SEATTLE — In a lighter moment with reporters this week, Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner promised that he would keep Richard Sherman from getting an interception in his return to CenturyLink Field, even though the two former teammates would never be on the field at the same time together.
Wagner joked that he would sneak in from the sideline and swipe the ball out of Sherman’s hands if it came to that.
Instead, Wagner jumped in front of a Nick Mullens pass near the goal line and returned his interception 98 yards for a touchdown that put a final stamp on the Seahawks’ blowout victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
The rout had been on long before that. By the time the Seahawks headed into the locker room with a 17-point halftime lead, the only remaining drama was reduced to this:
Would Russell Wilson throw in Sherman’s directions after none of his first six attempts went towards his former teammate?
What else — if anything — did Seattle’s receivers have in the works after three first-half touchdown celebrations, including one that paid tribute to Sherman’s famous tip?
It was that kind of afternoon for the now 7-5 Seahawks. It keeps them on the path to a wild card spot that is looking more and more attainable. Projections from ESPN’s Football Power Index gave the Seahawks a 78.3 percent chance to make the playoffs heading into this game, good for the fifth-best mark in the NFC right behind the 7-5 Dallas Cowboys at 80.4 percent.
This was not a game where anyone was going to learn much about the Seahawks. Not against a two-win team playing on the road with a third-string quarterback. It was a take-care-of-business game and the Seahawks took care of business with another one of Wilson’s more efficient games.
He only had to throw 17 times with the way the Seahawks remained in complete control throughout. He completed 11 of those passes for 185 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Sherman’s much-anticipated return to Seattle didn’t produce much on-field excitement after his comments earlier in the week showed some lingering displeasure over the team’s decision to release him last offseason. On one of the few times Wilson threw in Sherman’s direction, Doug Baldwin broke a Sherman tackle for a 21-yard gain.
Wagner led Seattle with 11 tackles and had a sack as the Seahawks got to Mullens early and often. It was a change from last week, when Seattle managed only one official hit on Cam Newton and no sacks.