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Rapid Reaction: Wright, Griffin Lead Banged-Up Defense in 31-23 Win Over Dolphins

Notes, takeaways, and reaction from the Seattle Seahawks' 31-23 win vs. the Miami Dolphins.


The Seahawks went to Miami with a pretty beat up defense, but still managed to keep the Dolphins out of the end zone until the final minutes of the game, and while their red-hot offense cooled off every so slightly, Russell Wilson and company still put up plenty of points to lead the Seahawks to a 31-23 victory over the Dolphins. With the win, the Seahawks are now 4-0 for just the second time in franchise history, matching the start of the 2013 team.

Here are seven rapid reactions from Sunday's win at Hard Rock Stadium:

1. Russell Wilson hit another milestone even while cooling off a bit from his torrid pace.

Russell Wilson completed 24 of 34 attempts for 360 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, giving him 112.4 passer rating. Pretty darn solid effort in a victory, right? Well as many big plays as Wilson made, the insane pace he set in the first three games almost made Sunday's performance feel like a letdown even with those very strong numbers, and was a reminder that even when he and the offense aren't at their very best, that group is very, very potent.

With two more touchdown passes, Wilson is now up to 16 this season, matching Peyton Manning's 2013 season for the most touchdown passes through the first four games of a season in NFL history.

2. It wasn't perfect, but the defense showed signs of improvement.

The Seahawks didn't play a perfect game on defense, but for a team that was struggling with giving up too many big plays in the passing game, Sunday was a step in the right direction.

Despite playing without numerous injured starters on defense, the Seahawks kept the Dolphins out of the end zone until the final two minutes of the game, and they held Miami to 312 passing yards which, while not a number to necessarily brag about, represents progress after the first three games.

The defense got a pair of takeaways, interceptions by Ryan Neal and Shaquill Griffin, and had chances at others. Most significantly, they cut back on the big plays allowed, not giving up a play longer than 26 yards a week after Dallas had four completions of 40 or more yards, including three touchdowns.

3. K.J. Wright was everywhere.

K.J. Wright will come out of Sunday's game feeling like he let an interception or two get away from him, but despite those missed opportunities—and it's worth remembering he had to be in position to break up the pass to get those near picks in the first place—it was a great day for the veteran linebacker.

Wright, who has made a career out of wrecking screen passes, had two more of his signature play, one of which forced a fumble that Miami was able to recover, and he also had three passes defensed and eight tackles.

4. Shaquill Griffin had a nice bounce-back game.

Cornerback Shaquill Griffin was one of many defensive players unhappy with how things went in last week's win over Dallas, including his play individually that featured him giving up a couple of big pass plays. After that game, Griffin vowed to be better, and on Sunday he was.

Griffin bounced back with a strong performance, a game that included two second-half pass breakups in the end zone, and a fourth-quarter interception that was part of a sequence when Seattle quickly took control of the game with a David Moore touchdown catch, Griffin's interception, a big catch-and-run by DK Metcalf, and a Chris Carson touchdown run that turned a close game into a 16-point Seahawks lead.

5. David Moore is a big-play machine.

Three games into the season, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf were the most productive receiver duo in the NFL, but that doesn't mean those two are Seattle's only playmakers at that position, and on Sunday David Moore provided a good reminder of that.

Moore finished with only three catches, but those catches went for 97 yards, and two of them were some of the biggest plays of the game, a 57-yarder late in the first half that was the key play in a quick end-of-half touchdown drive, and a 17-yard fourth-quarter touchdown that gave the Seahawks some much-needed breathing room.

The leaping grab featured some impressive footwork to get down in bounds, but thanks to Moore's Week 2 touchdown grab against New England, it was only his second most impressive touchdown catch of the season.

And while Moore had the touchdown, it was hardly a quiet day for Metcalf, who again turned four catches into a huge game, gaining 106 yards.

6. Chris Carson is one tough dude.

When Chris Carson left last week's game with a knee injury, it looked like he would be out a while, and perhaps that his season could even be in jeopardy. Instead, Carson somehow escaped serious injury, bounced back to play the next week, and he finished the game rushing for 80 yards on 16 carries, including two touchdowns. Carson again showed his toughness during the game, taking a brutal hit that briefly took him out of the game before he was able to return in the second half.

7. The Seahawks escaped the game with no new significant injuries.

In addition to earning a victory in Miami, the Seahawks also are leaving Miami with no new significant injuries, which is big news for a team that lost two defensive starters for the season in Week 2, and saw other players go down with Week 3 injuries that kept them out this week, including safety Jamal Adams.

"I'm probably most pleased after it's all over, everybody got out of there pretty fit," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after the game. "We didn't get anybody banged up today, which is really good. We get to move our way into the next game with everybody at least who was playing today, so that's a good thing."

The best photos from Week 4's Seahawks-Dolphins game at Hard Rock Stadium. Presented by Nesquik.

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