What it means: The Seahawks (12-4) win the NFC West title and clinch home-field advantage in the playoffs for the second consecutive season. Seattle won its final six games and nine of the past 10.
Defense does it again: Few defenses in history have enjoyed a run like the one the Seahawks are on right now. Sunday was the fourth time in the past six games the defense did not allow a touchdown. They’ve given up only 39 total points in those six games.
A rookie has arrived: With Jermaine Kearse out with a hamstring injury, rookie wide receiver Paul Richardson came up big. He made a spectacular leaping catch on a deep sideline throw on a 32-yard gain that set up Seattle’s first field goal. Richardson finished with five receptions for 60 yards.
And a DT has arrived: Defensive tackle Jordan Hill didn’t play much in his rookie year last season, but Hill has been a major force in the interior line for the Seahawks in the second half of this season. Hill had a rare defensive tackle interception Sunday when Rams quarterback Shaun Hill was trying to avoid a sack and tried to spike the ball into the turf. Jordan Hill was there to scoop it up. He also had half a sack, which gave him 5½ for the season. The bad news is Hill left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury and did not return.
Two-TD Irvin: Linebacker Bruce Irvin got his second pick-six of the season in the fourth quarter. The pass was intended for tight end Lance Kendricks, but he bobbled it when he was hit by Bobby Wagner, and Irvin picked it out of the air and ran it back 49 yards for the touchdown. Irvin also had a sack and a forced fumble.
First-half horror: Little went right for the Seattle offense in the first half, when the Seahawks had no points and two turnovers (a Russell Wilson interception and a Marshawn Lynch), and the Rams defense had two sacks and six quarterback hits. Seattle had 189 yards of offense in the first two quarters and nothing to show for it; they trailed 6-0. The Seahawks also had a costly personal foul penalty for unnecessary roughness on Ricardo Lockette, who made a hit after a fair catch. It led to the first field goal for St. Louis.
Game ball: This week we name the season MVP, and that has to be quarterback Russell Wilson. You could make a case for running back Marshawn Lynch or defensive Michael Bennett and even Wagner. But Wilson continues to be the one player this team must have to reach the level of success it has reached. He has won more games than any quarterback in NFL history in his first three seasons, one of many records Wilson has set so far in his career.
What’s next: The Seahawks have next weekend off before beginning the playoffs at home on the weekend of Jan. 10-11.