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Russell Wilson commits 4 turnovers, Seahawks ripped in 44-34 loss to Bills

The NFC West-leading Seahawks’ meeting with the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills was a wake-up call.

Seattle’s defense was shredded, especially in the first half, and Russell Wilson threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles in a shockingly dominant 44-34 Bills win that sent a message to the NFL just how serious of a contender they are.

Quick hits: Bills bully Hawks | O’Neil’s column | 710 reacts | Stats

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen was the star of the game, completing 31 of 38 for 415 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions against an overmatched Seahawks secondary. He also had a rushing touchdown.

Stefon Diggs had 118 yards on nine receptions, John Brown had 99 yards on eight catches, and Gabriel Davis added 70 yards and a TD on four receptions for Buffalo. The passing game was almost the Bills’ entire offense, as only 34 rushing yards accounted into their 420 yards of total offense.

While Seattle’s pass rush was a bright spot in the debut of trade acquisition Carlos Dunbar, registering a season-high seven sacks as a team after entering the game with just 16 on the year, it was mainly the result of a more blitz-heavy strategy the Seahawks employed after halftime. That also turned out to be something that burned Seattle, as a fourth quarter screen pass on a third-and-16 to John Brown went for 33 yards when the Seahawks could ill afford giving up a conversion.

Buffalo (7-2) scored shortly after that play by Brown to make it 34-20 early in the fourth quarter, they intercepted Russell Wilson for the second time on the day three plays later, and scored another TD right away for what proved to be the dagger.

Per the FOX broadcast of the game, Buffalo had 16 knockdowns of Wilson, most for any QB in a game this season. He finished 28 for 41 passing for 390 yards, two touchdowns and two picks. DK Metcalf had 108 yards and a TD on seven receptions, while David Moore added 71 and a score on four catches.

The 6-2 Seahawks will jump back into NFC West play next Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams (5-3).

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at Seattle’s loss.

First quarter

Bills 14, Seahawks 0

The Seahawks have had some slow starts this season, but it reached a whole ‘nother level in this early Sunday game in Buffalo.

In the blink of an eye, the Bills were in the lead. And by the end of the first quarter, Seattle essentially looked lost trying to figure out how to stop Buffalo’s offense.

First, Andre Roberts returned Seattle’s kickoff 60 yards to the Seahawks’ 45. Then it took all of two plays for Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen to get his team in the end zone, completing a 14-yard pass to Stephon Diggs then a 25-yarder to Isaiah McKenzie for a score. It took just 1:25 for Seattle to find itself in a hole at Bills Stadium.

Seattle’s defense looked a step slow, and it didn’t get any better after the offense gave the ball right back to Allen and company following a three-and-out. Allen passed on eight of the 10 plays on the drive, the Bills benefited from a pair of Seahawks penalties and a 1-yard Tyler Kroft touchdown catch put Buffalo ahead 14-0 just halfway into the first quarter.

The Hawks’ offense showed life on its second drive, but it stalled out near the goal line and faced fourth-and-1 at the Bills’ 5. Seattle decided it was more important to try for a touchdown already down two scores on the road than to get a field goal, and the Bills were ready. Russell Wilson kept the play alive for a long time but ultimately threw an interception into the end zone.

While the pick was not what Seattle was looking for, an important blown call by the officials loomed large as the worst break on that series. A 10-yard DeeJay Dallas rush gave Seattle a first down and put them in the red zone, but he was blasted with an obvious helmet-to-helmet hit as he reached the sideline. The Seahawks didn’t get the flag nor the added yardage that would have come with it and ultimately came up emptyhanded on the series. Dallas had to get checked out for a possible concussion before returning to the field in the second quarter, which was a concern for a Seattle team already missing its top two running backs (Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde) due to injury.

BUF – Isaiah McKenzie 25 pass from Josh Allen (Tyler Bass kick), 13:35
BUF – Tyler Kroft 1 pass from Allen (Bass kick), 7:35

Second quarter

Bills 24, Seahawks 10

The good news: Seattle scored in the second quarter. The bad news: Seattle’s defense showed positively zero signs that it was figuring out how to stop the Bills.

