Kam Chancellor, Seattle's Dark Knight hero, leads the way

SEATTLE -- They call Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton Superman, but Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor was the real Superman on Saturday night.

Chancellor was leaping tall linemen with a single bound (no, really) and sealing the 31-17 Seattle victory over Carolina with a 90-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter to advance the Seahawks to the NFC Championship Game at home for the second consecutive year.

Chancellor doesn't want to take the Superman moniker from Newton.

"He can have it," Chancellor said. "They call me Batman. I'm the Dark Knight. And I can't change in a phone booth or a closet."

Chancellor has had an interception in three straight playoff games. The latest is already being dubbed as the "Kam Quake."

It was another historic moment at CenturyLink Field that registered on the Richter scale, just like the 67-yard "Beast Quake" touchdown run by running back Marshawn Lynch in the playoff game against the New Orleans Saints four years ago.

"Kam Quake, I like that," said Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who also had an interception Saturday. "That's pretty cool. He deserves this. He deserved to be first team All-Pro. Unfortunately, we can't go back and change that.

"He's such a hard worker and such a dedicated player. He puts in the man hours. He helps other players and coaches people up, making sure everybody's in the right position. So he deserves a Bam Quake or Kam Quake or everything he gets."

Chancellor's interception was the longest postseason touchdown in franchise history, surpassing the 87-yard kickoff return by Percy Harvin in last year's Super Bowl.

"It did? Nice," said Chancellor, when told of the record. "We're using our God-given ability out there, playing as a team together."

Carolina had a second-and-4 at the Seattle 13, trailing 24-10, when Chancellor was standing in the right flat near the line of scrimmage.

"I saw Cam under pressure, and it looked like he was about to get tackled," Chancellor said. "Then, he threw the ball right to me. I read the play and took it home."

Did Chancellor know he was going to score when he intercepted the pass?

"Of course," he said. "All I saw was green, and green means go."

As impressive as the pick-six was, it arguably wasn't Chancellor most impressive athletic move Saturday. This is where the leaping tall men comes in.

Almost everyone knows about Chancellor's vicious tackling skills (he had 11 tackles Saturday), but he also showed he's one heck of a high hurdler. Chancellor timed his leaps perfectly on back-to-back field goal attempts by Carolina at the end of the first half, jumping over the players at the line of scrimmage and heading straight for Carolina kicker Graham Gano.

"I did that one time last year or the year before, but it was failed mission," Chancellor said of his line leap. "I fell over the center. But this was something our coaches saw this week because they saw their linemen stayed low, so we decided to put it in. We just wanted to jump them."

Carolina offensive lineman Chris Scott had a false start on the first attempt. Scott was probably shocked to see a 6-foot-3, 230-pound man leaping over everyone. Then, Chancellor did it again.

"I was so confident with it," he said. "I saw how it went with the first jump, so I said, 'I might as well do it again.'"

Chancellor showed his gazelle-like skills a second time. Gano managed to get the kick off, but he missed it badly. However, Chancellor missed the block and was flagged for running into the kicker, a slight bump when Gano fell down.

"Once he saw me, he just shanked it far left," Chancellor said. "There was no way I could get my hand on it."

Chancellor has been a factor during Seattle's recent defensive surge, which produced a seven-game winning streak. He played most of the first half of the season barely able to run. Chancellor had offseason hip surgery, similar to the surgery Harvin had last year, which kept Harvin off the field most of the season.

Chancellor isn't the type to complain, but he wasn't close to full speed early in the year. He was favoring the hip, which was probably a factor in his other injuries: two sore ankles and a pulled groin that caused him to miss two games.

When he returned, however, Chancellor was back to the aggressive, tackling machine Seattle fans have come to know. And Saturday night was his finest hour -- or three hours, actually.

"I don't know how a strong safety can have a better game than Kam had tonight," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "He was all over the place."

A leaping Dark Knight who now will be remembered for the "Kam Quake."

"He was on fire, man," Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright said. "That's our captain. I love the way he plays. He brings so much energy to this team. Big hits, a pick-six. Everybody looks up to that guy. He had a hell of game."