Shaun Alexander and Darrell Jackson put their names into Seattle's record books, and for the first time in 20 years the Seahawks made the playoffs for a second straight season.
Shaun Alexander and Darrell Jackson put their names into Seattle’s record books, and for the first time in 20 years the Seahawks made the playoffs for a second straight season.
Alexander rushed 30 times for 154 yards with three touchdowns and Jackson caught six passes for 101 yards receiving, leading Seattle to a 24-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals today.
With the victory, the Seahawks (8-7) secured no worse than a wild-card, and they’ll win the NFC West and get a first-round playoff game at home if Philadelphia beats St. Louis on Monday night.
It’s the first time Seattle has made the playoffs in consecutive years since 1983-84.
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Seattle, though, has infamously collapsed late in several games this season, and the Cardinals (5-10) sure made things interesting again before being eliminated from playoff contention.
Josh McCown threw a pair of 29-yard TD strikes to Larry Fitzgerald in the fourth quarter, pulling the Cardinals to 24-21 with 2:30 to play. He also found Fitzgerald for a score with 11:32 remaining.
Neil Rackers was wide left on a 52-yard field goal attempt midway through the period for Arizona, or things could have turned out much differently.
McCown completed 21-of-33 for 248 yards with three TD passes and two interceptions for Arizona.
The Cardinals almost got one final chance. On third-and-6 from the 24, Trent Dilfer fled the pocket under pressure and scrambled for a 7-yard gain that took the clock to the 2-minute warning.
From there, all Dilfer needed to do was take a knee to run out the clock.
Alexander has a career-high 1,616 yards rushing this season, breaking Chris Warren’s 1994 franchise record of 1,545. His 19 TDs also are a franchise mark, beating the 18 he set two years ago.
Jackson, meanwhile, has 84 receptions, breaking the franchise record of 81 by Brian Blades in 1994. His 1,186 yards receiving this season also is a career-high, and he’s reached the 5,000-yard mark in 76 games.
That’s two games faster than any other receiver in franchise history. Hall of Famer Steve Largent reached the mark in 78 games. He broke Blades’ record on an exciting 53-yard catch-and-run in the third quarter.
Alexander scored on runs of 1 and 17 yards to help the Seahawks to a 17-7 lead late in the third quarter, and he found an open seam behind center Robbie Tobeck to break a 23-yard TD run that made it 24-7 only 10 seconds into the fourth period.
The Seahawks won without quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, limited to one day of practice after hurting his right elbow on a sack in last weekend’s loss to the New York Jets. Dilfer completed 10-of-26 for 128 yards with one interception.
The Seahawks woke up after a slow start offensively. Bobby Engram’s 48-yard punt return midway through the second period put Seattle at Arizona’s 20, leading to Alexander’s first TD.
Alexander was stopped short of the goal line and fumbled, but reeled the ball back in the end zone. Seattle led 10-7 at the break, closing the half with a 34-yard field goal by Josh Brown as time expired.
The Cardinals led 7-0 in the first quarter when McCown threw a 31-yard TD strike to Anquan Boldin. Then the Arizona offense went flat in the second period, generating only one first down.