The defense held the Jets’ offense scoreless while Russell Wilson and, yes, Golden Tate threw TD passes in an inelegant but effective triumph that left Seattle 6-4 entering its bye week.
Continuing his remarkable play at CenturyLink Field, rookie quarterback Russell Wilson threw two more touchdown passes — and no interceptions — in leading the Seahawks to a 28-7 victory over the New York Jets Sunday in a game that also featured eye-popping plays by wide receiver Golden Tate and cornerback Richard Sherman, plus another 100-yard day from Marshawn Lynch.
The Seahawks improved to 6-4 overall and 5-0 at home, the first time since 2005 that Seattle has started a season with five consecutive wins at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks are idle next week and will play at Miami Nov. 25.
Although sacked four times and stripped of the ball twice by a New York defense that played far better than its pre-game statistics, Wilson had another huge game. He completed 12 of 19 throws for 188 yards, threw touchdowns to Golden Tate and Sidney Rice, and finished with a 131.0 passer rating, his best of the season (topping his 127.0 last week against Minnesota). Wilson also scrambled, only occasionally by design, for 34 yards, including an 18-yard run on a read option.
Wilson is 5-0 at CenturyLink Field with 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions. In his last five games, three at home, Wilson has 10 touchdown passes.
“He is having a remarkable season,” head coach Pete Carroll said of Wilson. “There is just no question that he loves playing here (CenturyLink Field).”
Tate not only caught a touchdown pass from Wilson on a 38-yard hookup in the first quarter, but threw the first pass of his NFL career. With 8:08 to play in the fourth quarter he took a pitch from Wilson and lofted a 23-yarder a wide open Rice in the end zone that iced the game. Wilson targeted Tate twice, and Tate caught both, for 51 yards.
“It was a long-developing play and Golden came around the edge and I was able to get to the back of the end zone and score,” Rice said of the touchdown pass from Tate. “It worked out perfect.”
“We had a lot of guys who really stood out for us,” said Carroll, “and Golden really stood out.”
Sherman made two outstanding plays. With the score 7-7 in the second quarter and the Jets in the red zone, Sherman intercepted a Mark Sanchez pass nearly on the goal line, denying New York a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Sherma stripped Sanchez of the ball, a play that helped set up the Tate-to-Rice touchdown pass.
“Richard Sherman really stood out today,” said Carroll. “He played a great football game — not just the pick and the sack, but a bunch other stuff he did.”
The Jets came into the game allowing 141.0 rushing yards per contest, but played as well in the first half as they have all year, holding Lynch to 37 yards. But The Beast, who gave Seattle a 14-7 lead in the second quarter with a one-yard TD run, emerged in the second half. He finished with 124 yards on 27 carries, his fourth 100-yard game in a row and his sixth of the season.
Lynch pushed his season rushing total to 1,006 yards, the fourth time in his career and his second time as a Seahawk that he has surpassed 1,000.
“Seeing Marshawn get to 1,000 is something everybody on our team takes takes pride in,” said Carroll. “He’s just been tearing it up.”
Wilson put Seattle on the board at the 8:01 mark of the first quarter when, after an 18-yard completion to Doug Baldwin, he found Tate for a 38-yard TD. It was Tate’s sixth touchdown catch of the season and came on a leaping grab near the goal line over cornerback Kyle Wilson. The drive covered three plays and 59 yards and took just 1:33.
The Jets made it 7-7 at the 2:50 mark of the first when the Jets stripped Wilson while he was looking for a receiver. Muhammad Wilkerson scooped up the loose ball and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown. It was Wilkerson’s first-ever NFL touchdown.
The Seahawks dodged a prime Jets’ scoring opportunity in the second quarter. After Sanchez and Jeremy Kerley hooked up on a 43-yard pass play that gave the Jets a red zone opportunity, Sherman’s interception thwarted what proved to be the Jets’ best shot at a score.
Seattle punted, but the Jets muffed the return by Kerley. Kam Chancellor recovered at the Jets’ 42-yard line. On a second and 15, Wilson flipped the ball to Lynch, who gained 27 yards to the Jets’ 20. Following a 10-yard scramble by Wilson and a pass interference call on the Jets, Lynch banged in for his fifth touchdown of the season and a 14-7 Seattle lead.
Wilson directed a seven-play, 84-yard drive that ended with Wilson throwing a 31-yard touchdown pass to Rice that gave Seattle a 21-7 lead two minutes into the fourth quarter.
After Sherman stripped Sanchez and the Seahawks recovered, Seattle used a combination of Lynch runs and Wilson scrambles to reach the red zone. After Lynch had a touchdown run called back due a holding penalty on guard John Moffitt, Wilson threw an option pitch to Tate, a lefty who continued left and found Rice.
The Seahawks started slowly, especially on offense, but exploded in the second half as they made adjustments to New York’s defense. The Seahawks also did a tremendous job of thwarting the Jets on third downs, holding New York to a 2-for-11, and 185 yards of total offense.
“We gave up next to nothing,” said Carroll. “This is a big day for us. We get to go into the bye week with the right feeling. We’re real pleased. Everything about today was good.”