Doug Baldwin wears No. 89 to honor the one NFL wide receiver he has “stolen” the most moves from.
It is Steve Smith, the former Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens’ star who is bound to go into the NFL Hall of Fame someday.
And like Smith, Baldwin isn’t the biggest guy. And like Smith, Baldwin is as feisty and cagey a competitor as you’ll ever see in an NFL stadium.
The unsigned free agent out of Stanford caught 11 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown in Seattle’s 26-6 victory over Detroit in an NFC wild card playoff game Saturday night at CenturyLink Field.
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And he keeps collecting franchise receiving records for the NFL playoffs. Consider:
▪ His 11 receptions gives him 50 career catches in 11 postseason games, eclipsing Darrell Jackson’s mark of 41, set from 2003-06.
▪ It was also the 11th consecutive playoff game he’s had at least a reception, which is also a team record.
▪ His 104 yards gives him his third career 100-yard receiving game in the postseason, breaking a tie with Steve Largent, Jermaine Kearse and Jackson, who had two apiece.
▪ Even before Saturday, Baldwin owned the team mark for career receiving yards in the postseason. It increased to 622 yards.
“Doug Baldwin played a great game, and deserved a lot of credit,” teammate Richard Sherman said, “But what year hasn’t he played great in the playoffs?”
Of course, the one catch everyone will be talking about happened with four minutes to go.
It was the “Butt Catch.”
Russell Wilson threw in Baldwin’s direction on third down. The receiver slid to the ground to haul in a pass that officials initially ruled as incomplete.
But in an endless juggling act, somehow the football never touched the ground. In fact, replays showed Baldwin pinned it against his toosh.
“It doesn’t matter (where I caught it),” Baldwin said. “I caught it.”
Baldwin knew he maintained possession, too, and calmly implored for coach Pete Carroll to challenge the ruling.
It was reversed to a 13-yard catch.
Three plays later, Baldwin hauled in a 13-yard touchdown catch with just his left hand — on a pass that everybody admits was intended for Kearse.
“I felt terrible about it,” Baldwin said. “I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I took a touchdown away from my brother.”
One thing he doesn’t feel regretful about: Taking moves from Smith, whom he is close to.
“I just loved the way he played the game, with passion and fire,” Baldwin said. “He fought for every inch on the football field, and I wanted to be like that.”
DEFENSE HALTS LIONS
DEFENSE HALTS LIONS
Seattle’s defense did not force a turnover, and got two of its three sacks of Matthew Stafford late in the game — but regardless it was a dominant performance.
In fact, the Lions’ 231 total offensive yards was the third-lowest total the Seahawks have allowed in their franchise postseason history.
“We would have liked to get to the ball (for a turnover), but I felt we were doing a good job reading everything, sniffing out a lot of stuff,” Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “We were playing together. They didn’t get much.”
It was only the second time this season Detroit did not score a touchdown.
ROOKIE TURNS TIDE
First-year starting offensive guard Germain Ifedi has drawn his share of personal-foul penalties this season.
But he was able to keep his cool on a play late in the third quarter that got the Lions upset.
Locked up with Detroit defensive tackle Haloti Ngata on a short pass play, the Lions’ veteran did not like the contact, and was flagged for a personal-foul penalty.
It gave Seattle a first down, and led to Steven Hauschka’s 27-yard field goal to extend the lead to 13-6.
“I was just playing to the whistle, and he didn’t like it, so he threw a forearm,” Ifedi said. “It was an unfortunate play for him, but (we) got into the red zone and got the score.”
REECE HURTS FOOT
Carroll noted afterward the team came out of the game without any serious injuries, but he did sound concerned for fullback Marcel Reece, who suffered a foot injury in the second half.
Other players who were dinged up included tight end Jimmy Graham (chest), defensive end Frank Clark (groin), running back Alex Collins (groin) and safety Steven Terrell. All of them returned to the game.
Carroll said Graham, who had to leave the game for two plays after a hard hit by Tavon Wilson in the first quarter, just had the wind knocked out of him.
Hauschka missed a PAT kick in the fourth quarter, clanking it off the right upright. It was his seventh missed PAT kick of the season, most in the NFL. Five of them have been blocked. … As expected, tailback C.J. Prosise (shoulder) and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (concussion) missed the game. … Injured safety Earl Thomas (leg) came on the sideline on crutches for pregame warmups. … One of the casualties of this week’s Devin Hester signing was wide receiver Kasen Williams, who was a healthy scratch Saturday. The Skyline High School standout was active for both NFC playoff games a year ago against Minnesota and Carolina. … Other Seahawks’ inactives included running back Terrence Magee, linebacker Ronald Powell, tight end Nick Vannett and tackle Rees Odhiambo. … Former offensive guard Steve Hutchinson, who played for Seattle from 2001-05, and was a member of the team’s Super Bowl XL squad, raised the 12th Man flag on Saturday. Hutchinson signed a controversial deal with Minnesota in 2006 after the Seahawks designed him as their transition player. … Lincoln quarterback Joey Sinclair was one of four high school quarterbacks in the state to compete in a passing contest in halftime. Archbishop Murphy’s Connor Johnson was the winner. … Tacoma native Vicci Martinez sang the national anthem before the game.