The complete game people have been waiting for arrived Sunday in the Georgia Dome.
The defense — outside of penalties — was dominant. Marshawn Lynch dominated on the ground. Russell Wilson was upright and crisp throughout the game, taking one sack, which was really his fault (and cost them three points). Special teams never gave Atlanta returner Jacquizz Rodgers a chance.
The Seahawks gained a season-high 490 yards.
A few takeaways:
> Golden Tate is becoming a reliable weapon. His play is finally catching up to his confidence and Tate is becoming one of the more dynamic playmakers in the NFL because of his return ability to go with one-handed touchdowns and other big plays. Tate is an interesting character. He speaks with desperation, as if time to become a star in the league is running out on him. He showed a lot of restraint after making plays Sunday, which makes it appears Pete Carroll’s message of letting his ability to do the talking is starting to sink into his head. At least for one week.
> After being knocked around the past two weeks, an adjusted offensive line took care of Wilson. He was hardly hit Sunday. Now, he’s a week away from a bye week. If the Seahawks end up 10-1 heading into the bye week and are able to use the Minnesota game as a tester for Russell Okung, Breno Giacomini and Percy Harvin, well, they couldn’t ask for much more.
> Rookie tackle Alvin Bailey played left tackle on third down and even moved to right guard when J.R. Sweezy had to come off late in the game. Bailey played both sides and positions in college (though much more guard than tackle), so he said it wasn’t a big deal to move spots. “I’m just enjoying myself,” Bailey said. “The older guys on the offensive line do a good job of keeping us rookies in line and helping us out as much as they can. I’m having a blast and we just have to keep on rolling.” Bailey said his chance to play “came earlier than we thought” once both tackles were injured.
> Lastly, from my view, the only other team the Seahawks have played that is as hapless as Atlanta was Jacksonville. Despite their records, to me, Tampa Bay is clearly better than Atlanta at this point. The Falcons have no playmakers on defense and zero run game.
> Here’s my game story, focusing on the Seahawks getting back to basics with Lynch and a run-first game.
> Golden Tate had a strong day for the Seahawks.
> The throwback pass from Lynch was part of a day of big plays for the Seahawks offense, which made it happen with backups once again filling out the offensive line.
> Our John McGrath wonders if crutches will let the Seahawks make it to the Super Bowl.
> A photo gallery from yesterday’s game.
> Video highlights from the win.
> Pete Carroll’s postgame press conference.
> Russell Wilson’s postgame press conference.
> ESPN.com says the dominant Seahawks finally show up.
> Sunday blitz video wrap up of the game.
> The AP says that’s more like it for the Seahawks.
> 710’s game in review.
> NFL.com says the Seahawks took care of business in Atlanta.
> The 49ers were beat up in their loss to Carolina which put the Seahawks 2.5 games up in the division.
> SI’s Jim Trotter says the Panthers are a contender in the NFC.
> The Rams blew out the Colts in large part because of a bad day for Andrew Luck.
> Columnist Mark Bradley of the AJC says Sunday was the Falcons’ worse loss under coach Mike Smith.
> Here’s the AJC’s game story that says Atlanta’s season just took another “gruesome” turn.
> Photos from the AJC.
> Peyton Manning will be getting an MRI, though he didn’t specify for what.
> Jake Locker is out for the season, giving the Titans a double blow as they became the first team to lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars.