Seahawks clinch NFC’s top seed with win

Seahawks Clinch Prime Seed In NFC

The Seahawks clinch house field throughout the NFC playoffs with a 27-9 win over the Rams.

Seahawks Clinch High Seed In NFC

 

SEATTLE – Once the doorways to the Seattle Seahawks' locker room opened, the music got here blaring out. Players danced whereas nonetheless in uniform and donned hats studying "NFC West Champions."

On their third attempt, the Seahawks lastly bought to rejoice after wrapping up the division title and residential-discipline benefit within the playoffs with a 27-9 win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

Having failed two occasions previously, Seattle ensured the highway to the Tremendous Bowl in the NFC goes via the Pacific Northwest.

"We will test the NFC West off our record," quarterback Russell Wilson said, "but we still have much more to do."

Malcolm Smith returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter to get Seattle began, Marshawn Lynch added a 2-yard scoring run in the second half and the Seahawks (13-3) matched the franchise document for wins in a season.

By doing so, the favorites within the NFC for most of the season finally wrapped up the No. 1 seed after losses to San Francisco and last week to Arizona, which snapped a 14-game residence profitable streak.

Seattle gained the hardest division in the NFL behind the league's finest protection. The Seahawks' house area remains to be feared, and they're going to host Green Bay, New Orleans or San Francisco within the divisional round in two weeks.

Seattle's mixed record at residence the past two seasons in opposition to those three teams: four-0.

"It is more of a sense of accomplishment," Smith said. "It might have been actually sad if we didn't get that finished, however we're completely satisfied to be within the position that we're in."

Wilson finished 15 of 23 for 172 yards. Lynch finished with ninety seven yards on 23 carries, his finest game since running for a season-greatest one hundred forty five yards against Atlanta in Week 10

Seattle capped the victory with a forty seven-yard landing pass from Wilson to Golden Tate early within the fourth quarter that lacked the unsportsmanlike wave that bought Tate flagged on an identical TD reception in St. Louis earlier this season. Tate finished with eight catches for 129 yards, both profession highs in his closing common-season game before he becomes a free agent.

But with house-area advantage wrapped up, there could be a few postseason video games still to come for Tate and the Seahawks.

"It is an superior feeling. It is an incredible feeling to really feel like you really helped in this game," Tate stated.

The one different time Seattle had house-field advantage was 2005, the only time the Seahawks have reached the Super Bowl. They'll get every week of relaxation before hosting in the divisional spherical, they usually may need the time off after a pair of key injuries Sunday to defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (groin) and tight end Luke Willson (leg).

Willson was taken off the sphere on a cart in the fourth quarter with an air solid on his leg. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the staff believes it's not broken. Still, the upcoming week off is required.

"I positively need it. I was getting smacked right now," Tate said.

Seattle's defense closed the season with one among its most interesting performances. It began with Smith's interception return for a landing per week after he was tackled at the 3-yard line trying to score on an interception return.

Nevertheless it went past simply the two interceptions Seattle grabbed to finish the season with a league-main 28. Led by Mebane, Seattle's line of defense flustered Kellen Clemens. Zac Stacy, who needed forty two yards speeding to achieve 1,000 on the season, was held to fifteen yards on 15 carries. The Rams had thirteen yards dashing, tied for the fewest allowed in Seattle history.

"They had about 9 guys down there within the box," Clemens said. "You solely have about seven or eight to block they usually did a good job."

Seattle also saved its cool while St. Louis was shedding its composure.

The Rams (7-9) have been penalized 12 instances for 87 yards. St. Louis was flagged for four personal foul penalties in the span of two performs late in the third quarter – two on Alec Ogletree and two on Kendall Langford.

Langford was flagged for making contact with an official, which appeared inadvertent. Langford was ejected and have become incensed, slamming his helmet to the turf as he left the sphere.

Two performs later Lynch walked in from the two, Seattle led 20-3 and the celebration was just getting began.

"This entire factor simply looks like a dream to me," Seattle safety Kam Chancellor mentioned. "It feels good proper now simply to see my brothers joyful."

Recreation notes

Tate became the first Seattle player with at the very least eight receptions in a recreation since

Doug Baldwin

in 2011… Rams P

Johnny Hekker

set an NFL record for web yards punting for a season. Hekker had a forty four.2 web average. The earlier report was 44.zero by San Francisco's

Andy Lee

in 2011… St. Louis DE

Robert Quinn

had one sack and completed with 19 for the season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Red Sox clinch first AL East title since 2007

With their postseason berth already secured on Thursday, the Boston Purple Sox turned proper round and clinched the AL East division title on Friday night time, officially locking themselves into the ALDS spherical, with a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Understandably, the Crimson Sox went for a extra subdued celebration on Thursday as that they had bigger fish to fry in the days ahead. However the champagne bottles had been popped on Friday because the staff reveled in the completion of their worst-to-first journey within the AL East. It is the primary division championship for Boston since 2007, and will mark their first appearance within the ALDS since 2009. A substantial drought given Boston’s success over the past 18 seasons.

