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SEATTLE (AP) — The Seahawks used a stingy defense to become the first sub-.500 division champ in league history with a 16-6 win over St. Louis on Sunday night.

Backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst threw a 4-yard touchdown on Seattle’s first drive, and Olindo Mare kicked second-half field goals of 31, 38 and 34 yards.

The Seahawks finished as champs of the NFC West at 7-9, the first playoff team with a losing record —
sans the 1982 strike-shortened season — since the merger in 1970.

It was Seattle’s first division title since 2007.

Whitehurst finished 22 of 36 for 192 yards making just the second start of his career. He started in place of Matt Hasselbeck, who was active and went through warmups, but didn’t play after suffering a hip injury last week against Tampa Bay.

St. Louis was kept out of the end zone for the second time this season.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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