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Seahawks hold on to beat Washington, clinch playoff spot

The Seahawks (10-4) picked off Dwayne Haskins twice to build a big lead before holding on with a big defensive stop in the final minutes.
Credit: AP
Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks strong safety Jamal Adams (33) during the first half of an NFL football game between the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Football Team, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

LANDOVER HILLS, Md. — Russell Wilson asked Carlos Dunlap to make a play to get the Seattle Seahawks into the playoffs, and the veteran defensive end was all too eager to deliver.

Dunlap shook off a lingering foot injury and sacked Washington’s Dwayne Haskins to shore up a 20-15 victory Sunday that clinched a playoff spot. It’s Seattle’s ninth berth in 11 seasons under coach Pete Carroll but Dunlap’s first crack at the postseason since 2015 and safety Jamal Adams’ first in his NFL career.

“I know you guys are used to Seattle always going to the playoffs — I’m not used to this,” said Adams, who extended his single-season sacks record for a defensive back. Adams couldn’t contain his excitement after another game he played with two broken fingers. “I’m just excited. It feels good, man. This is what you dream of.”

Carroll called it a “sweet win,” brushing off a rough fourth quarter to celebrate another accomplishment. Russell Wilson threw for a touchdown, Carlos Hyde ran 50 yards for a score, and the Seahawks (10-4) picked off Haskins twice to build a big lead before holding on with a big defensive stop in the final minutes.

It was only fitting Dunlap had the big sack on third-and-15 with just over a minute left, given his lengthy playoff drought.

“The universe just wants me to win, and we’ve got an opportunity,” Dunlap said. “That’s all I want is an opportunity.”

Washington (6-8) still has that opportunity in the NFC East, even though its winning streak was snapped at four with Alex Smith out because of a calf injury. Haskins finished 38 of 55 for 295 yards, a TD pass and the two interceptions.

“There were some plays I’d want back, for sure,” Haskins said. “It was definitely a hard fought game.”

Wilson threw for 121 yards and a 10-yard TD pass to Jacob Hollister and ran for 52 on six carries. Hyde’s 50-yard TD run was Seattle’s longest rushing play of the season.

“I was following Hollister,” Hyde said. “He actually took me to the end zone. I followed him. He was my convoy to the end zone for six.”