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Carroll expects quicker results in Seattle

The SportsXchange

RENTON, Wash. -- Maybe four years seems like a quick turnaround for a Seattle Seahawks franchise that made the Super Bowl only once before Pete Carroll arrived in 2010 and was coming off a two-year stretch in which it went 9-23.

Carroll, though, insisted in the aftermath of guiding his team to the Super Bowl that he aimed for more immediate results.

"I think it's later than we wanted it to be," he said Monday, a day after the Seahawks won the NFC title with a 23-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers. "But we're still on track for something really special, and we had to wait a little bit. And it might be worth it."

Certainly, the NFC Championship Game itself felt worth it to the 68,000-plus who crammed into CenturyLink Field. They saw Seattle overcome an early 10-0 deficit and beat the 49ers in a game that wasn't decided until the final minute, when cornerback Richard Sherman tipped a San Francisco pass into the hands of his Seahawks teammate, linebacker Malcolm Smith, in the end zone.

That was one of three turnovers Seattle forced in the fourth quarter. The Seattle wound up outscoring the San Francisco 20-7 in the second half.

"Going all the way down to the last drive and all that, it came out with all of the drama that you could maybe hope for in a game like this," Carroll said. "It was a great matchup. They're a fine team, and they were tough on us and we were tough on them, and you just kind of had to wait it out and see what the opportunities were going to present. We took care of business when we needed to."

The stats indicated the evenness of the game, as each team had 308 yards. It was ultimately the turnovers, a couple of big plays in the passing game, and getting running back Marshawn Lynch going to the tune of 109 yards while holding San Francisco running back Frank Gore to just 14 that proved the difference.

The 49ers moved consistently in the first half due largely to the running of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who produced 98 yards on the ground before the break. Seattle held him to 32 rushing yards in the second half, as the 49ers went 12 yards or fewer on four of their six second-half possessions.

"For the defense to take the ball (away from San Francisco) on three straight drives to end the game was a huge accomplishment and a big statement that we were fighting it out and we were going to slug it out," Carroll said. "And for the offense scoring four out of the five drives or whatever in the second half, all of those numbers really support a great comeback.

"So it was a really cool night for our guys, and they really came through and they really made it happen, and the Niners didn't make it easy at all. We had to really fight for everything. So it was really great event."

Now comes an even greater event: The Seahawks will face the Denver Broncos for the championship on Feb. 2 in New Jersey.

Seattle will hope for a better result than it recorded in its only previous Super Bowl, a 21-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in February 2006.
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