Rookies Thomas Rawls and Tyler Lockett largely kept the Seahawks from becoming irrelevant for the remainder of the season Sunday, combining for 308 yards of total offense and four touchdowns in Seattle’s 29-13 victory over the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field (box). Each scored twice and QB Russell Wilson delivered his best game of the year as the Seahawks snapped a two-game losing streak at the Clink, improving to 5-5.
Oddly enough, it might have been when the Seahawks declared RB Marshawn Lynch inactive with an abdominal injury. That meant Rawls, an undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan, would start. He did so spectacularly, even historically, rushing for 209 yards and a touchdown and catching three passes for 46 and another score.
Rawls became the fourth Seattle running back in 40 years to top 200 rushing yards, following Shaun Alexander twice (266 vs. Oakland Nov. 11, 2001 and 201 Nov. 27, 2006 vs. Green Bay) and Curt Warner, who had 207 vs. Kansas City Nov. 27, 1983. Rawls’ 209 yards broke Warner’s 207 for a Seattle rookie record.
Astounding as were Rawls and Lockett, it all started with Wilson, who completed 24 of 29 passes (82.7 percent) for 260 yards and three touchdowns, and created myriad opportunities for Rawls and Lockett to shine. Wilson threw TD passes of 24 and 11 yards to Lockett and 31 yards to Rawls. His passer rating of 138.5 was his best of the season and the highest since he posted a 139.6 mark against New Orleans Dec. 2, 2013. That game against the Saints was also the last time Wilson threw three TDs.
Wilson’s completion percentage is the fourth-highest in franchise history for a single game, topped only by Dave Krieg’s 86.3 against Denver Dec. 11, 1988, Matt Hasselbeck’s 84.0 vs. San Francisco Dec. 11, 2005 and Hasselbeck’s 83.3 at Detroit Sept. 10, 2006.
Rawls, who carried a Lynch-like 30 times, had 96 rushing yards in the first half, nearly becoming the first Seattle back to reach 100 in the first two quarters of a game since Lynch had an even 100 at Buffalo Dec. 16, 2012. Rawls has three 100-yard rushing games this year (also 104 vs. Chicago and 169 at Cincinnati).
Wilson completed passes to eight receivers, WR Doug Baldwin topping the list with six for 60 yards. Lockett caught four for 48 and TE Jimmy Graham three for 39 on three targets.
Steven Hauschka, who made his first 17 PATs this season, missed twice Sunday, once when his effort was tipped at the line of scrimmage.
The Seahawks have held the 49ers to one or fewer touchdowns in nine consecutive meetings. The last team to go nine consecutive games against an opponent with one TD or fewer was the Indianapolis Colts against the Buffalo Bills from 1989-94.
DE Cliff Avril recorded two sacks against San Francisco quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the only two the Seahawks had. Avril also had two tackles for loss.
LB Bobby Wagner had eight tackles (three solo) and LB K.J. Wright added six (three solo). CB DeShawn Shead, who replaced Cary Williams in the fourth quarter after a poor game, led the Seahawks with four solo tackles.
“I liked the way we played across the board. It was a really good football game for us. The defense did a really nice job. But the offense did a great job. Russell had a really good game and I’m really fired up about what Rawls did. He has really played well when he’s had his chance to start. This is what it’s supposed to look like for us. So it was really a good day”– Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.
“This is the No. 1 game in my career, and to do it at the highest level in the NFL is great. I felt like I was back in high school. Today, we came out aggressive and strong and set the tone up front with the offensive line. We had relentless effort. I like the physical nature of the game, and I think I can do some amazing things” — Rawls
The Seahawks scored touchdowns on their first three possessions, the first time they have done that all season . . . . The Seahawks are 5-0 against teams with records under .500 and 0-5 against teams .500 or above . . . Wilson has quarterbacked 41 regular-season wins and thrown 85 TD passes . . . Seattle improved to 23-5 in November and December since 2012 . . . The Seahawks also improved to 18-15 against the 49ers all-time . . . The Seahawks have rushed for 100 or more yards in 21 consecutive games, longest streak in the NFL . . . The Seahawks played without Lynch (abdomen), LB Bruce Irvin (knee) and WR Paul Richardson (hamstring). Lynch will fly to Philadelphia this week to consult with a specialist about his abdominal injury.
The Seahawks remain at home for the third consecutive week to host the Pittsburgh Steelers at 1:25 p.m. Sunday (CBS).