Lynch leads way as Seattle beats Dallas 27-7

TIM BOOTH (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) -- With Marshawn Lynch churning up yards and Seattle's stout defense making life miserable for Tony Romo, all rookie Russell Wilson had to do in his first home start was be a manager.

That's exactly how the Seahawks drew it up.

''Our motto is to play longer and harder than they can, and that's what happened,'' Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate said.

Lynch ran for 122 yards and a 3-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, Seattle's special teams came up with two huge first-quarter plays that led to 10 points, and the Seahawks beat the Cowboys 27-7 Sunday.

Seattle was staked to a 10-0 lead in less than 5 minutes. Michael Robinson forced Felix Jones to fumble the opening kickoff, leading to a short field goal, and Malcolm Smith blocked Chris Jones' punt and Jeron Johnson returned it for a touchdown to give Seattle (1-1) the early advantage.

Turned out those 10 points were all the Seahawks needed.

''We played well. We prepared well. We knew exactly what they were going to be doing out there and we were ready for it,'' cornerback Brandon Browner said.

Wilson threw for 151 yards in his first NFL victory, directing a 90-yard scoring drive in the third quarter capped by a 22-yard touchdown strike to Anthony McCoy to give Seattle a 20-7 lead. Wilson was 15 of 20 passing, including 6 of 8 in the second half, and a passer rating of 112.7. Steven Hauschka kicked field goals of 21 and 25 yards for the Seahawks, who rebounded from a disappointing season-opening loss at Arizona in which Seattle failed to score in the closing seconds.

''The week was a challenging week because last week was so emotional, and it was so close and we had high expectations but we don't get out with a win last week, and to come back with our guys and challenge them to focus and put their attention on the next team, they handled that really well, a bunch of young guys,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ''I was really, really pleased with that.''

Lynch had just 22 yards at halftime, but Seattle dominated possession in the second half, running 38 plays compared to just 19 for the Cowboys. His dynamic 36-yard run in the third quarter included Lynch carrying tacklers in the open field and helped setup Wilson's strike to McCoy.

The Seahawks finished with 182 yards rushing. Dating to last season, Seattle has topped 100 yards rushing in 10 of 11 games.

''It was very much needed and I'm glad we got it,'' Lynch said.

From the opening kickoff, Romo was playing from behind. Jones' fumble was recovered by Earl Thomas at the Dallas 29. The Seahawks drove to the 3, but Wilson's third-down pass for Sidney Rice was nearly intercepted by Bruce Carter and Seattle settled for the first of two short field goals from Hauschka.

Dallas (1-1) went three-and-out on its first possession with the drive stalling after Jason Witten dropped a third-down pass. The Cowboys' punt barely left Jones' foot as Smith reached out with his right hand to block the kick, which one-hopped perfectly into Johnson's hands and he strolled in for the Seahawks' second blocked punt return for a touchdown in their last six games dating to last season.

Romo finished 23 of 40 for 251 yards and one touchdown to Miles Austin, but was able to direct only one scoring drive despite having extra time to prepare for the Seahawks. Dallas was trying to open the season with consecutive wins for the first time since 2008, and now heads home to face Tampa Bay wondering if they're more like the team that knocked off the New York Giants in the season opener or the one that flopped in Seattle.

''We just didn't do the little things, to extend the drives, that you need to do and sometimes you can make up for it if you have big plays and we just didn't have those for whatever reason today,'' Romo said. ''We need to do a better job of doing the things that we need to do to just move the ball.''

Romo was also unable to get rid of the demons from his last visit to Seattle , the 2006 NFC wild-card game in which he bobbled the snap of a potential winning field goal in the final minutes then was tripped up on his way to the end zone short of the winning score.

Dallas had just 34 yards in the second half until a stat-padding drive in the final seconds in which the Cowboys gained 51 yards. DeMarco Murray, who ran for 139 yards last year against Seattle, was held to just 44 yards on 12 carries.

''I know this, in everything about playing football they were better than we were today,'' Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones said. ''Every aspect of it. So we can call it whatever you want to call it, but they were better than we were today, all the way.''

NOTES: McCoy finished with a career-high five receptions and his first NFL touchdown. ... Tate laid a huge block on Dallas LB Sean Lee in the fourth quarter that was not flagged but could draw a fine. Asked if it was a cheap shot, Lee said, ''It's part of the deal. It's part of the game. It's not for me to judge.'' ... Seattle snapped a three-game losing streak to the Cowboys. ... Dallas had a blocked punt returned for a touchdown for the first time since Sept. 11, 2011, against the New York Jets.


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