Advancing in the NFL playoffs is always a joyous occasion.
After a 23-15 victory over New Orleans in the NFC Divisional playoffs on Saturday at CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks have now won a game in the postseason in three of coach Pete Carroll’s first four seasons.
Naturally, the Seattle locker room was full of glee and happy faces. Defensive linemen Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane grabbed hands and began dancing in a circle, almost like in a game of “Ring Around the Rosie.”
The music was loud. Players were willing to address the mass amount of questions coming from reporters, most answering with pointed responses.
* Wide receiver Percy Harvin, who left the game late in the first half with an apparent head injury, was seen walking through the locker room coming up to teammates and nodding his head, as if to say he would be OK.
* The outside-zone play Marshawn Lynch scored his 31-yard touchdown run on was something new put into the game plan this week.
“All the (University of) Washington fans know it as ‘God’s play.'” Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse said.
An ex-UW receiver, Kearse was referring to Chris Polk’s 1-yard touchdown run on fourth down in a key victory at California late in the 2010 season that helped send the Huskies to a bowl game.
* Defensive end Michael Bennett continued to terrorize the Saints. He returned a fumble 22 yards in the Seahawks’ 34-7 victory Dec. 2. And he not only forced a fumble on the Saints’ third drive Saturday, he recovered it, too, at the New Orleans 24-yard line – setting up Lynch’s 15-yard touchdown run.
Of his six tackles, Bennett had a tackle for loss, shared a quarterback sack and forced two fumbles.
“I think I’ve been underrated my whole life,” Bennett said. “But this is what keeps me going, honestly, just being able to go out there and know that I am a good player and whatever they think, it doesn’t even matter.”