Ryan's Place

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Seahawks Beat Colts 28-13, Clinch HFA; Alexander Ties Record



From NFL.com:

Tony Dungy got three hours of comfort.

Seattle got home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Seahawks' NFL rushing leader Shaun Alexander ran for 139 yards and scored three touchdowns -- including a rare TD receiving -- to tie Priest Holmes' NFL record of 27 touchdowns in a season. That helped the Seahawks clinch NFC home-field advantage with a 28-13 victory over the injured, resting and reflective Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts (13-2), who already own home field in the AFC playoffs, were without Dungy. Their coach is in Tampa, Fla., where his son died in an apparent suicide.

Indianapolis players wore decals with black horseshoes on the backs of their helmets. The initials JD were inside, also inscribed in black. And a capacity crowd of 67,855 observed a moment of silence for the Dungy family before the 11th consecutive win for Seattle (13-2).

When the ceremony concluded, the scene turned into another normal NFL game day. The home crowd heartily booed the visitors.

"Then, it was just a normal game," Colts receiver Brandon Stokley said. "We knew that was the way it was going to be."

Immediately after it, Dungy called team president Bill Polian.

"It was right away, no sooner than I got in here," Polian said inside a Colts locker room that was subdued but not entirely devoid of banter.

Polian said Dungy "sounded good" and referred to watching the game as an escape from his tragic week.

"He watched all of it and said it helped him to root the team on," Polian said. "He wanted the players to know how proud he was of their effort."

Peyton Manning, when asked if there was a difference in the locker room without Dungy, said, "Not really."

"I think everyone had coach Dungy and his family on our minds," Manning said. "Our prayers are with him. But when you are out there playing, then you are out there trying to do your job."

Colts safety Mike Doss said: "I'm just glad we could give him some comfort for three hours."

Polian said one of the first things Dungy told him was, "Now I understand why you get so frustrated watching."

"Then he starting talking a bit about some of the officiating calls," Polian said, smiling and shaking his head.

But officiating had little to do with this one.

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