Seattle Super Bowl Bound, Defeat 49ers 23-17 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Seattle Super Bowl Bound, Defeat 49ers 23-17

Posted: Updated:
The Seattle defense rallied in the second half and lead the Seahawks all the way to the Super Bowl. The Seattle defense rallied in the second half and lead the Seahawks all the way to the Super Bowl.

by Barry Wilner- AP Pro Football Writer

SEATTLE (AP) - The Seattle Seahawks are bringing their game-changing defense - and the 12th Man - to the Big Apple for the Super Bowl.

Seattle's top-ranked defense forced three fourth-quarter turnovers, and Russell Wilson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass on fourth down for the winning points in a 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC title Sunday.

Seattle will meet Denver (15-3) for the NFL title in two weeks in the New Jersey Meadowlands. It's the first trip to the big game for the Seahawks (15-3) since they lost to Pittsburgh after the 2005 season.

The conference champs had the best records in the league this year, the first time the top seeds have gotten to the Super Bowl since the 2010 game.

Moments after Richard Sherman tipped Colin Kaepernick's pass to teammate Malcolm Smith for the clinching interception, the All-Pro cornerback jumped into the stands behind the end zone, saluting the Seahawks' raucous fans. With 12th Man flags waving everywhere, and "New York, New York" blaring over the loudspeakers, CenturyLink Field rocked like never before.

"That's as sweet as it gets," Sherman said.

"This is really special," added coach Pete Carroll, who has turned around the Seahawks in four seasons in charge. "It would really be a mistake to not remember the connection and the relationship between this football team and the 12th Man and these fans. It's unbelievable."

San Francisco (14-5) led 17-13 when Wilson, given a free play as Aldon Smith jumped offside, hurled the ball to Jermaine Kearse, who made a leaping catch in the end zone.

Steven Hauschka then kicked his third field goal, and Smith intercepted in the end zone on the 49ers' final possession.

"This feels even sweeter, with the amazing support we have had from the 12th Man," team owner Paul Allen said, comparing this Super Bowl trip to the previous one.

Until Seattle's top-ranked defense forced a fumble and had two picks in the final period, the game was marked by big offensive plays in the second half. That was somewhat shocking considering the strength of both teams' defenses.

And those plays came rapidly.

Marshawn Lynch, in full Beast Mode, ran over a teammate and then outsped the 49ers to the corner of the end zone for a 40-yard TD, making it 10-10.

Kaepernick then was responsible for consecutive 22-yard gains, hitting Michael Crabtree, then rushing to the Seattle 28. His fumble on the next play was recovered by center Jonathan Goodwin, who even lumbered for 2 yards.

Anquan Boldin outleapt All-Pro safety Thomas on the next play for a 26-yard touchdown.

Then, Doug Baldwin, who played for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh at Stanford, stepped up - and through San Francisco's coverage - on a scintillating 69-yard kickoff return that made the stadium shake for the first time all day.

That set up Hauschka's 40-yard field goal. And a frantic finish.

Seattle took its first lead on Wilson's throw to Kearse with 13:44 left, and CenturyLink rocked again.

The place went silent soon after when Niners All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman sustained an ugly left knee injury midway and was carted off. Bowman, who was having a huge game, had forced a fumble at the San Francisco 1, but Lynch recovered.

The Seahawks had gotten their first turnover moments earlier when Cliff Avril stripped Kaepernick and Michael Bennett recovered. But Lynch and Wilson botched a handoff on fourth down on the play after Bowman's injury.

It took only two plays for Kam Chancellor to haul in Kaepernick's underthrow to Boldin, and Hauschka's 47-yarder ended the scoring.

But not the excitement.

Kaepernick, who rushed for 130 yards, got San Francisco to the Seattle 18 with his arm. But his pass for Crabtree was brilliantly tipped by Sherman to Smith.

"We knew it would come down to us in the back end to win this thing," Sherman said.

And now it's on to New Jersey, where Carroll once coached the Jets for a season. That didn't end well - he was fired so the team could hire Rich Kotite. He heads back with a chance to add a Super Bowl crown to two national titles as coach at Southern California.

  • Pro

    • Chiefs end Everett's nine game win streak

      The Spokane Chiefs pulled out the victory in back-and-forth game against the Everett Silvertips on Friday night, snapping Everett’s nine-game winning streak. Carolina Hurricanes prospect Hudson Elynuik led the way offensively with two goals – including the game-winner – and an assist.

    • Day 8 of National Finals Rodeo

      Chris Byers and Jake Jones recap the night in Las Vegas. They talk about what a struggle it was for Ty Erickson and how he might have lost his shot at the title. Then they talk about JR Vezain, who is hanging out close to the top of the standings. He will get a re-ride tomorrow. Jake talks about brody cress, the recent college grad, and how he has a shot at the title. Cress talks about not listening to the outside noise and focusing on his rides. Then, Jake and Chris talk about their ...

    • Winterhawks edge out Chiefs 4-2

      The Spokane Chiefs suffered a tough loss on Tuesday night as they fell to the visiting Portland Winterhawks, 4-2.

    • Chiefs unleash teddy bears and goals against Thunderbirds in 9-2 win

      Saturday night, the Spokane Chiefs held their annual Teddy Bear Toss night where they defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 9-2.

    • Chiefs fall at home to Rockets, 4-2

      With the Americans losing in regulation tonight, the Chiefs hold onto second place in the U.S. Division.

    • Sounders headed back to MLS Cup after 5-0 aggregate win over Dynamo

      The result means that the Sounders will, once again, take on Eastern Conference Champion Toronto FC with a chance to repeat on the line when the clubs meet for MLS Cup 2017 on Saturday, Dec. 9.

    • Nelson Cruz named winner of Outstanding DH Award

      Cruz led the American League with 119 RBIs while putting up a .288/.375/.549 slash line with 39 home runs in 155 games. He was fourth in the AL in home runs and fifth in slugging percentage and OPS.

    • Chiefs dominant in 6-2 win over the Blades

      The win pushed Spokane into second place in the U.S. Division, one point ahead of the Tri-City Americans. Spokane has now scored 32 goals in their last seven games.

    • Chiefs score 6 goals in win over Rockets

      Spokane Chiefs rookie forward Milos Fafrak picked up his first career WHL goal and Zach Fischer tallied a goal and an assist for the second-straight night on Wednesday

    • Sounders beat Dynamo 2-0 in Leg 1 of Western Conference Finals

      After Leg 1 of the Western Conference Championship, the Seattle Sounders are in the driver’s seat.

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/