Seattle scored a touchdown and a field goal after being shut out in the first frame, but Buffalo scored on every possession it had before halftime except the last one and took a 14-point lead into the break.

Buffalo turned its interception of Wilson near the end of the first quarter into points in the form of a 44-yard field goal by Tyler Bass, but Seattle finally responded in a manner that put points on the board on its next drive. A pass interference call put the Seahawks near midfield, and Wilson connected with DK Metcalf for a long 41-yard pass for Seattle’s first big play of the day.

An 11-yard pass to Tyler Lockett got the Seahawks on the doorstep of the end zone, and Wilson followed center Ethan Pocic in for a 1-yard score on Seattle’s second fourth down attempt of the day to cut Buffalo’s lead to nine points.

What Seattle really needed was to find a way to slow down Allen and the Bills’ wide receivers, however, and that did not happen. Allen was 21 of 23 for 249 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions entering Buffalo’s last drive of the half, which began with only 1:07 on the clock and resulted in a missed 61-yard field goal attempt at the end of the quarter.

BUF – Bass 44 FG, 11:22
SEA – Russell Wilson 1 run (Jason Myers kick), 6:40
BUF – Gabriel Davis 4 pass from Allen (Bass kick), 4:03
SEA – Myers 45 FG, 1:07

Third quarter

Bills 27, Seahawks 20

For the Seahawks to have any shot whatsoever in this game, they needed to make a drastic change to the momentum that had been firmly in the Bills’ favor for the first two quarters.

Well, that got about the bare minimum of that to stay alive.

Seattle cut into Buffalo’s lead with the combination of a late score in the second quarter, holding the Bills to just a field goal on their first two drives of the second half, and scoring 10 points in the third.

Perhaps the biggest news, however, was the sudden emergence of a Seahawks pass rush, which factored into the first Buffalo punt of the day on its seventh possession. After entering the game with 12 sacks this season, they went blitz crazy and had reached a season-high six sacks midway through the third, including two for Jarran Reed, Jamal Adams’ third of the year and the first for Carlos Dunlap in a Seattle uniform.

Seattle rookie running back DeeJay Dallas found the end zone on a 4-yard run to cap off an 11-play, 75-yard drive, and Jason Myers added a field goal on the next drive (after Buffalo’s punt) to make it a 27-20.

The Bills were threatening to push their lead back to two scores as the quarter ended, however, facing first-and-10 at the Seattle 35.

BUF – Bass 22 FG, 11:55
SEA – DeeJay Dallas 4 run (Myers kick), 6:36

Fourth quarter

Bills 44, Seahawks 34

The Seahawks needed to stop Buffalo’s drive early in the fourth quarter to have a real chance to come back. They went for broke, sending blitz after blitz to get to Allen for two sacks. But on third-and-16, Buffalo had the answer – a screen pass to John Brown, who picked up 33 yards to set up a short Zack Moss TD run.

There wasn’t much hope for Seattle after that, and especially not after Wilson was picked off for the second time three plays later. Allen waltzed in for a 3-yard TD run on the first play of the ensuing Bills drive. Just like that, Seattle went from being down by a score to trailing 41-20 with less than 10 minutes to go.

Of course, Wilson wasn’t about to take that lying down, absolutely hucking a bomb to David Moore for a 55-yard touchdown, his first TD pass of the day.

But while the Seahawks did get Buffalo to punt for just the second time in the game, Bills linebacker A.J. Klein got to Wilson for a strip sack, recovering the fumble himself. That led to Bass tacking on a 32-yard field goal to make it 44-27 with just over four minutes to go.

Seattle scored once more on a 7-yard pass to DK Metcalf before the Bills wrapped up the victory.

BUF – Zack Moss 1 run (Bass kick), 11:27
BUF – Allen 3 run (Bass kick), 9:38
SEA – David Moore 55 pass from Wilson (Myers kick), 8:50
BUF – Bass 32 FG, 4:13
SEA – DK Metcalf 7 pass from Wilson, 1:51

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