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Originally published September 16, 2012 at 4:19 PM | Page modified September 16, 2012 at 10:27 PM

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Seahawks look impressive, win home opener 27-7

The Seahawks never trailed in the game and smoothly beat visiting Dallas.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Much better

Russell Wilson's quarterback ratings in his first two Seahawks games:

62.5

Sept. 9 vs. Arizona (20-16 loss)

112.7

Sept. 16 vs. Dallas (27-7 win)

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Now this is the Seahawks we've been waiting for. This was a game in their control... MORE
Pretty incredible how the game slowed down for Russell Wilson. Gee after last week, all... MORE
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Golden Tate's block didn't decide Seattle's victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

It defined it.

Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee's pursuit of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson ended abruptly with a high, hard block from Seattle's 5-foot-10 Tate. The hit was undeniably vicious, debatably legal and absolutely emblematic of the way Seattle beat Dallas 27-7 on Sunday at CenturyLink Field, flattening the Cowboys with a second half no one saw coming.

"Golden kind of put a stamp on the game with that," fullback Michael Robinson said. "I think he kind of said, 'OK, big-time Dallas, now you're up here with Seattle. We got some muscle, too.' "

The Seahawks showed that in their home opener, rebounding from not only a disappointing defeat in Arizona last week but standing tall against a Dallas team that has recently manhandled Seattle. The Cowboys beat the Seahawks three times in the past four years, winning by an average of almost 20 points.

This time, Seattle knuckled up and showed you don't have to win pretty to look good.

"It was an ugly game," center Max Unger said. "It was a fight against a really, really good defense, there's no question about that.

"It was a fist fight for a lot of those plays."

And Seattle showed it's ready to step up a weight class by defeating a Cowboys team coming off a victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Giants.

While Seattle never trailed Sunday, the Seahawks did have to rally. They led 13-7 at halftime not because of their offense, but in spite of it. Dallas fumbled the opening kickoff, which led to a field goal. The Seahawks blocked a punt for a touchdown less than two minutes later.

The Seahawks were outgained on offense in the first half, their defense allowed the Cowboys to convert six of nine third-down chances and Seattle's only touchdown was scored on special teams.

What Seattle demonstrated in the second half is that these are not the same old Seahawks. Seattle's running game is built to wear down an opponent while its defense won't wear out.

Seattle hadn't had a scoring drive longer than 52 yards over the first six quarters of the season. The Seahawks drove 90 yards for a touchdown on the second possession of the third quarter, rushing six of the eight plays on the drive that ended with tight end Anthony McCoy's 22-yard touchdown catch. They drove 88 yards for a touchdown the next time they had the ball, nine of those 12 plays were rushes capped by Marshawn Lynch's 3-yard scoring run.

"We found our stride a little bit," coach Pete Carroll said.

For once, Carroll understated things. Seattle rushed for 33 yards in the first half, 149 in the second. The scheme didn't change, and it didn't waver on the emphasis to run the ball, but suddenly the results flowed.

"The 2-yard runs turned into 4s," Unger said. "The 4s turned into 8s. We kind of all just got into a rhythm. You hear that a lot, and it's kind of a cliché, but it really did happen."

And as Dallas wilted, Seattle's defense dug in its heels. The Cowboys gained 81 yards in the second half, 51 of those coming on the final three plays when the outcome was decided.

"Our defense got stronger," defensive tackle Red Bryant said, "and their offense might have started getting a little fatigued."

Imagine that, Seattle outlasted Dallas on Sunday with a big-bodied defense, a relentless rushing offense and a 5-10 receiver who flattened a Cowboys linebacker with the play that didn't factor into the final score, but said everything about the final result.

"That felt better than a touchdown to me," Tate said.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com.

Beast mode again
Marshawn Lynch had his third-best rushing game (regular season) for the Seahawks.
Date Opponent Yds
Dec. 1, 2011 Philadelphia 148
Nov. 6, 2011 Dallas 135
Sept. 16, 2012 Dallas 122
Dec. 12, 2011 St. Louis 115
Note: Lynch rushed for 131 yards against New Orleans in a playoff game Jan. 8, 2011.

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