GRADING THE BILLS
Running game: A-
C.J. Spiller had another strong game — as we’ve come to expect. He didn’t have the workhorse performance people wanted to see in Fred Jackson’s absence because the game got away from the Bills so fast. But Spiller ran 17 times for 103 yards and a touchdown. He hit the 1,000-yard plateau in the fewest carries since Beattie Feathers for the 1934 Chicago Bears.
Passing game: D
An ordinary game would’ve been an improvement for Ryan Fitzpatrick. He completed 21 of his 38 attempts for 217 yards and a TD, but he threw two interceptions and got stripped for another turnover. The Seahawks mauled the Bills’ offensive line, sacking Fitzpatrick three times. Stevie Johnson had a strong game with 115 yards and a score. T.J. Graham had at least four drops.
Run defense: F
The Bills’ streak of not allowing opponents to rush for 90 yards ended at four games. Emphatically. Defensive tackle Kyle Williams said all week the Bills practiced to stop the Seahawks’ zone-option attack yet still looked clueless. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson rolled up 92 yards and three touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch ran 10 times for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Pass defense: D+
The Bills started off with a bang, when linebacker Kelvin Sheppard sacked Wilson on the first play. But the Bills hit Wilson just four times more the rest of the game. Wilson routinely found targets wide open and finished with a 104.4 passer rating. He completed 61 percent of his throws and averaged 7.8 yards per attempt. The Bills recorded just one pass breakup.
Special teams: D+
Marcell Dareus blocked an extra point. That was the highlight. The Bills were embarrassed late in the game when, down by 30 points, the Seahawks ran 29 yards up the middle on a fake punt. Some might consider Pete Carroll’s decision unsportsmanlike, but the Bills were more aggravated they failed to stop it. Top return man Leodis McKelvin didn’t play because of a groin injury.
Buffalo was overmatched and outsmarted from the jump. Buffalo was pathetic on both sides of the ball. The Bills let a rookie quarterback play like Fran Tarkenton. With 6:40 left in the first half, five Seahawks already had gains of 20-plus yards. The second half didn’t get any smoother for the Bills. The Seahawks continued to push them around. The Bills just took it.
GRADING THE SEAHAWKS
Running game: A
Seattle did whatever it wanted on the ground. Wilson became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for three touchdowns and throw for one in a half. Wilson and Lynch each averaged more than 10 yards a carry. Seattle ran for 270 yards as a team. Even if you take out the fake punt, Seattle averaged the same distance per rush as it did per pass attempt (7.8 yards).
Passing game: B+
Seattle’s line and Wilson’s quicksilver feet kept him upright all afternoon. The Bills sacked him twice and hit him three times. Pass distribution was terrific, with Wilson targeting 10 teammates, none more than five times. Sidney Rice and Golden Tate combined for seven catches and 140 yards. Tight end Zach Miller got wide open in the end zone for Seattle’s only passing TD.
Run defense: C
The NFL’s 10th-rated run defense had its problems containing Spiller, but few teams have been able to manage that feat. Spiller was the lone threat, accounting for all but 15 of the Bills’ rushing yards. The game quickly became a pass-first attack for the Bills, rendering much of their ground game immaterial to the outcome. Only seven of the Bills’ 21 first downs were on the ground.
Pass defense: A
The Seahawks were dominant despite being without right cornerback Brandon Browner (suspension) and top backups Marcus Trufant (hamstring) and Walter Thurmond (hamstring). Fitzpatrick often was swarmed by pressure. The Seahawks registered six pass breakups in addition to their two interceptions and forced fumble. They also dropped Spiller for a 9-yard loss on a screen.
Special teams: C
Prudence probably should’ve kept Seattle from faking that punt, but it worked. That cancels out the missed extra point for grading purposes. The Seahawks were otherwise vanilla on special teams. They punted only twice. Leon Washington was so-so on his returns. Steven Hauschka made all three of his field-goal attempts, from 19, 33 and 23 yards.
The Seahawks became the first team since the 1950 New York Giants to score 50 points in back-to-back games. The game was a statement for Seattle, which has struggled to win on the road but now has posted consecutive victories away from CenturyLink Field. With a rookie quarterback and players missing in the secondary, Carroll has his team at 9-5 with two home games left.