Left-hander Jon Lester did many of the heavy lifting in the clinching victory, throwing seven innings of 1-run ball. He allowed only five hits whereas hanging out eight and reducing his submit all-star break PERIOD to 2,28. Sensational nearer Koji Uehera picked up a five-out save after arrange man Junichi Tazawa struggled to get by the eighth.

(Koji Uehara reacts after hanging out Brett Lawrie to finish the game. (USA Right this moment) Offensively, Mike Carp was the main supply of manufacturing going 1-for-three with a two-run single and bases loaded walk. Dustin Pedroia chipped in with three hits while Daniel Nava, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jackie Bradley Jr. each contributed two.

Obviously there’s so much to be ok with in Boston and the occasion probably won’t end until the wee hours of the morning. Based on this picture of Jonny Gomes, we want we had been there with them.

That mentioned, there’s nonetheless some work to be accomplished over the ultimate 9 days. The Purple Sox presently personal a three game benefit over the Oakland A’s for the very best record in the AL at ninety four-61. Home subject benefit in baseball is not as essential as different sports activities, notably in the postseason, but it surely’s a pleasant edge to have when a series extends to a deciding fifth or seventh recreation.

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Dodgers clinch NL West, complete worst-to-first turnaround

(Getty Pictures)

Much just like the season of the 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers, their NL West-clinching victory on Thursday required them to claw back. But these Dodgers are nothing if not resilient, a high quality they’ve shown in their worst-to-first turnaround, they usually beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6.

It is the Dodgers’ first NL West crown since 2009, they usually’re the first group this season to clinch a playoff spot. Not unhealthy for a staff that was in last place in June.

Hanley Ramirez, in the lineup for less than the second time within the last seven days, put the Dodgers forward 3-zero with a three-run homer within the third inning, then the Diamondbacks roared back with a six-run third inning off Dodgers starter Ricky Nolasco. The Dodgers — particularly Ramirez — wouldn’t be denied and crept back. Ramirez hit another homer within the seventh to tie the game at 6, a part of his 4-for-5, four RBI day.

Then, within the eighth inning, Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis had the clutch hit of the day, sending a Josh Collmenter pitch into the left field stands for the go-forward homer. The Dodgers’ bullpen did the rest as Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen set the D-backs down in order in eighth and ninth, respectively.

The win completes a surprising about-face for the Dodgers, the crew with the $239 million opening day payroll, that tanked at season’s begin. Let us not overlook that the Dodgers spent the whole month of June in last place within the NL West. At their worst, they had been 12 games under500, 30-forty two and 9 half video games again from first place. That was June 21.

At the beginning of the July, the Dodgers started a hot streak that will be the thing of legend in L.A. for years to come back. They went 19-6 in July, then 23-6 in August. With their victory Thursday, the Dodgers (88-65) have managed to go fifty eight-23 since their most dismal point.

While we wait to see how far these Dodgers can go, having now remodeled themselves into World Collection favorites, their last-to-first comeback by itself stands as some of the memorable tales of the 2013 baseball season.

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Pirates clinch first winning season since 1992 after masterful performance by Gerrit Cole

For 20 depressing seasons the Pittsburgh Pirates were the losingest losers in American professional sports activities. No more. Not after Monday evening, when the Bucs beat the Texas Rangers 1-0 and gained their 82nd game of the season.

In doing so, the Pirates clinched their first winning season since 1992, back in the Barry Bonds/Andy Van Slyke period. The profitable season is not quite a surprise. The Pirates are one of the prime teams in the National League this yr, virtually certainly playoff-bound. The one question, really, was once they’d attain win No. 82. Pittsburgh had sat on eighty one for 4 games, including a 3-game weekend sweep by the NL Central-rival St. Louis Cardinals.

To bust that losing streak, the Pirates turned on Monday to a young star who was 2 years previous the final time the Pirates had been winners. That’s Gerrit Cole, their prime younger pitcher, who pitched seven innings of three-hit, zero-run ball. He struck out nine and got the win in his greatest begin since joining the Pirates in July.

The Pirates needed to beat a Cy Younger-caliber pitcher to notch No. 82, Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers. He was his regular powerful-to-hit self, however the Pirates obtained their lone run in the seventh inning when Marlon Byrd doubled then Pedro Alvarez knocked him dwelling with another double.

(USA Right now)

When the final out of Monday’s recreation was recorded — Neil Walker tossing A.J. Pierzynski out on a grounder to second base — Pirates star Andrew McCutchen opened his arms extensive in the outfield, as if he had been thanking the next power. He knew what this meant to his franchise, to its followers.

