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Game at a glance: Seahawks 20, Titans 13

Posted Oct 13, 2013

The Seahawks scored 10 points in the fourth quarter on Sunday to post a 20-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans at CenturyLink Field in running their record to 5-1.


A recap of the Seahawks’ 20-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans before a crowd of 68,127 at CenturyLink Field on Sunday:

PLAYERS OF THE GAME: EARL THOMAS AND MARSHAWN LYNCH

This was one of those games where it’s impossible to go with just one player, especially because Earl Thomas set the tone early for another suffocating effort by the Seahawks’ defense and Marshawn Lynch made the plays the offense needed to score 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Thomas, the All-Pro free safety, had a team-high five solo tackles and also intercepted a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass in the first quarter. But Thomas also helped setup a fourth-quarter interception by Richard Sherman by leaning toward the other side of the field and tempting the Titans’ QB to test the Seahawks’ All-Pro cornerback.

“L.O.B, that’s what it’s all about,” said Sherman, referring to the “Legion of Boom” nickname the secondary goes by. “We’re going to make the big plays when our team needs them. Earl was able to get one; I was able to get one. It’s the L.O.B. trying to put our name out there.” 

Lynch, meanwhile, contributed 155 of the Seahawks’ 404 offensive yards. He led them in rushing yards (77 on 21 carries). He led then in receiving yards (a career-high 78 on four receptions). And 95 of those yards came in the fourth quarter – 65 on two receptions and 30 on eight carries. Oh, and he scored the only two offensive touchdowns in the game, on a 1-yard run in the second quarter and a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter. Oh, part II, and Lynch was listed as questionable for this game with a sore hip.

“We didn’t even know if he was going to play today,” said center Max Unger, who returned after missing the previous two games with an upper arm injury. “But he played a helluva game. Marshawn is a tough dude, there’s no doubt about that. The more touches he gets I think he gets stronger. We kind of leaned on him a little toward the end and I thought he did a heckuva job.”

That the Seahawks did. On the seven-play, 69-yard drive to a 29-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka to open the fourth quarter, Lynch started it off with a career-long 55-yard catch-and-run of a pass from Russell Wilson and also added a 10-yard run. On the seven-play, 59-yard drive to Lynch’s 3-yard TD run – that followed Sherman’s timely interception – Lynch also had a 6-yard run and caught a 10-yard pass.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: There were several from which to choose, but let’s go with that 55-yard pass play from Wilson to Lynch just because of the way it unfolded, when it happened and what happened because it happened – as it supplied 55 of the 69 yards in the drive to Hauschka’s field goal.

“It really wasn’t designed for him,” said Wilson, who was rolling to his right on the play only to see Lynch pop open on the left side. “Coming out of the huddle, Marshawn and I just talked and said, ‘Hey, you never know.’ But I really wasn’t thinking it, to be honest with you. We had a guy in the flat. We had a guy in the over. We had a guy on a runback going deep. And we had a guy going to the far side of the field.

“I got space. I got away from the defensive end. And everybody was kind of covered. And sure enough, Marshawn comes out the backside and makes a big play for us. And that was a big gain.”

Defense: Again, there were many candidates. But no play was bigger, or timelier, than Sherman’s pick that was sandwiched between the Seahawks’ 10 points in the fourth quarter.

“It’s exciting, man,” Wilson said of the sudden turnaround for the offense. “We expected that to happen. We expect the defense to get a turnover every single time they get on the field. That’s how good our defense is. That’s how much belief we have in them.”

Special teams: Jason McCourty’s 66-yard TD return of a, well, whatever you call what happened to the Seahawks on a botched field-goal attempt at the end of the first half – and a play that comes with enough footnotes to qualify for a PhD dissertation.

Before McCourty’s scoop-and-go return, the Seahawks lined up with Chris Maragos as the holder and holder/punter Jon Ryan as the kicker – because Hauschka was in the locker room being tested for a possible concussion after a second-quarter collision with Titans’ returner Darius Reynaud.

Asked what he would have done differently in that situation, coach Pete Carroll said, “Just not put those guys out there. Just go ahead and take one more shot with two seconds left, and not make (Maragos) and those guys have to do that. That’s a lot of pressure on those guys, and we didn’t handle it very well, obviously. We couldn’t have handled it any worse, as a matter of fact. I put them out there. They didn’t have to be out there. I shouldn’t have done that.”

INJURY REPORT

Hauschka did not have a concussion, and did return. He kicked a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter and a 29-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Defensive end Chris Clemons injured an elbow in the third quarter and did not return.

The Seahawks continued to play without their injured starting tackles – Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini – and also did not have tight end Zach Miller for the second consecutive game because of a hamstring injury. Middle linebacker and second-leading tackler Bobby Wagner also was inactive. 

WORTH NOTHING

The Seahawks’ 5-1 start ties the 2003 team for the best in franchise history.

YOU DON'T SAY

“He might be the best defensive player in the game, outside of J.J. Watt.”

former Pro Bowl safety Rodney Harrison, discussing Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas on NBC’s “Football Night in America”

Wilson is now 11-0 as a starter at home, making him the fourth QB in NFL history to win his first 11 games – behind the Cowboys’ Danny White (16 in 1980-81); Rams’ Kurt Warner (15 in 1990-01); and Rams’ Marc Bulger (14 in 2002-04).

Wilson completed 23 passes – to eight different receivers. It was his second-highest total of the season behind the 25 completions he had in the opener against the Panthers. His 257 passing yards also were his second-highest total of the season behind the 320 he had in the opener.

Rookie defensive tackle Jordan Hill had his first NFL sack, actually half-a-sack as he shared it with Clemons.

The Seahawks completed their four-game stretch against AFC South opponents at 3-1.