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Seahawks steam into playoffs, crushing Cardinals 36-6


TRIBUNE PHOTO: MICHAEL WORKMAN - Seattle Seahawks fullback Will Tukuafu, from the University of Oregon, scores on a 7-yard touchdown catch, his first reception of the season, in a 36-6 victory Sunday at Arizona.The Seattle Seahawks are going into the NFL playoffs off a 36-6 victory on the road Sunday against NFC West champion Arizona.

Seattle distanced itself early from the Cardinals, surging to a 30-6 halftime lead at Glendale, Ariz.

Seattle will visit Minnesota in the first round of the NFL playoffs at 10 a.m. PT Sunday (KGW 8). The Vikings (10-5) won the NFC North Division on Sunday night with a 20-13 win over the Green Bay Packers (10-5) at Lambeau Field.

Quarterback Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes to break the team single-season record. Wilson’s 34 TD tosses snapped the mark of 32 set by Dave Krieg in 1984. Wilson also became the first Seattle QB to pass for more than 4,000 yards in a season; he was 19 of 28 for 197 yards, with no interceptions, before taking a seat with 4,024 passing yards this year.

Rookie Tyler Lockett tormented the Cardinals on special teams, returning four punts for 139 yards in the first half and setting a team record for punt return yardage in a game.

Christine Michael ran for 102 yards on 17 carries, with a long run of 45 yards.

Doug Baldwin caught a team-high five passes for 46 yards but did not score.

Seattle finished 10-6, gaining its fourth consecutive season of 10 or more regular-season wins.

Arizona goes into the postseason with a 13-3 record, 6-2 at home.

The Seahawks also ended the regular season on a five-game road winning streak, after dropping its first three away games, two in overtime.

Seattle drove 88 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown on its first possession. The Hawks had a 10-6 lead when Wilson hit fullback Will Tukuafu, a former University of Oregon defensive lineman, out of the backfield with a 7-yard floater for a touchdown.

Lockett’s 66-yard punt return set up Wilson for an 8-yard TD pass to Chase Coffman that broke Krieg’s record and gave Seattle a 24-6 lead.

Lockett’s 42-yard runback led to another Wilson touchdown throw, a 24-yarder to Jermaine Kearse.

Seattle has won six of seven games since losing to the Cardinals 39-32 on Nov. 15 at Seattle.