“Pirates followers, your long national nightmare is over,” Pirates TV announcer Greg Brown stated.

But this yr’s Pirates have their eyes set on something greater than only a profitable season. And that dream is not over. In reality, it is getting even more exciting. Ain’t that right, Pirates followers?

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Happy Hour: Keselowski’s dilemma, Cup drivers in Nationwide and Jimmie’s Chase clinch

Should Keselowski have pulled a podcast and used the Chrome Horn? (Getty)

Does Michigan I really feel like it was longer than two months in the past to anyone else? I believe that Pocono’s two races being shut collectively has one thing to do with it, because it’s the one track on the circuit that has its races closer collectively than Michigan’s.

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This weekend is our closing street course race of the season for either the Cup or Nationwide Series because the junior circuit takes on Mid-Ohio. (The Truck Sequence will probably be at MoSport on Labor Day weekend.) We’ll miss you, vehicles on street programs.

This week we have some great things. Let’s start, shall we?

I’ve watched NASCAR since 1997. I keep in mind the nice ole days when drivers actually had a personality about all the things, whether it be about the tracks, drivers, or the race itself. With NASCAR fining all people for his or her opinions is actually hurting the sport more than helping it, especially when they fined Hamlin this yr for his opinion on the Gen 6 automobile. My wife and I have been discussing about retaliations in the sport.

Granted we don’t condone what Kyle did to Hornaday at Texas two or three years in the past, however drivers must be allowed to bump someone out of the way in which and be the “BULLY” with out being penalized anymore. On to the points system, NASCAR must scrap this chase. Drivers are coasting each week, particularly those which might be in danger of missing the chase, i.e. Gordon, Kahne, Newman. Drivers are not going for wins and being aggressive anymore and that’s hurting the sport trigger drivers have to push the problem. Keselowski not racing Kyle more durable at Watkins Glen isn’t how the game must be. What happened to the time where you had Labonte and Earnhardt racing robust to the line at Atlanta or Gordon and Harvick at Atlanta in 01 or Craven and Kurt grinding on one another at Darlington for the closest finish in NASCAR history?

If NASCAR fixes the sport the place drivers could be vocal and do what they do without penalization except in actual harmful conditions, then the game would be popular again. Not this three man race for the wins this year that Johnson, Kenseth, and Kyle are doing. I wanna see the chase scraped and the outdated points system again in place the place its from Daytona to Homestead with the 43 point system. You’d have higher racing than you’d at the moment.
– Matt

Matt, when you’re looking for something guilty Keselowski’s dilemma at Watkins Glen on, you could not must look a lot further than the Chase. Why? As a result of the approaching closing 10 races not solely heightens the significance of a win for Keselowski, but also the implications of getting paid again by Busch.

Under the outdated points system, Keselowski is solely frightened about finishing the year within the prime 10 as high as he can. The championship is likely an afterthought. However since he’s nonetheless in competition regardless of being at the back of the top 10, foresight is closely required.

Did Keselowski do the fitting thing? Finally, given the circumstances of final year and the Chase, he seemingly did. Nevertheless, that is such a grey state of affairs with four races left to determine the 12 drivers to battle for the championship, we’re not going to know until after Richmond. And even then, it will be a case of hindsight being 20/20.

_____________________

After Kyle Busch received his trillionth nationwide race at Indianapolis, I started fascinated with the way to discourage Cup drivers from driving within the Nationwide sequence. I think I have figured it out. Make a rule that a Cup driver can only earn prize cash in Cup. That means, they might not earn anything. That, I think, should discourage Cup regulars from operating Nationwide races. Thoughts?
– Jason

I’m fully on board with what Geoffrey Miller has introduced on the Chrome Horn podcast. Let the Cup drivers run the Nationwide Series, but make them begin behind the pack.

Yes, they’ll be up 10 spots by the end of lap one because of the start and parks and sluggish cars behind the pack, however it’ll add an element of pleasure to the racing and permit Nationwide solely drivers to run up entrance by themselves for no less than a short time.

Will it forestall Cup drivers from profitable? No. Will it hinder it? I feel so. The Nationwide Collection needs its personal to be leading and successful. When these own are beginning on equal footing (at greatest) to Cup drivers, that’s really powerful.

_____________________

So I’ve to ask…. why has nobody (on Yahoo sports) mentioned anything about Vader clinching a chase play off spot? I read about it on the Lowes racing web page (yeah, I’m a forty eight fan) but have seen nothing on the Yahoo web site.

Or did I just miss it?
– Tim

BREAKING NEWS: Jimmie Johnson has clinched at the least a wild card spot for the Chase. Wait, that’s not likely breaking news? I apologize for not addressing it straight in Energy Rankings this week, but bear in mind, that is the motive force who has raised a authentic risk of skipping a race before the Chase if needed. As Daughtry would say, this is no surprise.

