SEATTLE (AP) — After failing on two previous occasions, the Seattle Seahawks finally ensured the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC goes through the Pacific Northwest.

Malcolm Smith returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown, Marshawn Lynch added a 2-yard scoring run and the Seahawks clinched the NFC West title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a 27-9 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

Seattle (13-3) matched the franchise record for wins in a season and finally wrapped up the No. 1 seed after losses to San Francisco and last week to Arizona, which snapped a 14-game home winning streak.

Russell Wilson finished 15 of 23 for 172 yards. Seattle capped the victory with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Golden Tate early in the fourth quarter that lacked the unsportsmanlike wave that got Tate flagged on a similar TD reception in St. Louis earlier this season.

Tate finished with eight catches for 129 yards, both career highs in his final regular-season game before he becomes a free agent.

With home-field advantage wrapped up, there might be a few postseason games still to come for Tate and the Seahawks.

The only other time Seattle had home-field advantage came in 2005, the only time the Seahawks have reached the Super Bowl. They'll get a week of rest before hosting in the divisional round, and they might need the time off after a pair of key injuries Sunday.

Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane left in the second half with a hip injury, but more costly could be a lower left leg injury sustained by backup tight end Luke Willson early in the fourth quarter. Willson was taken off the field on a cart with an air cast on his leg.

But the injuries didn't mute the celebration after the favorite in the NFC most of the season finally clinched everything it had sought. Smith got Seattle started with his interception return for a touchdown early in the first quarter a week after he was tackled at the 3-yard line trying to score on an interception return.

Lynch finished with 97 yards on 23 carries, his best game since running for a season-best 145 yards against Atlanta in Week 10. Seattle continued to struggle on third down, going 4 of 13, but a lack of discipline from the Rams helped out the Seahawks.

The Rams (7-9) were penalized 12 times for 87 yards and lost their composure on defense late in the third quarter. St. Louis was flagged for four personal foul penalties in the span of two plays — two on Alec Ogletree and two on Kendall Langford. The penalty against Langford was for making contact with an official, which on replay appeared inadvertent. Langford was ejected and became incensed, slamming his helmet to the turf as he left the field.

Two plays later, Lynch walked in from the 2 and Seattle led 20-3.

St. Louis was called for two more personal fouls on the ensuing kickoff. The 12 penalties were a season high for the Rams.

Kellen Clemens finished 21 of 30 for 157 yards and two interceptions. Zac Stacy, who needed 42 yards rushing to reach 1,000 on the season, was held to 15 yards on 15 carries.

Robert Quinn needed two sacks to become the 10th player with 20 in a season. He got No. 19 in the first half, but was kept off Wilson's back in the second half.

Clemens threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jared Cook with 4:13 left as the Rams finally got their offense moving when the result was already decided. They finished with 13 yards rushing and 158 total yards for the game.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Loading Slideshow...
  • Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) holds his son river Gonzales, 3, during a celebration of Gonzalez career before the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • Gavin Escobar, DeMeco Ryans

    Dallas Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar (89) scores a touchdown against Philadelphia Eagles inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans (59) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald/ Jose Yau)

  • Peyton Manning

    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws a 63-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. With this score, the Broncos surpassed the 2007 New England Patriots for the most points scored in a season. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Patrick Peterson, Phil Dawson, Andy Lee

    Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson, right, signals a missed field goal as San Francisco 49ers' Phil Dawson (9) and Andy Lee (4) stand near during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Matt Forte, Jay Cutler

    Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) runs into end zone for a touchdown as quarterback Jay Cutler (6) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez signs autographs for fans before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT

  • Trent Richardson, Sen'Derrick Marks

    Indianapolis Colts' Trent Richardson (34) runs past Jacksonville Jaguars' Sen'Derrick Marks (99) for a 2-yard touchdown run in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

  • LeSean McCoy, Kyle Wilber

    Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) takes the ball in for a touchdown as Dallas Cowboys defensive end Kyle Wilber follows during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Matthew Stafford, Jared Allen, Brian Robison

    Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, left, is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defenders Jared Allen (69) and Brian Robison (96) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

  • Marshawn Lynch, Trumaine Johnson

    Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) rushes past the tackle attempt of St. Louis Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 27-9. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

  • Peyton Manning, John Fox

    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) celebrates with head coach John Fox after throwing a 63-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. With this score, the Broncos surpassed the 2007 New England Patriots for the most points scored in a season. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Fans cheer during a heavy rain in the second quarter of an NFL football game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • A.J. Green, Jimmy Smith

    Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) catches a 53-yard touchdown pass against Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith in the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/David Kohl)

  • Michal Kendricks, Jason Witten

    Philadelphia Eagles inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks (95) intercepts a pass intended to Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/The Waco Tribune-Herald, Jose Yau)

  • Eli Manning, Perry Riley

    New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) is sacked by Washington Redskins' Perry Riley (56) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

