The Seahawks accomplished everything they needed to Sunday -- putting together a complete offensive game, getting playing time for previously injured and inexperienced players and improving to 3-0 for the sixth time in the franchise's 38 seasons. They also became the third team in NFL history to cover a point spread of 19 points or more.
Russell Wilson played just two and a half quarters, but he made good use of the time by throwing four touchdown passes and completing 14 of 21 throws for 202 yards in the 45-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was the fourth time in the last seven regular-season games that the Hawks have scored at least 40 points.
Miller, who had just five catches in the first two games, caught just the two Sunday, but they were big. The first came on a play-action fake from the 1-yard line on which Miller made a faux chop block and then got up for a wide-open TD catch. Miller told reporters it worked even better than it had in practice.
"He's very, very clever," Wilson said. "The more we can do with him, the better. I think Zach is one of the best tight ends in the league and I love throwing to him."
Rice had just three catches on eight targets in the first two games -- he obviously was out of sync with Wilson. But they fixed that this week as Rice caught five balls for 79 yards and two scores.
Rice finished off Seattle's best drive of the game at the end of the first half. After Bobby Wagner made a spectacular diving interception on a ball that was tipped twice -- once by him -- the Hawks moved the ball with great efficiency and speed. Wilson capped off the five-play, 79-yard, 34-second drive with an 11-yard TD pass to Rice with 10 seconds left.
"That's the biggest drive we've had so far," Wilson said. "It was the biggest thing we did today offensively. … That's the way we need to play football."
Wilson trusted his receivers all day, throwing the ball up to let them make the plays. Rice made one of the best when he flashed in front of two defenders in the end zone to snatch a 23-yard TD pass early in the third quarter. That put Seattle up 31-0.
The receivers all had big days as the Hawks threw for 331 yards. Golden Tate (88 yards), Rice and rookie Luke Willson (76) all caught five passes, and Doug Baldwin made what coach Pete Carroll said might be the Hawks' catch of the year when he dove for a deep ball by Tarvaris Jackson and hauled it in for a 35-yard score. That put the Seahawks up 38-7.
The Hawks also ran well: 156 yards on 36 plays. One of those was a lateral to Tate on the bubble screen they have been trying all season. Another was an end around by Tate, who gained 29 yards on those two plays. It was obvious the Hawks were using Tate for the kinds of plays Percy Harvin is likely to run once he is healthy.
The second team was just as effective. Jackson finished with a perfect passer rating (158.3) after hitting 7 of 8 passes for 129 yards and the TD to Baldwin. Chris Michael saw his first action, running for 37 yards on nine carries.
"We're starting to get into a rhythm," Wilson said. "We need to continue that. … We've been winning playing uphill football. Today we won playing downhill football."
Meanwhile, the defense dominated as expected. The unit held the Jaguars to 265 yards -- 4.0 per play. The Jags had negative yardage in their first four drives, and their first touchdown came after they intercepted a tipped pass and set themselves up inside the 5-yard line.
Wagner led a swarming defense that dominated most of the game. In addition to his highlight interception, he led the team with nine tackles (one for loss). Clinton McDonald and Michael Bennett each had 1.5 sacks, including on they shared in the first quarter.
**The Seahawks committed just four penalties for 24 yards -- both season lows. After 19 penalties in the first two games, Carroll told reporters: "The most important thing to report is we had four penalties. That’s awesome."
**Chris Clemons and Brandon Browner played sparingly in their first action of the season.
**Rookie Michael Bowie replaced Breno Giacomini at right tackle in the third quarter, and he had some issues. He allowed pressure on Wilson in the end zone on the play Wilson forced a pass across the middle and had it intercepted off a tip by Tate.
**DE Red Bryant left with back spasms, and WR Jermaine Kearse suffered a sprained ankle.
**The Seahawks are 3-0 for the sixth time. They made the playoffs in three of the five other seasons, and just one of those teams made it past the first round:
2006: 3-0, 9-7, lost in second round
2004: 3-0, 9-7, lost in first round
2003: 3-0, 10-6, lost in first round
1998: 3-0, 8-8
1986: 3-0, 10-6, no playoffs