SEATTLE — The Seattle Seahawks are heading into their bye week on a roll as even receivers are throwing for touchdowns.
Golden Tate let fly with a left-handed shot put throw that fell into the arms of Sidney Rice for a score, then took a well-deserved bow in Seattle’s 28-7 rout of the New York Jets on Sunday.
Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes and Tate found Rice for a 23-yard TD on a reverse pass midway through the fourth quarter.
Marshawn Lynch added 124 yards rushing and a 1-yard TD plunge as the Seahawks (6-4) won their second straight, improved to 5-0 at home and sent the Jets to their worst start since 2007. Lynch also topped 1,000 yards for the season on an 18-yard run, bouncing off tacklers late in the fourth quarter. He has 1,005 for the season.
Wilson was harried for much of the day by the multiple looks from the Jets’ defense. But the Seattle rookie responded with key throws, hitting Tate for a 38-yard TD on Seattle’s opening drive, then connecting with Rice early in the fourth quarter to give Seattle a two-score advantage.
Then came Seattle’s closing act. After a penalty wiped out another TD run from Lynch that left Antonio Cromartie buckled and grabbing at air, the Seahawks went into their bag of tricks. Facing first-and-goal at the 23, Wilson handed off to Tate. His windup was methodical and his heave wasn’t the prettiest, but the spiral found Rice in the back of the end zone.
Tate bowed to three sides of CenturyLink Field while his teammates celebrated the blowout victory.
Wilson finished 12 of 19 for 188 yards and still has not thrown an interception at home. Both of Rice’s catches were for touchdowns.
Mark Sanchez struggled in his meeting against Seattle coach Pete Carroll, his former coach at USC. Sanchez threw a costly interception at the goal line in the first half, then fumbled at the Seattle 32 on a blitz from Richard Sherman and Seattle’s Jason Jones recovered.
New York’s only touchdown came on a 21-yard fumble return by defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson when Wilson was sacked. Otherwise it was a miserable trip to the West Coast for the Jets (3-6).
Sanchez finished 9 of 22 for 124 yards. Tim Tebow ran four times for 14 yards, and was 3 of 3 passing for 8 yards. But Tebow was of no help to the offense.
It looked promising for the Jets when they got their first fumble return for a touchdown since 2009. Mike DeVito hit the scrambling Wilson, who held the ball too long. The loose ball bounced perfectly into Wilkerson’s arms and he rumbled for the TD. It was the first fumble returned for a touchdown against the Seahawks since 2009.
Seattle’s problems keeping possession weren’t done. Lynch fumbled on the first play of the second quarter at the New York 40, his first lost fumble in a year. Lynch sat on the bench with his headband pulled over his face in disgust.
Lynch’s fumble nearly became the turning point for the Jets. Tebow converted third-down with a 3-yard keeper, then Sanchez found Jeremy Kerley for 43 yards to the Seattle 7 on a blown coverage.
But on third-and-goal Sherman baited Sanchez into throwing across the field, where the Seahawks cornerback stepped in to steal his fourth interception of the season.
Jon Ryan wound up punting and Kerley tried to run under the kick near the Jets sideline, but saw it bounce off his hands. Seattle’s Kam Chancellor pounced on the turnover.
Seattle quickly capitalized, converting a second-and-15 when Wilson threw a backhanded screen pass under heavy pressure to Lynch for 27 yards. Lynch finally plowed in from the 1 to give the Seahawks a 14-7 halftime lead.