Marshawn Lynch ran for 140 yards and scored the game-clinching touchdown to help the top-seeded Seattle Seahawks beat the No. 6 seed New Orleans Saints, 23-15, in the NFC divisional round of the NFL playoffs on Jan. 11 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

The Saints ended their season with a 12-6 record, while the Seahawks (14-3) advanced to the NFC Conference Championship. They’ll host the winner of the Jan. 12 divisional round game between the No. 5 seed San Francisco 49ers and No. 2 seed Carolina Panthers.

Lynch scored on a 31-yard touchdown run that gave the Seahawks a 23-8 lead late in the fourth quarter. But the Saints cut the score to 23-15 when quarterback Drew Brees completed a nine-yard touchdown pass to receiver Marques Colston. New Orleans then successfully executed an onside kick, recovering the football with one last chance to tie the game. But with less than 30 seconds left and no timeouts, the Saints ran out of time before they could enter scoring range.

Lynch’s 140 yards on 28 carries set a new playoff record for the Seahawks; he also finished with two touchdowns.

Seahawks second-year quarterback Russell Wilson completed 9-of-18 passes for 103 yards and threw neither a touchdown nor an interception.

Brees struggled early with the rainy, windy conditions in Seattle, passing for a career-low 35 yards in the first half. But he picked up his game in the second half and completed a total of 24-of-43 passes for 309 yards and a touchdown. Colston led all receivers with 11 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown. Rookie running back Khiry Robinson led the Saints with 57 yards and a touchdown, the first rushing touchdown scored in Seattle this season.


Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor