Otto Greule Jr
Marshawn Lynch moved his season rushing total over 1,000 yards, Russell Wilson shook off some early game jitters, and the Seahawks' defense was absolutely dominant, and Seattle won in convincing fashion on Sunday, beating the Jets 28-7.
Seattle struck first after the D stopped the Jets on a fourth-and-1 on their first possession, and Russell Wilson hooked up with his new BFF Golden "Goldilocks" Tate on an amazing fade route touchdown three plays later. However, after that, Seattle's momentum stalled and their possessions went: punt, fumble (for a Jets' TD), fumble, punt, punt.
The good news was, despite this slow, fairly ugly start by the Seahawks -- they found trouble getting the run game going and as Russell Wilson struggled with some nice pressure concepts from Rex Ryan's defense -- the Seahawks' defense held the Jets' offense at bay. Seattle scored the go-ahead touchdown late in the 2nd quarter on a Marshawn Lynch 1-yard TD dive, and really never looked back from there after heading into the locker rooms at half, leading 14-7.
Body-blow after body-blow by Marshawn Lynch in the 2nd half finally wore the Jets D down until they succumbed to a couple of big haymakers by Seattle's pass offense that put the game away for good. Russell Wilson hit Sidney Rice up the seam for a 31-yard score on the 3rd play of the 4th quarter, and after Richard Sherman forced a Mark Sanchez fumble on the ensuing possession (the fumble was recovered by Jason Jones), Golden Tate hit Sidney for another TD on a trick pass play with 8:08 remaining. That put the game out of hand for good.
Marshawn Lynch finished the game with 124 yards rushing on 27 attempts (4.6 YPC) with a touchdown, and added 27 yards on a nicely set-up screen play that Wilson flicked over to him in the face of pressure (a nice play by Wilson as well). The Hawks finished with 174 yards rushing as a team - compared to just 84 by the Jets.
Zach Miller led the Hawks with 5 catches for 37 yards on six targets and Doug Baldwin had 3 key catches for 42 yards. Sidney Rice and Golden Tate both chipped with a pair of catches each; Sidney Rice's two went for 54 yards and two scores, Tate's went for 51 and one TD. Tate also threw a touchdown, as noted above.
Russell Wilson, despite definitely looking rattled in the first half and giving up a sack-fumble that went for a Jets' TD, recovered very nicely in the 2nd half, and overall played an efficient game - 12 of 19 for 188 yards and two touchdowns - and he added 37 yards on 7 rushes. He picked up a big chunk of that yardage on brilliant read-option keepers where Jets' defenders crashed much too aggressively to take Lynch or Turbin out of the play, leaving the edge unaccounted for.
The real story of the game, though, was, of course, the Seahawks defense.
They allowed zero points, gave up 185 total yards of offense, got three sacks, three quarterback hits, and forced three turnovers. Richard Sherman picked off a pass in the endzone, and also had a couple of key passes defensed to go with his sack-strip of Mark Sanchez. Rookie DE Bruce Irvin added two sacks to push his season total to seven, and he also added two tackles for a loss. Chris Clemons, Irvin, and the Seahawks' defense benefitted from the return of Jason Jones - who was again a force on 3rd downs in forcing poor decisions and quick throws from Sanchez.
Speaking of 3rd downs, Seattle improved in that area, as New York went 2-for-11 on that down: after the Jets converted their first two 3rd down opportunities, they missed out on their final nine.
The Jets had 11 possessions, and they ended thusly:
Turnover on downs, punt, punt, interception, punt, punt, end of half, punt, punt, fumble, punt.
5 of those 11 New York Jets possessions were 3-and-outs. The Seahawks won the time of possession battle 36:11 to 23:49 and won the turnover battle 3-to-2.
The Seahawks certainly have some things to clean up on offense - namely Wilson's pocket presence in the face of pressure and still-habitual drifting to the right instead of up into the pocket, but overall, this was a good win, if not an ugly one. The Seahawks overcame injuries to starters James Carpenter and K.J. Wright and dominated on one side of the ball and played adequately on the other. They'll now have a bye week to rest up and get healthy, before facing the Dolphins in Miami - a team that was just dismantled by the Titans today.