  • Jason Campbell

    Cleveland Browns quarterback Jason Campbell (17) is hit by a Pittsburgh Steelers defender and loses the ball in the first quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Pittsburgh. The Steelers recovered the ball. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

  • Coby Fleener, Johnathan Cyprien

    Indianapolis Colts' Coby Fleener (80) is defended by Jacksonville Jaguars' Johnathan Cyprien during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

  • DeVonte Holloman, Brent Celek

    Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek (87) makes a reception over Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker DeVonte Holloman (57) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Junior Hemingway

    Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Junior Hemingway (88) fumbles the ball as San Diego Chargers defensive back Darrell Stuckey (25) closes in during the first half in an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in San Diego. The Chiefs recovered the ball on the play. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

  • Jim Leonhard, LeGarrette Blount

    New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) scores a touchdown past Buffalo Bills safety Jim Leonhard (35) in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Eli Manning

    New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

  • Cam Newton

    Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) breaks out of the pocket against Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry (94) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Geno Smith

    New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) pitches the ball during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

  • Cedric Thornton

    Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Cedric Thornton (72) celebrates after cornerback Brandon Boykin intercepted the ball from Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Justin Hunter, Shiloh Keo

    Houston Texans free safety Shiloh Keo (31) breaks up a pass intended for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Justin Hunter (15) in the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

  • Carolina Panthers defensive end Wes Horton (96) celebrates with Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Linden Gaydosh (98) as Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) lies on the turf after being sacked during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Chad Henne, Robert Mathis

    Jacksonville Jaguars' Chad Henne (7) is sacked by Indianapolis Colts' Robert Mathis (98) during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

  • Cordarrelle Patterson, Ndamukong Suh

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson runs from Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, left, during a 50-yard touchdown run in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

  • Minnesota Vikings fans look on during a post-game ceremony marking the closing of the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome following an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Minneapolis. The Vikings were playing their final game in the Metrodome as it will be torn down following the season. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

  • C.J. Spiller, Logan Ryan

    Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) slips free from New England Patriots defensive back Logan Ryan (26) in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Johnathan Cyprien, T.Y. Hilton

    Indianapolis Colts' T.Y. Hilton (13) runs out of the tackle of Jacksonville Jaguars' Johnathan Cyprien (37) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

  • Corey Graham, Daryl Smith

    Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Graham (24) is congratulated by inside linebacker Daryl Smith (51) after intercepting a pass against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

  • LeSean McCoy

    Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. The Eagles won 24-22. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

  • Emmanuel Sanders, Leon McFadden

    Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (88) dives for the end zone and a touchdown past Cleveland Browns cornerback Leon McFadden (29) after catching a pass in the first quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

  • Osi Umenyiora ,Cam Newton

    Atlanta Falcons defensive end Osi Umenyiora (50) trips up Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • Andre Johnson, Jason McCourty

    Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) is brought down by Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty after Johnson gained 13-yards in the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

  • Antonio Allen, Ed Reed, Charles Clay

    Miami Dolphins tight end Charles Clay (42) can't hang onto a pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill as New York Jets defenders Ed Reed (22) and Antonio Allen (39) close in during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

  • Cam Newton

    Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) is hit by Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Paul Worrilow (55) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Atlanta. The play was ruled as a incomplete pass. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Andy Dalton

    Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton throws a pass against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Jonathan Grimes, Derrick Morgan

    Houston Texans running back Jonathan Grimes (41) gets past Tennessee Titans defensive end Derrick Morgan (91) as Grimes scores a touchdown on a 3-yard run in the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

  • Darius Butler, Kelvin Sheppard

    Indianapolis Colts' Darius Butler (20) celebrates with Kelvin Sheppard (52) after Butler recovered a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • New York Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph (97) and linebacker Jon Beason (52) tackles Washington Redskins' Alfred Morris during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. Redskins' Chris Chester (66) moves in on the play. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

  • Harry Douglas ,Mike Mitchell

    Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas (83) is hit by Carolina Panthers free safety Mike Mitchell (21) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Chase Ford, Rashean Mathis

    Minnesota Vikings tight end Chase Ford (86) is tackled by Detroit Lions cornerback Rashean Mathis (31) after making a reception during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Jason Snelling

    Atlanta Falcons fullback Jason Snelling (44) falls into the end zone for a touchdown as Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • Golden Tate, Janoris Jenkins

    Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate (81) and St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, left, dive for an incomplete pass in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

  • Justin Tuck

    New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck (91) warms up before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

  • Football fans Mario Watkins, center left, from Gainesville, Fla., and Jace Cameron, center right,, Woodstock, display No. 88 jerseys in front of them hoping for an autograph from Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez before an NFL football game between the Falcons and Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT

  • Antonio Brown

    Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown walks along the sidelines with a figure cut into this hair before an NFL football game Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Kawann Short , Matt Ryan

    Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short (99) hits Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Jameel McClain

    Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (42) is tackled by Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Jameel McClain in the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)