Football

NFC title game notes: Seahawks’s Michael Bennett savors win with heavy heart

The Seahawks’ Russell Wilson hugged Michael Bennett after Seattle’s win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game Sunday.
The Seahawks’ Russell Wilson hugged Michael Bennett after Seattle’s win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game Sunday. The Associated Press

Quarterback Russell Wilson wasn’t the only Seahawk who cried after Sunday’s 28-22 overtime win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game.

Defensive end Michael Bennett was moved over the victory, which came after the recent death of a friend named Mark Alexander.

“He had a lot of inner city youth that would come to his house … he was so special to everyone,” Bennett said. “When he died, he had 500 people come to his house. I’ve been emotional this entire week … and I was just trying to keep it together for me and my family.”

Bennett said he even tried to speak to Alexander during the game, particularly when the Seahawks cut their deficit to 19-14 late in the fourth quarter.

“I said ‘Hey man, if you’re in heaven, make something happen,’” Bennett said. “Then the onside kick happened. Then I said, ‘If you’re really in heaven, make us get a touchdown.’ Then we got a touchdown. So I know he’s in heaven right now and that’s all I can think about.”

But Bennett wasn’t all serious in his postgame celebrate. He could be seen riding a cop’s motorcycle on during the on-field celebration.

“Took it from a cop,” Bennett said with a laugh. “Like I said, when you win a Super Bowl you can do everything you want.”

Britt sits

Former Missouri tackle Justin Britt was forced to sit Sunday due to a knee injury.

Britt, a second-round pick of the Seahawks in the 2014 NFL Draft, had started every game this season but started experiencing soreness in his knee following Seattle’s divisional playoff win over the Carolina Panthers a week ago.

Sherman, Thomas expected to recover

Star cornerback Richard Sherman (elbow) and safety Earl Thomas (shoulder) both played hurt on Sunday, but Seattle coach Pete Carroll is optimistic both will be ready for the Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

“We think they’ll be fine,” Carroll said.

Sherman hurt his elbow in Sunday’s game, but said there was no way he was coming out.

“The NFC Championship Game is not the time to go out with an injury,” said Sherman, who anticipates playing in the Super Bowl. “If I can still walk and move my feet, I’ll be out and playing.”

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TerezPaylor.

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