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Seahawks rediscover the power of Doug Baldwin

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Tennessee Titans
necessary toughness
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

With the only offensive touchdown of the Seattle Seahawks’ first two games belonging to Paul Richardson, it’s fair to say Doug Baldwin was not as big of a factor early in the season as he’d been in 2015 and 2016.

You’ll remember, of course, that Seattle’s transition from sputter mode to video-game mode two seasons ago was fueled by ridiculous numbers from Touchdown Doug Baldwin (TDB), when he led the league in scores. He broke an all-time NFL record with ten receiving touchdowns in a four-game stretch.

You’ll possibly even remember that Doug’s 2016 was a quite good, if not excellent, follow-up act — 94-1128-7 — which included mind-twirling moments like this:

So it should come as no coincidence that as the Seahawks offense began to run through Baldwin again, the points started to flow again.

Weeks 1 and 2 combined: 13 targets, 107 yards

Week 3 alone: 15 targets, 105 yards, and of course the pylon-embracing score that put Seattle ahead in the second quarter yesterday.

For as long as the Seahawks have been successful under Pete Carroll, the core identity of the team has been to defend better than anyone, to run the football with conviction, and to out-big-play the opposition.

With all the insistence on establishing a ground game, in getting the ball to Jimmy Graham, in making sure second-level playmakers like Tyler Lockett and Richardson and C.J. Prosise get their touches, one casualty early was the amount of touches due Baldwin.

As the best receiver on the team, the premier playmaker the Seahawks have, and the man who gets Russell Wilson the best —

— it is probably impossible to feed Baldwin too many targets. Maybe now, after 27 points in 29 minutes of play yesterday, Wilson and the other decision-makers will remember how true that is.