Ryan's Place

Sunday, January 22, 2006


From NFL.com:

Fans chanted "Super Bowl, Super Bowl" as Shaun Alexander carried the NFC championship trophy down the field at Qwest Stadium, a joyous trip that was 30 years in the making.

Alexander, a killer defense and playing on a field where they didn't lose this season, all combined perfectly to help the Seahawks rout the Carolina Panthers 34-14 in the NFC title game.

"I think we got people excited about football again here in the Pacific Northwest," coach Mike Holmgren said. "They're all coming to Detroit with us; everybody in the stadium's coming. They were great for us all year. Home-field advantage in this place means everything."

In this case, it means the Seahawks (15-3) will meet the Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-17 winners against Denver in the AFC, in the Super Bowl. That game will be played Feb. 5 at Detroit's Ford Field.

Alexander, the league's MVP, came back from a concussion he suffered last week to rush for a team playoff-record 132 yards and two touchdowns, and Seattle pressured Carolina stars Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith into oblivion.

"We have an unbelievable team, an unbelievable group of fans," Alexander said. "Prayer works. I get knocked out and guys step up. One guy goes down and another guy steps up."

The Seahawks picked off three passes in winning their 12th consecutive home game and shattering the fifth-seeded Panthers' stunning postseason road run.

"We're not done yet," said quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who was a precise 20-for-28 for 219 yards and two scores. "We've got another game we've got to go win."

A game the Seahawks approached only once, before losing the 1984 AFC Championship Game to Oakland. A dozen years later, then-owner Ken Behring was planning a move to Los Angeles.

But current owner Paul Allen stepped in, eventually getting Qwest Field built. And Holmgren, now the fifth coach to take two franchises to the Super Bowl, put together the NFC's best team.

"We've come a long way, it's taken five years to put this group together," Alexander said. "Now we are one of the elite teams."


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