SEATTLE (AP)—From the opening kickoff, it seemed all coach Mike Mularkey needed was to wind up the Buffalo Bills and watch them go.
Actually, he encouraged them to wind down in Seattle.
Willis McGahee had 116 yards rushing and four touchdowns, leading Buffalo to a 38-9 win over Seattle on Sunday, the worst loss for coach Mike Holmgren in his six seasons with the Seahawks.
“Our defense set the tone,” McGahee said. “We just fed off of that. The offensive line did a great job. I was just a robot running behind them.”
Drew Bledsoe offset his three interceptions by completing two-thirds of his passes for 275 yards and a touchdown, and the Bills (5-6) snapped a six-game road losing streak dating to last season.
“It’s been too long since we’ve had the feeling of going on the road and beating somebody,” Bledsoe said. “We finished the game. That’s the big thing you can take out of this one. We didn’t allow them to climb back in it.”
It was Buffalo’s first road win in five tries this season and the team’s second victory in the last 12 trips. With a long flight from the East coast, Mularkey made changes in the Bills’ road schedule.
“After flying all day, I felt we needed to get the blood flowing,” Mularkey said. “Right in the middle of the meetings, we took a stroll. We were right in the middle of a pretty part of town. I think it was good for all of us.”
His players welcomed the approach.
“I thought it was a nice changeup,” center Trey Teague said. “Whatever happened, the guys were ready to play. We came out and took care of business, and it feels pretty satisfying.”
With Bledsoe working a no-huddle offense, McGahee followed a line that cleared his way. He scored on a pair of 2-yard runs, took a lateral from Bledsoe for a 30-yard TD and added a 1-yard scoring run midway through the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks (6-5) hit their lowest point this season with an abysmal performance that nearly emptied the stadium of 66,271 fans at the 5-minute mark.
They lost for the second time in five home games after going 8-0 on their own field last season. It also eclipsed the most lopsided loss of Holmgren’s tenure, a 31-3 defeat at Oakland on Oct. 22, 2000.
“I’m a little embarrassed by how we played,” Holmgren said. “I expect more from the team in all areas. We flat-out weren’t very good.”
Bledsoe, who grew up in Walla Walla, Wash., and played college football at Washington State, spread his passes among nine receivers. He finished 25-of-37 for 275 yards, including a 3-yard TD pass to rookie Lee Evans.
“Thousands of people have touched my life and helped me get here,” Bledsoe said. “A bunch of those people were here at the game. To play well in front of them obviously means a lot.”
Seattle’s Matt Hasselbeck returned from a bruised thigh that sidelined him last week. While he didn’t seem slowed by the injury, he never could establish any tempo for Seattle’s offense.
Hasselbeck was 19-of-38 for 185 yards with one TD and one interception. He had a ball knocked away by Buffalo’s Ryan Denney in the fourth quarter, a fumble that led to McGahee’s final touchdown.
“If it wasn’t one thing it was another,” Hasselbeck said. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. There’s a lot of improving that needs to be done.”
Shaun Alexander, the NFL’s leading rusher, was held to 39 yards on 13 carries.
“We all took the day off,” Alexander said. “It was forced by Buffalo, but that’s just the way it is.”
The Bills took control from the start, moving 60 yards in 10 plays on the opening drive. Seattle’s Josh Brown gave them a short field by kicking the ball out of bounds, and McGahee put Buffalo up 7-0 on a 2-yard plunge.
The Bills led 17-3 at halftime when Bledsoe tossed a 3-yard TD pass to Evans in the right corner of the end zone. Buffalo took over with 2:59 and worked the clock to score with 6 seconds to the break.
Buffalo didn’t punt until less than a minute remained in the third period.
“I don’t think there was much good by anybody today,” Holmgren said. ^Notes: Bills RB Travis Henry left with a broken bone in his leg. Team publicists didn’t know which leg. … After converting on 7 of 8 third downs in the first half, Buffalo finished 9-of-15 (60 percent). … Seattle FS Ken Hamlin had two interceptions. … It was Seattle’s worst home loss since Denver won 31-9 on Nov. 17, 2002.