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ready anticipating a backlash after th

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    July 14, 2017 7:50 AM +0430

    SEATTLE -- Once the doors to the Seattle Seahawks locker room opened, the music came blaring out. Nathaniel Clyne Jersey . Players danced while still in uniform and donned hats reading "NFC West Champions." On their third try, the Seahawks finally got to celebrate after wrapping up the division title and home-field advantage in the playoffs with a 27-9 win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Having failed two times previously, Seattle ensured the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC goes through the Pacific Northwest. "We can check the NFC West off our list," quarterback Russell Wilson said, "but we still have a lot more to do." Malcolm Smith returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter to get Seattle started, Marshawn Lynch added a 2-yard scoring run in the second half and the Seahawks (13-3) matched the franchise record for wins in a season. By doing so, the favourites in the NFC for most of the season finally wrapped up the No. 1 seed after losses to San Francisco and last week to Arizona, which snapped a 14-game home winning streak. Seattle won the toughest division in the NFL behind the leagues best defence. The Seahawks home field is still feared, and they will host Green Bay, New Orleans or San Francisco in the divisional round in two weeks. Seattles combined record at home the past two seasons against those three teams: 4-0. "Its more of a sense of accomplishment," Smith said. "It would have been really sad if we didnt get that done, but were happy to be in the position that were in." Wilson finished 15 of 23 for 172 yards. Lynch finished with 97 yards on 23 carries, his best game since running for a season-best 145 yards against Atlanta in Week 10 Seattle capped the victory with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Golden Tate early in the fourth quarter that lacked the unsportsmanlike wave that got Tate flagged on a similar TD reception in St. Louis earlier this season. Tate finished with eight catches for 129 yards, both career highs in his final regular-season game before he becomes a free agent. But with home-field advantage wrapped up, there might be a few post-season games still to come for Tate and the Seahawks. "Its an awesome feeling. Its a great feeling to feel like you really helped in this game," Tate said. The only other time Seattle had home-field advantage was 2005, the only time the Seahawks have reached the Super Bowl. Theyll get a week of rest before hosting in the divisional round, and they might need the time off after a pair of key injuries Sunday to defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (groin) and tight end Luke Willson (leg). Willson was taken off the field on a cart in the fourth quarter with an air cast on his leg. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the team believes its not broken. Still, the upcoming week off is needed. "I definitely need it. I was getting smacked today," Tate said. Seattles defence closed the season with one of its finest performances. It started with Smiths interception return for a touchdown a week after he was tackled at the 3-yard line trying to score on an interception return. But it went beyond just the two interceptions Seattle grabbed to finish the season with a league-leading 28. Led by Mebane, Seattles defensive line flustered Kellen Clemens. Zac Stacy, who needed 42 yards rushing to reach 1,000 on the season, was held to 15 yards on 15 carries. The Rams had 13 yards rushing, tied for the fewest allowed in Seattle history. "They had about nine guys down there in the box," Clemens said. "You only have about seven or eight to block and they did a good job." Seattle also kept its cool while St. Louis was losing its composure. The Rams (7-9) were penalized 12 times for 87 yards. St. Louis was flagged for four personal foul penalties in the span of two plays late in the third quarter -- two on Alec Ogletree and two on Kendall Langford. Langford was flagged for making contact with an official, which appeared inadvertent. Langford was ejected and became incensed, slamming his helmet to the turf as he left the field. Two plays later Lynch walked in from the 2, Seattle led 20-3 and the celebration was just getting started. "This whole thing just feels like a dream to me," Seattle safety Kam Chancellor said. "It feels good right now just to see my brothers happy." NOTES: Tate became the first Seattle player with at least eight receptions in a game since Doug Baldwin in 2011. ... Rams P Johnny Hekker set an NFL record for net yards punting for a season. Hekker had a 44.2 net average. The previous record was 44.0 by San Franciscos Andy Lee in 2011. ... St. Louis DE Robert Quinn had one sack and finished with 19 for the season. Divock Origi Liverpool Jersey . Raonic, the No. 8 seed from Thornhill, Ont., had 18 aces in the match. He needed one hour 39 minutes to complete the victory. Alex Manninger Liverpool Jersey . These teams will see plenty of each other in the next few weeks as three of the Canucks next nine games are against the Wild (after today they meet February 9th in Minnesota and again February 16th at Rogers Arena). CURITIBA, Brazil -- Nigeria and Iran delivered the first draw of the World Cup on Monday as they ground out a scrappy 0-0 stalemate in their opening match in Group F. The draw at the Arena da Baixada in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba followed 12 mostly high scoring and attacking games. After a first half in which Nigeria failed to capitalize on its dominance, chances were few and far between in the second. In the early passages of play, Nigeria had shown menace, with much of its attacking thrust coming down the left with Emmanuel Emenike and Victor Moses combining to cause problems for the defensively-minded Iran side. Nigeria came closest to scoring in the seventh minute when an Ahmed Musa goal was disallowed after John Obi Mikel was adjudged to have fouled Iran goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi at a corner. Iran grew more confident as the game progressed and came close to scoring in the 34th when a Reza Ghoochannejhad header required a sharp save from Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. In the second half, both sides were guilty of sloppy passages of play, to the growing annoyance of the mainly Brazilian crowd. Players from both sides snatched at chances, and neither goalkeeper was troubled despite some frantic late pressure in the final minutes. "They had 11 people behind the ball, which made it hard for us to create chances," Mikel said. "Its frustrating because they sat back." Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi said his team became anxious when it failed to score during a dominant opening 25 minuutes. Alex Manninger Jersey. . But he added: "Respect to Iran, they had their game plan to sit back and defend and they did well." Keshi, who played for Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup, is already anticipating a backlash after the draw. "Win or lose Im criticized," said Keshi, whose side won last years Africa Cup of Nations. "A draw now, Ill be criticized. Its part of the game. In my country, its win at all costs and sometimes it doesnt go that way." The best chance either side has to progress in the tournament is to beat debutant Bosnia-Herzegovina, as Argentina is the firm favourite to top the group. Lionel Messi scored one of the tournaments best goals in Argentinas 2-1 victory over the Bosnians on Sunday. Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said the result was "fair" and that his players deserved "sympathy and respect" for performing on the biggest stage despite the impact of economic sanctions on the country -- which made it difficult to arrange friendlies. "Were not here to perform the role of the happy loser," Queiroz said. "The fans need to know the conditions we have endured for three years to get here." Queiroz wouldnt talk about the teams next game against Argentina. "Now Im so tired just let me enjoy this point we collected from Nigeria," he said. The draw means the winless World Cup runs of both teams continues, dating back to France 1998. For Iran, though, this was the first time it had not conceded a goal at the World Cup finals. 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