Wilson, Carson help Seahawks clinch NFC playoff spot

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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

CHARLOTTE, NC – Russell Wilson had done just about everything right for 3 1/2 quarters when the Seattle Seahawks asked their star quarterback to make one more big play.

And, as he's done so many times in the past, Wilson responded.

On a third-and-11, Wilson rolled out and completed a 14-yard strike to Tyler Lockett for a first down with two minutes remaining. That helped the Seahawks nullify two offensive holding calls on the drive and run out the clock to beat the Carolina Panthers 30-24 Sunday and clinch a playoff spot for the seventh time in eight seasons.

Seattle (11-3) also moved into a first place tie with the 49ers, who lost to the Falcons on Sunday. The Seahawks own the tiebreaker and finish the season at home against San Francisco.

“Russell is a guy who creates magic," said Seahawks running back Chris Carson.

Wilson completed 20 of 26 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns, Carson ran for 133 yards and two scores, and Lockett had eight catches for 120 yards.

“That's what the league talks about with Russell — the way he extends plays,” said Panthers safety Tre Boston. “It's the play after the play with him. And he hurt us.”

“It's championship football time,” Wilson said. “You have to capitalize on your moments.”