Beaten for the second time in three weeks, this time there was no doubt for the Seahawks.
No late play call to lament, no last-minute penalty to question.
Instead, the Buffalo Bills simply hammered the Seahawks from start to finish Sunday, scoring three plays into the game and never letting up in a 44-34 win, the most points Seattle has allowed in the Pete Carroll era.
And while the defense was the primary culprit, at times seeming helpless against quarterback Josh Allen and Buffalo’s offense, Russell Wilson also looked as human as he ever has, throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles, the turnovers leading to 16 Buffalo points.
Wilson has now thrown five interceptions in the last three games, tying by itself his total of the entire 2019 season, having thrown three in an overtime loss at Arizona two weeks ago.
But Wilson seemed to be playing with uncommon desperation from the start with Buffalo up 14-0 before Seattle ran its fourth play of the game.
And while he threw for 390 yards and two touchdowns, the inability to take care of the ball proved too much for Seattle to overcome given the defense’s shortcomings.
Seattle is now 6-2, and while that will remain tied for the best record in the NFC, the Seahawks are also now just 1-2 against teams that currently have winning records, the victory coming against Miami.
It was just the eighth double-digit loss for the Seahawks, including playoffs, since Wilson arrived in 2012, as Allen threw for 415 yards and three touchdowns to become the sixth quarterback this year to top the 300-yard mark against Seattle in eight games.
Seattle’s defense was simply picked apart on almost every play in the first half by Allen, who completed 24 of 28 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns, the most yards for any quarterback in a first half this season.
The Seahawks didn’t force a punt in the first half, but did at least force two field goals, including a 61-yarder that was predictably missed as the half ended.
Seattle’s offense tried to keep pace, but one big mistake by Wilson proved costly when he threw an interception in the first quarter in the end zone on a fourth-and-1 play at the 5.
The Seahawks hoped early on to take advantage of a Buffalo defense that had allowed the sixth-most rushing yards in the NFL going into the game.
But the Bills mostly clamped down on that early, and the deficit then forced the Seahawks to have to go back to their pass-almost-every-down ways.
Wilson was 12 of 18 for 145 yards in the first half and got Seattle’s only touchdown on a 1-yard sneak on fourth-and-goal to cut Buffalo’s lead to 17-7.
According to ESPN, it was Wilson’s first 1-yard sneak for a TD in his career.
The game could hardly have started worse for the Seahawks, as Andre Roberts returned the opening kickoff 60 yards and the Bills then needed just three plays to score from there, all completions by Allen, the TD coming on a 25-yarder to Isaiah McKenzie.
That put Buffalo ahead 7-0 just 1:19 into the game.
Seattle went three and out, and the Bills then drove 72 yards for another Allen touchdown pass, at which point the Bills had a 130-5 edge in yards.
After the Wilson interception in the end zone the Bills drove for a field goal to go up 17-0 with 11:22 to play in the second quarter.
Wilson’s sneak to cap an 85-yard drive got Seattle back in it.
Two penalties on Buffalo on a third-and-3 for Seattle at its own 22 jump-started the drive, with the Seahawks accepting a pass interference call against DK Metcalf for 25 yards.
The second half didn’t start off much better for the Seahawks. Wilson, trying to make something happen on third-and-10, was hit from behind by Jerry Hughes and fumbled with the Bills recovering at the Seattle 23.
The Seahawks defense at least held the Bills to a field goal, appearing to catch a break when Gabriel Davis was ruled out at the 3-yard line when the TV replay showed he appeared to have broken the plane of the end zone.
Still, that made it 27-10 with 11:55 to go in the third quarter, the third time in the game the Bills had had a 17-point lead.
The Seahawks, though, then marched 75 yards in 11 plays, converting a third-and-6 and a third-and-8 along the way, to cut the lead to 27-17 on a 4-yard run by DeeJay Dallas with 6:36 left in the third quarter.
Seattle, which played far more aggressively on defense in the second half, then forced its first punt of the game on the next series when Adams got a sack on a blitz on third down.
A roughing penalty helped Seattle get in position for a 44-yard kick by Jason Myers that got the Seahawks to within 27-20 with 1:56 to play in the third.
The Seahawks appeared to have a third-down sack to stop the Bills on the next series. But Adams was called for illegal contact for tripping Cole Beasley to give the Bills a first down at the 29.
Then on third-and-16, the Seahawks blitzed again and the Bills turned a short pass to John Brown into a gain for 33 yards into the wide open secondary to take it to the 2.
Zack Moss then scored on a 1-yard run with 11:27 to play to cap an 82-yard, nine-play drive and put the Bills ahead 34-20.
On the next drive, Wilson threw his second interception of the game — and fifth in the last three — when Tre’Davious White jumped in front of a pass to Metcalf on third-and-25 and returned it to the Seattle 3.
Allen ran it in for a TD on the next play to make it 41-20 with 9:38 remaining.
But the Seahawks as Wilson hit David Moore for a 55-yard TD to make it 41-27 with 8:50 remaining.
On the next series, Diggs was stopped just shy of a first down on a third down catch and the Bills, after initially lining up to go for it, decided to punt with 7:18 remaining.
Seattle took over at its own 20 with 7:08 left and this seemed to have the makings of another patented Wilson resurrection.
Instead, on third down he was hit hard on a blitz and fumbled the ball away at the 19 and that was that.
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