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The Seahawks finished 11–5, an improvement from a 7–9 record in 2011, and it marked Seattle's first winning season since 2007. The team was 4–0 during the preseason. Their 11 victories was the third best in franchise history. The Seahawks went undefeated at home for the third time in franchise history, after 2003 and 2005. Additionally, with their victory over the Washington Redskins at FedExField in the Wild Card round, the Seahawks won their first road playoff game in almost 30 years. However, despite holding a lead with just 30 seconds left in regulation, the Seahawks lost to the Atlanta Falcons in the Divisional round by a score of 30–28.
On April 3, 2012, Nike unveiled the new design for the uniforms and logo for the Seahawks. The new designs incorporate a new accent color, "Wolf Grey", and the main colors are "College Navy" and "Action Green". The uniforms incorporate "feather trims", twelve feathers printed on the neckline and down each pant leg to represent the "12th Man", referring to the team's fans.
^[a] The team traded its original first-round selection (#12 overall) to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for the Eagles' first- (#15 overall), fourth- (#114 overall) and sixth- (#172 overall) selections.
^[b] The team traded its original second-round selection (#43 overall) to the New York Jets in exchange for the Jets' second- (#47 overall), fifth- (#154 overall) and seventh- (#232 overall) round selections.
After facing the Cardinals on the road, the Seahawks returned home for a home game against the Cowboys. The game went very well for the Seahawks as the team improved to 1–1. This is also the first win for rookie QB Russell Wilson.
The game had a controversial ending when Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary pass to the endzone on the final play that appeared to have been intercepted by Green Bay. However, while one official signaled the interception, the other official signaled a touchdown for Seattle by receiver Golden Tate, based on the rule that a catch with simultaneous possession is ruled a completion for the offense. The play was reviewed and the officials awarded the touchdown to Seattle. The call by the officials, who were replacements for the customary and more experienced officials, was met with outrage by other NFL players and fans around the country who believed Green Bay should have been awarded the interception and thus the game. Many also claimed the officials had missed an offensive pass interference call committed by Tate on Packers cornerback Sam Shields that also would have won the game for Green Bay. The NFL released an official statement the next day that, while acknowledging that pass interference should have been called on Tate, supported the decision to uphold the play as simultaneous possession.
With the win, the Seahawks improved to 2–1. With the 49ers' loss to the Vikings the previous day, Seattle and San Francisco were now tied for 2nd in the NFC West behind the 3-0 Arizona Cardinals. The Seahawks' defense accomplished a noteworthy achievement, sacking Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers 8 times, a career-high; this was even more impressive because all eight sacks occurred in the first half of the game.
The game's final play, dubbed the "Fail Mary" or the "Inaccurate Reception", is still viewed as the catalyst for the return of the NFL's customary officials due to the ineptitude of the replacement officials.
With the win, the Seahawks improved to 4–2, and with losses by the 49ers and Cardinals, the team moved into a tie for first in the NFC West. This was head coach Pete Carroll's first meeting with the Patriots since he was fired by the organization following the 1999 season. Carroll served as their head coach from 1997–99, the last one before Bill Belichick's hiring in 2000. This game is also infamous among Patriots fans as the genesis of the Richard Sherman/Tom Brady "You Mad, Bro" meme.
The game was interrupted briefly with 1:40 to go in the third quarter following a 19-yard Tannehill run; the sprinklers at Sun Life Stadium suddenly switched on, soaking the field for roughly one minute.
The Seahawks won and clinched at least a playoff spot. In order to win the NFC West, the Seahawks needed to beat the St. Louis Rams at home the following week, have the 49ers lose to the Arizona Cardinals. A Packers loss to the Vikings would give Seattle a first round bye as well. However, a loss or a 49ers win would result in the Seahawks being the #5 seed heading on the road for the Wild Card Round in January.
With the NFC West title still up for grabs, the Seahawks finished their season at home against the Rams. Avoiding being swept by their foes, they finished the season with a record of 11–5, and a perfect 8–0 at home. However, with the Niners' win over the Cardinals, the team would end up 2nd in the division and the NFC's #5 seed.
After Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III went down with a knee injury in the second half, Seattle outscored Washington 11-0 to win 24-14. Seattle would move on to take on the #1 seed Atlanta Falcons.
NFC Divisional Playoff: at #1 Atlanta Falcons
NFC Divisional Playoff: #5 Seattle Seahawks at #1 Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
The Seahawks fell behind, trailing Atlanta 20–0 at halftime and 27–7 with just over 17 minutes remaining. Seattle scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take the lead 28–27 with 31 seconds left to play. But Matt Ryan quickly completed two long passes. A mystery time out, credited to Seattle, was blown by officials just as Matt Bryant kicked and missed a 49-yard field goal try, allowing Atlanta to kick again and giving them the victory. Russell Wilson's Hail Mary pass on the final play was intercepted by Julio Jones in the end zone (Wilson's only interception in the game), ending Seattle's season.