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Players of the game

Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander — 30 carries for 154 yards and three touchdowns.

Seahawks WR Darrell Jackson — six catches for 101 yards.

Seahawks FS Ken Hamlin — game-high 10 tackles, sack, forced fumble, three passes defensed.

Seahawks E Chike Okeafor — nine tackles, two sacks, forced fumble.

Arizona WR Anquan Boldin — seven catches for 107 yards and one touchdown.

Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald — four catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns.

Arizona LB Gerald Hayes — eight tackles and a forced fumble.

Play of the game

Facing a first-and-20 early at the Arizona 23 in the fourth quarter, Alexander took a handoff off the right side, cut back toward the middle and finished in the left half of the end zone for his third rushing touchdown. It gave Seattle the 24-7 cushion necessary to hang on for the win.

Turning point

Statistically, Seahawks QB Trent Dilfer didn’t do anything extraordinary. But on a third-and-six late in the fourth quarter, he made the scramble that may have saved the season. Dilfer shook CB Duane Starks on the play and rumbled 7 yards up the left sideline for a first down. Three kneels later, the game ended.

Sunday’s surprises

Seahawks: WR Bobby Engram isn’t known for his punt-returning prowess, but his 48-yard return in the second quarter set up the Seahawks’ first TD.

Arizona: RB Emmitt Smith previously set two of his multitude of rushing records against the Seahawks. But the banged-up Seattle defense held him to 65 yards on 23 carries — and no touchdowns.

Injury report

Seahawks: FB Mack Strong left in the second quarter with a thigh bruise. Heath Evans played the rest of the game at fullback. … QB Matt Hasselbeck did not start because of an elbow injury. … LT Walter Jones limped off the field in the third quarter with a lower left leg injury. He went to the locker room for X-rays, which turned out negative. … SS Michael Boulware left in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury, and had an X-ray. He said his ankle felt OK.

Cardinals: LT Leonard Davis left in the third quarter with a knee injury.

By the numbers

0: points allowed by the Seahawks in the second and third quarters.

3: fumbles by Arizona QB Josh McCown.

0: fumbles the Cardinals lost.

27: percentage both teams converted on third downs.

Speaker box

“It feels great, I’m not even going to lie. The blood, sweat and tears that we have been going through. Now, we have a chance to do something special when we get in the playoffs.”
— Engram, on clinching a playoff berth.

Greg Bishop