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Seahawks answered the critics in win over Atlanta

Golden Tate and the Seahawks are an NFC-best 9-1 after their blowout win over the Falcons Sunday. (AP)

By Michael Grey

Well, now what?

For the last two weeks, criticism from the fans and media (myself included) flowed in about the Seahawks’ porous run defense, offensive line woes, pressure on Russell Wilson, offensive play-calling, choice in uniform combinations, etc.

Mind you, those critiques followed back-to-back victories in the midst of the best start in franchise history.

After all the talk of benchings, lineup changes and play-calling adjustments, all the Seahawks did was put together the best effort of the regular season in every measurable fashion.

Tightening up execution in the run defense? Check. Atlanta’s 32nd-ranked rushing attack was held to 64 yards on 16 carries.

Trouble with the offensive line and those three replacement players? Check. Wilson was sacked only once, threw no interceptions, had lots of time in the pocket and finished with a 134.6 quarterback rating.

Run-pass balance in the offensive play-calling? Check. Seattle rolled up 211 yards on 42 rushes and 279 yards on a 19-for-26 day from Wilson.

Even the uniform choice (white tops, navy pants) is the best in the road arsenal, in my humble opinion.

Oh, and the Niners were beaten on their home field by the suddenly-stout Panthers. How much better can a Sunday get for the 12th Man?

So now what?

After a lifetime of watching football (most of it mediocre to horrible) my advice would be to step outside, take a deep breath of Pacific Northwest air and enjoy it. Expectations for the Seahawks were sky-high when the year began, but that should not in any way sully the fact that this team is putting together and incredibly special season.

The win total alone tells you that you’re in rarefied air. But upon a closer look, the injuries at key positions, daunting road schedule, complete lack of that Percy Harvin guy and the reliance on a second-year quarterback should soften even the toughest critic. I have never been accused of pumping sunshine but I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and this year’s Seahawks are in the midst of an amazing season.

Enjoy it. At least for one week.