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Seattle at Tennessee

Seahawks secure first-round bye, aim for home field throughout

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Seattle Seahawks don't want to worry about what any other team in the NFL is doing.

With each victory, they are closer to making that reality.

Matt Hasselbeck threw three touchdown passes, including a 2-yarder to Darrell Jackson in the fourth quarter, and the Seahawks rallied for a 28-24 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday that clinched a first-round bye for the NFC West champions.

Seattle (12-2) won its 10th straight for the first time in team history and also matched the 1984 squad for most victories in a season.

The Seahawks had a chance to wrap up home-field advantage in the playoffs -- another club first -- on Sunday night, but NFC North-leading Chicago beat Atlanta in the late game to improve to 10-4.

"Our goal right now is to get the first-round bye," Hasselbeck said. "We got it. Our next goal is to play at home. If Chicago takes care of business, great. If they don't, that's fine too. ... Instead of rooting for teams, it's been nice not to have to worry about teams."

Hasselbeck finished with 285 yards as the Seahawks beat the Titans (4-10) for the fifth straight time in their first meeting since 1998.

Shaun Alexander also ran for a touchdown, giving him an NFL-best 24, and became only the fifth player in NFL history to rush for 1,600 yards in consecutive seasons. He finished with 26 carries for 172 yards.

"It's great to know I'm going to be in the second round of the playoffs," Alexander said. "This is a new door for us, but it's something we've been preparing for for a long time, so we're really excited."

The Titans weren't happy with coming up close. They have lost five games by eight points or less this season.

"I'm not going to sit here and say we're four points behind a team that's got the best record in the NFC," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. "I can tell you this: I'm proud of the fight and proud of everything I got out of our football team."

The Seahawks had to work a little harder in this game after blowing out Philadelphia and San Francisco the previous two weeks.

Steve McNair, playing perhaps his final game in The Coliseum with a $50 million bonus due in the offseason, chewed up one of the NFL's better defenses by attacking a secondary missing three defensive backs to injury.

He led the Titans to 24 straight points and a 24-14 lead midway through the third quarter. He threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns, and Jarrett Payton also ran for a TD.

The Titans had a chance to pad their lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter, after keeping the drive alive with a fake punt for a 26-yard completion. Facing fourth-and-1 at the Seattle 6, Chris Brown tried to run right and was stopped for a 1-yard loss.

Hasselbeck responded with a 13-play, 93-yard drive that ended when Jackson scored the go-ahead touchdown with 8:59 to go. Jackson, who missed time with a knee injury, was playing and starting for the first time since Seattle started this winning streak on Oct. 2.

That left the Titans plenty of time, but McNair threw incomplete on a pass on fourth-and-2 at the Seattle 34.

"Teams like us, who haven't had as many wins, we kind of stumble a little bit to try to make some plays instead of keeping our composure as well," Titans tight end Ben Troupe said.

Seattle started the game where it left off after winning by a combined score of 83-3 in the previous two games. The Seahawks outgained Tennessee 195-24 on offense with Alexander rushing for 87 yards on his first eight carries.

Then Tennessee's Antwan Odom sliced through the line and blocked a 36-yard field goal attempt by Josh Brown early in the second. McNair moved the Titans on three straight drives of at least 78 yards that gave them a 21-14 lead early in the third.


  • Hasselbeck hasn't been intercepted in six road games this season, a stretch of 177 passing attempts.
  • Jackson finished with six catches for 72 yards.
  • McNair's second TD pass put him over 3,000 yards passing for the fifth time in his career and fourth in the past five seasons. The quarterback also wished his wife, Mechelle, a happy birthday on the Jumbotron.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Shaun Alexander: The fifth player in NFL history to rush for 1,600 yards in consecutive years.
Shaun Alexander: The fifth player in NFL history to rush for 1,600 yards in consecutive years. (Getty Images)


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Sun. Dec. 18Final
Scoring Summary
TDJerramy Stevens, 22 Yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Josh Brown kick is good), 11:35. Drive: 8 plays, 70 yards in 3:25.
TDShaun Alexander, 1 Yd run (Josh Brown kick is good), 5:54. Drive: 6 plays, 79 yards in 3:00.
TDJarrett Payton, 3 Yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good), 6:05. Drive: 12 plays, 84 yards in 7:43.
TDDrew Bennett, 4 Yd pass from Steve McNair (Rob Bironas kick is good), 0:04. Drive: 11 plays, 84 yards in 2:14.
TDDrew Bennett, 14 Yd pass from Steve McNair (Rob Bironas kick is good), 10:55. Drive: 9 plays, 78 yards in 4:05.
FGRob Bironas 38 Yd, 6:14. Drive: 7 plays, 60 yards in 2:20.
TDJoe Jurevicius, 4 Yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Josh Brown kick is good), 4:51. Drive: 3 plays, 83 yards in 1:23.
TDDarrell Jackson, 2 Yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Josh Brown kick is good), 8:59. Drive: 13 plays, 93 yards in 5:54.
Players of the Game

S. McNair
Att 38
Comp 23
Yds 310
TD 2

S. Alexander
Rush 26
Yds 172
Avg 6.6
TD 1
M. Hasselbeck21/2728530
S. Alexander26172152
D. Jackson1707
M. Morris1303
M. Hasselbeck5105
B. Engram695056
D. Jackson672123
J. Stevens453122
J. Jurevicius331115
M. Strong120020
M. Morris114014
S. McNair23/3831020
C. Hentrich1/12600
C. Brown205609
S. McNair213011
J. Payton3914
D. Bennett1303
B. Troupe6116035
D. Bennett893221
C. Roby354032
D. Nickey126026
T. Calico325011
B. Scaife21307
J. Payton1909
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
GB 3 Final
BAL 48
ATL 3 Final
CHI 16
PHI 17 Final
STL 16
CLE 9 Final
CIN 41 Final
DET 17
DAL 7 Final
WAS 35
CAR 27 Final
NO 10
PIT 18 Final
NYJ 20 Final
MIA 24
SF 9 Final
JAC 10
SD 26 Final
IND 17
ARI 19 Final
HOU 30
DEN 28 Final
BUF 17
KC 17 Final
NYG 27
TB 0 Final
NE 28