The Seahawks forced three late turnovers and rallied from an early 10-0 defecit to beat their rival San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field and earn a berth in Super Bowl XLVIII.
They will face the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in the final game of the season.
The Seahawks have only been in the Super Bowl one other time in franchise history, in 2005 when they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Detroit.
The 2013 team will be looking to bring the Lombardi Trophy to Seattle for the first time in franchise history.
The Seahawks started the game on the wrong foot when Russell Wilson fumbled the ball in his own red zone on the first play of the game. The 49ers recovered at Seattle’s 15 and took over both possession and momentum.
The Seahawks defense played solid with their backs against the walls and forced San Francisco to kick a 25-yard field goal, rather than score a touchdown.
Those three points proved to be the only points scored in the first quarter, which saw some brutal hits on both sides of the football. The physicality set the tone for both teams and it was clear that the winner of the game was not going to earn a trip to the Super Bowl so easily.
Eleven seconds into the second quarter, the 49ers scored a touchdown, an Anthony Dixon run that capped a nine play, 86-yard drive. It gave San Francisco a 10-0 lead and seemed to suck the air out of CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks responded by driving the ball all the way to San Francisco’s 14-yard line on their next possession, but they were forced to settle with a field goal to make it a 10-3 game.
The first score of the third quarter came when Marshawn Lynch rushed for a 40-yard score, the longest touchdown run the 49ers had allowed all season.
That tied things up at 10 but San Francisco countered with an 83-yard drive that ended in a TD pass from Colin Kaepernick to Anquan Boldin. The Seahawks kicked a field goal on their next possession and the score was 17-13 Niners. Kaepernick finished the game with 153 passing yards and 130 rushing yards.
Seattle regained the lead with 2:47 left in the third, a clutch touchdown pass from Wilson to Jermaine Kearse that gave the Seahawks a 20-17 lead, one they would not relinquish.
They kicked another field goal in the fourth and held off a 49ers rally to capture a 23-17 win and a berth in the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks and 49ers both finished with 308 total yards, but Seattle won the turnover battle and forced three turnovers in the final minutes of the game. One was a fumble recovery, and the last two were interceptions, the last of which sealed the victory.
Wilson had 215 passing yards and a touchdown. Doug Baldwin had six catches for 106 yards and Lynch had 109 rushing yards and a touchdown. He was the first player to have a 100+ rushing yard game against the 49ers this season.
The Seahawks scored 20 points in the second half.