Seahawks clinch NFC home field with win vs. Colts

SEATTLE (AP) -- Tony Dungy got three hours of comfort.

Seattle got home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Seahawks' NFL rushing leader Shaun Alexander ran for 139 yards
and three touchdowns -- including a rare TD receiving -- to tie
Priest Holmes' NFL record of 27 touchdowns in a season. That helped
the Seahawks clinch NFC home-field advantage Saturday with a 28-13
victory over the injured, resting and reflective Indianapolis

The Colts (13-2), who already own home field in the AFC
playoffs, were without Dungy. Their coach is in Tampa, Fla., where
his son died Thursday in an apparent suicide.

Indianapolis players wore decals with black horseshoes on the
backs of their helmets. The initials JD were inside, also inscribed
in black. And a capacity crowd of 67,855 observed a moment of
silence for the Dungy family before the 11th consecutive win for
Seattle (13-2).

When the ceremony concluded, the scene turned into another
normal NFL game day. The home crowd heartily booed the visitors.

"Then, it was just a normal game," Colts receiver Brandon
Stokley said. "We knew that was the way it was going to be."

Immediately after it, Dungy called team president Bill Polian.

"It was right away, no sooner than I got in here," Polian said
inside a Colts locker room that was subdued but not entirely devoid
of banter.

Polian said Dungy "sounded good" and referred to watching the
game as an escape from his tragic week.

"He watched all of it and said it helped him to root the team
on," Polian said. "He wanted the players to know how proud he was
of their effort."

Peyton Manning, when asked if there was a difference in the
locker room without Dungy, said, "Not really."

"I think everyone had Coach Dungy and his family on our
minds," Manning said. "Our prayers are with him. But when you are
out there playing, then you are out there trying to do your job."

Colts safety Mike Doss said: "I'm just glad we could give him
some comfort for three hours."

Polian said one of the first things Dungy told him was, "Now I
understand why you get so frustrated watching."

"Then he starting talking a bit about some of the officiating
calls," Polian said, smiling and shaking his head.

But officiating had little to do with this one.

Alexander became the 16th NFL player to eclipse 1,800 yards
rushing in a season while leading the Seahawks to their first-ever
top seed in a postseason.

"Every flight is going to be at least three hours," Alexander
said of his playoff foes next month. "Now every team has to take
that trip to us. You don't feel the same after flying on a plane
all day."

The Colts (13-2) were set to be on a plane all night eastbound
for Tampa, Fla., to rejoin Dungy for Tuesday's funeral. Their coach
has been there since Thursday, hours after his 18-year-old son
James was found dead.

"We're going to come out in force," receiver Brandon Stokley

First-year assistant head coach Jim Caldwell is filling in for
Dungy indefinitely.

When asked how difficult a situation Saturday's game was for him
and his team, Caldwell said, "The focus shouldn't be on me. I've
really got the easy job compared to what our head coach is going

"His job is the one that we need to certainly support and pray
about," Caldwell added.

The Seahawks dominated a depleted Indianapolis team without Pro
Bowlers Marvin Harrison, Cato June and Bob Sanders -- and with
Manning (9-for-12, 116 yards passing) playing just one quarter.

The Seahawks capitalized to set a franchise record for wins in a

"We're all just kind of in the groove," Alexander said. "And
no one wants to get off anything right now."

Alexander's record-tying score was full of theater.

Seattle's Craig Terrill recovered a fumble from Manning's
backup, Jim Sorgi, and returned it to the Colts 17 with 5:27 left.
Running backs coach Stump Mitchell had already told Alexander he
would be departing the game with about five minutes remaining. So a
giddy Alexander began running onto the field with his offense.

But Mitchell pulled him back.

"We're done. There's no more hits today," he told Alexander.

But then backup runner Maurice Morris was stopped just short of
the goal line on a 13-yard burst. Mitchell turned to Alexander and
said, "OK, I'm giving you one play to score. But if you get hit,
get hurt and go to the hospital, I'm not coming to visit you."

Alexander plowed into the end zone without the need for medical
attention. He hugged the ball in his left arm and pointed to the
sky. Then he walked down the offensive line as it set up for the
extra point and shook each one of his blockers' hands.

"His first thing was to come over to the line and kind of thank
us. It just shows you how this team is a little different," Pro
Bowl left guard Steve Hutchinson said.

On Alexander's first touchdown, a 2-yard jog in the first
quarter on which he was untouched, Hutchinson blew June's
replacement, Gilbert Gardner, 3 yards into the end zone. That gave
Seattle a 7-3 lead it never relinquished.

Alexander's second score came on the opening drive of the second
half when quarterback Matt Hasselbeck found him ignored as a third
receiving option in the flat. Alexander caught his 15th pass in 15
games and easily scored to give Seattle a 21-6 lead.

The Colts couldn't turn Manning's 116 passing yards over the
game's first two drives into touchdowns. They stalled at the
Seattle 5 and settled for Mike Vanderjagt's 24-yard field goal.
Manning's second and final drive ended when Vanderjagt had his
31-yard try blocked.

Game Notes
Sorgi, throwing his first passes since a meaningless
2004 regular-season finale at Denver, completed 22 of 31 throws for
237 yards and a late touchdown to Troy Walters. ... Indy also
rested Pro Bowl defensive end Dwight Freeney for all but a few
plays. ... After winning their first 13 games, the Colts have lost
two in a row.


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