Wilson finally wins in Florida as Hawks hit 4-0 for second time ever

It wasn’t easy, but Russell Wilson finally won in Florida and the Seahawks improved to 4-0 for the second time in franchise history with a 31-23 win in 88-degree weather in Miami.

K.J. Wright and the Seattle defense held Miami to five field goals and a late TD, giving a struggling Seattle offense time to finally put the game away in the fourth quarter after Miami had held time of possession and stymied Wilson and company in the red zone a couple of times.

Wilson threw two TD passes to reach 16, which ties Peyton Manning for most through four games in NFL history. Manning set that record in 2013, when Seattle opened 4-0 for the first time on its way to beating Manning’s Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.

Seattle scored on its first possession, set up by Ryan Neal’s second interception in as many games as he replaces injured Jamal Adams. Chris Carson scored from the 1 to cap a 57-yard drive. The big play was a 37-yard pass to DK Metcalf.

The Hawks took a 17-9 lead just before halftime as Wilson moved them 75 yards in 21 seconds. He hit David Moore on a 57-yard pass down the left sideline, setting up Travis Homer’s 3-yard TD catch.

The Hawks were shut down on fourth down in the second quarter – Wilson was sacked at the Miami 18. And then Wilson threw an interception in the end zone in the third quarter – he threw off his feet as he was pressured, and Xavien Howard got in front of Metcalf for the diving interception.

Ryan “The Beard” Fitzpatrick shaved the deficit to 17-15 midway through the fourth quarter, making Seattle squirm. But Wilson answered by hitting Tyler Lockett (who had an earlier drop) for the first time all game – a 30-yard gain that helped set up a 17-yard TD pass to Moore (three catches, 95 yards).

Shaquill Griffin then got his second pick of the season, which set up Seattle for a quick TD drive. Wilson hit Metcalf for 32 yards and Carson scored from the 1 to put Seattle up 31-15.

Fitzpatrick kept fighting until the end, driving Miami 75 yards for a TD (a 10-yard run by The Beard) and two-point conversion to make it 31-23.

Seattle ran the final 1:49 out though, escaping with Wilson’s first win in Florida. He had lost 24-21 in Miami in his rookie season, 14-5 in Tampa Bay in 2016 and 30-24 in Jacksonville in 2017.

Wilson threw for 360 yards and two TDs, with his first at-fault interception (Greg Olsen caused the other, against new England).  

The offense struggled for much of the game. Metcalf and Lockett both dropped passes in the first half. The line rotated guys in, and Cedric Ogbuehi struggled in his first game as he relieved Brandon Shell.

Coming off a twisted knee last week vs. Dallas, Chris Carson played a really tough game. He left late in the first half after apparently getting the wind knocked out of him, but he came back and played hard in the second half. He ran 16 times for 80 yards and two scores and also caught three passes for 20 yards.

“Chris is a stud football player. He ain’t ever backing down from anything,” Pete Carroll said.

The defense gave up a 300-yard passer for the fourth straight game – Fitzpatrick threw for 315. They have won 10 straight games against 300-yard passers.

But they held Miami to field goals on five of six scoring drives, and Neal and Griffin picked off passes.

K.J. Wright had his hands on three other passes, which ended up as passes defensed. He and Bobby Wagner played great games again, combining for 20 tackles. Wright also forced a fumble. “He shows you what instincts and savvy is all about,” Carroll said.

Neal, who clinched the win over Dallas with an end zone pick last week, tallied six stops and two passes defensed.

OTHER NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

The Seahawks have won nine of past 10 road games in the regular season. They also have now won 10 straight 10 a.m. starts, including both this year (also Atlanta in the opener).

The Seahawks had no official penalties – the first time that has happened in the Pete Carroll era. They had a couple declined or offset. Per ESPN Stats & Info, the last time the Seahawks had no accepted penalties was in 2007.

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