October 23, 2015

RENTON, Wash. (AP) A convincing victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night won't cure all the problems for the Seattle Seahawks overnight.

It does go a long way toward getting the defending NFC champions back on track.

The Seahawks bounced back from a pair of crushing losses to Cincinnati and Carolina that featured blown fourth-quarter leads to earn a 20-3 victory over a struggling 49ers team. San Francisco finished with 142 total yards, the second-fewest allowed by the Seahawks in Pete Carroll's tenure as coach and one of the top 10 defensive performances in franchise history. Philadelphia had just 139 total yards against the Seahawks last season, the best with Carroll in charge.

The 49ers finished with more punts (9) than total first downs (8).

''It felt like a really normal Seahawk night tonight,'' Carroll said.

Seattle now gets a 10-day break before traveling to Dallas, the only game the Seahawks have in a 24-day span. Get past the Cowboys and the Seahawks will be back to .500 at their bye and in control of their fate in the NFC West with two games remaining against division-leading Arizona.

Carroll and his players were chomping at the opportunity to play so quickly after blowing a second big fourth-quarter lead last Sunday at home against Carolina. While the players may not enjoy playing with such a quick turnaround, in this scenario it worked out perfectly for the Seahawks.

''It gets us back on track knowing that we're the team we always knew we were,'' linebacker Bruce Irvin said. ''We didn't finish the last couple weeks and this week we did a great job of keep pressing, keep pressing. We kept our foot on the gas the entire game until the clock hit triple zeros at the end.''

The Seahawks rediscovered who they were offensively, riding Marshawn Lynch and his energetic legs. Lynch's 122 yards brought his first 100-yard game since February's Super Bowl and his first in the regular season since Week 16 of 2014 when he rushed for 113 yards against the Cardinals.

''That is Seahawks football,'' receiver Doug Baldwin said. ''We go with Marshawn. He leads the way. The style in which he runs, the style in which he leads in the huddle, that's what's important to us. That's what helps us get to where we want to be. We'll go as far as he takes us.''

Outside of a pair of poor decisions on his two interceptions, Russell Wilson was spot-on. Wilson completed 18 of 24 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown. His 9.8 yards per attempt meant the second-best mark of the season for Wilson.

Carroll was unhappy after the game with the decisions Wilson made on both interceptions, one of which was in the red-zone.

''I was really disappointed in the long ball. That was too bad; we don't need to do that,'' Carroll said. ''He thought he had something, but we don't need to throw the ball up like that.''

Wilson had two red-zone interceptions in the regular season during the 2013 and 2014 seasons combined; he has two already this season.

Despite the errors, the Seahawks managed to close out the game with the ball in their hands.

''We got the ball for the last three or four minutes, whatever it was, and we take a knee at the end of the game. That's the way we're supposed to finish these games,'' Carroll said.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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