Seattle puts it all together in rout of Atlanta

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 11, 2013 at 7:47 pm •  Published: November 11, 2013

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — There was an understanding why the Seattle Seahawks were being questioned after two lackluster performances.

The response was a resounding argument why they are 9-1 and the best team in the NFC.

Seattle's 33-10 rout of Atlanta on Sunday was exactly what Pete Carroll was looking for from his team.

The Seahawks featured a dynamic offense led by Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch and an improved defensive effort after two straight weeks of struggling to stop the run.

The Seahawks won their fifth game of the season on the road — matching the franchise record for most road wins in one season — and did it without five expected starters that all could be back this week against Minnesota.

"We've got more games we have to win and we have a lot of work to finish it out," Carroll said. "We have a chance to do something special in this division, we need to take advantage of every opportunity and win every game going down the stretch."

Offensively, the Seahawks found their most effective mix of run and pass this season thanks to improved play from the offensive line. Lynch finished with 145 yards rushing and a touchdown, while Wilson threw for 287 yards and two scores.

Most importantly, Wilson was sacked only once — his own fault for holding the ball too long — and was hit just three times after getting beat up the previous two weeks against St. Louis and Tampa Bay.

On the defensive side, Seattle had given up at least 200 yards rushing to St. Louis and Tampa Bay, the first time the Seahawks allowed that to happen in consecutive weeks since 2002.

There was a recommitment to stopping the run and it was evident from the start. Steven Jackson finished with 11 yards on nine carries and Atlanta ran the ball only 16 times for 64 yards.

Having won five straight, the Seahawks may be fully stocked for the first time this season heading into the final stretch.

Offensive linemen Max Unger, Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini, defensive end Red Bryant and wide receiver Percy Harvin all could be back this week.

Unger and Bryant still need to be cleared after they suffered concussions against Tampa Bay, while Okung and Giacomini started practicing last week with an eye on returning against the Vikings.

A luxury of being 9-1 — the Seahawks are in no position in having to rush any of the five back this week if there is the slightest hesitation they are not ready to go.

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