PHILADELPHIA – Seahawk's defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said he hadn't intended to injure Carson Wentz during a helmet-to-helmet hit in the first quarter that ultimately knocked the Eagles quarterback out of the game.
Seattle celebrated a 17-9 win in an NFC wildcard playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday and will meet the Packers in Green Bay this weekend.
Clowney crashed into Wentz when the quarterback was released. Wentz ended the series, but was soon sent to the dressing room and did not return. Backup Josh McCown played the rest of the game for the Eagles.
"I was just playing fast and he turned like he was running the ball, so I tried to get it down," said Clowney, who had one of Seattle's seven sacks. "It was a bang-bang. I have no intention of hurting anyone in this league. I was on my way to injury and it's not fun. I hope he's fine. "
Eagles fans were angry Clowney wasn't flagged for a late hit. Referee Shawn Smith said to a pool reporter: "We saw accidental helmet contact and we didn't consider it a foul."
The Seahawks (12-5) were lucky enough to win and move forward. DK Metcalf, rookie wide receiver, broke a franchise record with seven passes for 160 yards, including a 53-yard TD pass, which gave Seattle a 17-6 lead in the third quarter. Metcalf was the primary target for quarterback Russell Wilson, who completed 18 out of 30 for 325 yards and the one TD. Seattle maintained its offense by rebuilding 8 out of 15 third-down situations and limiting the Eagles to only 3 out of 11 conversions.
"We were able to do our offensive when we had to capitalize and finish the game," said Wilson. “We did really well on some third downhill runs to keep the journey going. Ultimately, our defense blocked it when we needed it. "
Metcalf, a second-round goal from Ole Miss, was a star and broke the Seahawks' postseason record for most yards in one game.
"I don't take anything for granted," he said. "I take every exercise, every repetition as if it were my last. I am very happy to be part of this team and this organization."
The fifth Seahawks, who have won eight out of nine street games this season, will next compete against the No. 2-Seeded Packers. Wilson played at the University of Wisconsin and considers it a homecoming game.
"Going back will be great," he said. "It will be cold and it will most likely snow. But it will be fun. We will prepare for it and prepare for it."