Unlike most of the NASCAR followers that comment on varied web sites, I used to be actually round during the “Golden Age”? of NASCAR. There was a totally completely different dynamic happening, with an immense gap between the “manufacturing unit” cars and the independents. In addition, only a handful of groups actually contended for the championship, especially up till the time when the schedule was lowered and the one hundred mile occasions were eliminated. As you pointed out, many races had been received by laps, not seconds or fractions thereof.

This is not to say that it was unexciting in the least. In essence, one watched the race otherwise, as you watch a method one race in a different way than an off-road rally, or a sports activities automotive race and a mud-observe dash.
I imagine that a giant part of the nostalgia for the “outdated days” was the make-up of the racers themselves. Most had been merchandise of the depression and world conflict two who would otherwise be farmers or factory workers (sure, Individuals made things in those days) and not suburban children nurtured and developed from childhood in go-carts by dad and mom with the means to take action.

It was, in impact, a grittier sport again then, with out cool-suits, energy steering, and pit crews comprised of effectively-skilled specialists. It was like soccer played within the rain on a chilly, muddy discipline as opposed to a recreation performed on AstroTurf inside of a climate-managed dome.

Differences apart, skill, talent, and chemistry prevail. Indubitably, racing is a crew sport. Most drivers and teams have their best successes when circumstances and people mix in a approach that “clicks”. Richard & Maurice Petty & Dale Inman. The Wood Brothers. Junior Johnson and Herb Nab.

Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham. Tony and Zippy. Harry Hyde with Bobby Isaac and later with Tim Richmond. Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt. And high on that listing needs to be Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus.

Yes, their success has come within the Chase era, but what of it? They have won a tremendous number of races in those years, with no signal of letting up. And whereas NASCAR has solely itself to blame for the perception that they seem to favor some groups over others, I can’t envision a conspiracy large enough to supply 5 championships to at least one team that would remain clandestine. They’re that good.

This shouldn’t be a ringing endorsement of NASCAR racing as it is right now. It’s now not my favorite form of motorsports; perhaps my tastes have changed. Still, to deny expertise and success due to one’s dislike of outcomes is absurd and, frankly, immature. I don’t have to like Kyle Busch in order to acknowledge his expertise. I am free to benefit from his failures – in sports it’s as important to have somebody to root towards as it’s to root for. As a youngster in 1969, I cringed every time that LeeRoy Yarbrough and Junior Johnson won a race. And whereas part of Junior’s genius lay in finding the, shall we say, gray areas of the rulebook, their success that yr was large. I can today assume back about LeeRoy and admire him for that particular yr when he thrashed all of my favorite drivers, and really feel good that, as a human being, he had his second in the solar earlier than his life unraveled so tragically.

And while I’m with regards to perspective, let’s study the uneven success price of open-wheel racers who have moved to NASCAR. Sam Hornish, Jr., an enormous success in Indy Automotive, has had a horrible time transitioning, only turning into adept in the past year and a half. Dario Franchitti had a depressing run in NASCAR. For every Tony Stewart, there have been dozens of open-wheelers who have been unsuccessful in stock cars. Danica Patrick was not a high-tier driver in Indy Automobile on level with Franchitti or Dixon, however was a strong high-seven driver most of her career. Her present struggles do not diminish the fact of her accomplishments. Any driver, just to be able to compete at the professional degree of motorsports, must be tremendously skilled. The reflexes and concentration required to run even at the back of the pack are past the degrees most of us are able to. Scott Pruett, probably the most profitable racer within the Grand-Am collection, never was capable of obtain a lot in NASCAR. How many railbirds on the market that claim that they might do better than Patrick think that they might fill in for Pruett as properly?

Patrick has used her seems and femininity to advance her profession. To ascertain oneself in any sport, one makes use of any benefit one may possess. In a sport dependent on big sponsorships, the manipulation of ones belongings to advantage is critical for survival. Michael Waltrip, not so gifted as his elder brother, managed a protracted profession with his humorousness, appears, and geniality. Right now, he is the owner of the quickest rising racing group in the sport. Ought to he be ashamed of his success? Patrick has brains, expertise, seems to be, and savvy. Sufficient to make us odd of us jealous and resentful, it appears.
- John

The “corporate age” of racing has its trade-offs. Sponsors (and teams) with deep pockets have allowed groups to be extraordinarily competitive. However, these sponsors and groups have had their drivers undergo media coaching and learn how to signify the company that represents them accordingly.

Money modifications things for sports. And life. It’s a easy truth. Look no further than the NFL. If you suppose that NASCAR personalities aren’t what they used to be, what do you consider one more NFL crackdown on celebrations?