The Seattle Seahawks crushed the New Orleans Saints 34-7 in a "Monday Night Football" match-up in which quarterback Russell Wilson outdueled star Saints signal caller Drew Brees.
The 11-1 Seahawks, who are in first place in the Western Division of the National Football Conference, now have the best record in the National Football League and became the first team to qualify for the playoffs.
"I've been telling them that we haven't done nothing yet, because we really haven't accomplished anything, except having a nice record," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. "Tonight we did. We accomplished something. We're a playoff team."
The Seahawks are two games ahead of the next-best teams in the NFC and are the favorites to clinch home-field advantage for the playoffs.
"We want to win this division, and that division (title) gets us a chance to play at home. And that's what we're after," Carroll said.
The Saints and Carolina Panthers are both sitting at 9-3.
Wilson completed 22 of 30 passes for 310 yards, finishing with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a quarterback passer rating of 139.6.
"We wanted to be great against the blitz," Wilson said. "We knew that their defensive coordinator (Rob Ryan) was going to bring some pressure. We like pressure, because there's a lot of green grass behind it. So if we can capitalize on those plays."
Brees had his worst game of the 2013 season, completing just 23 of 38 passes for 147 yards with only one touchdown, no picks and a passer rating of 77.4.
The seven points scored by the Saints was the lowest total since Sean Payton became head coach.
"We had trouble protecting the passer, getting guys open," Payton said. "We didn't do enough things in any one area. We got beat. We got beat good tonight. So it's tough." EFE