By Tyler Thomas

Jimmy Graham made a pair of one-handed touchdown catches in the first half, and the Seahawks defense came up with a game-saving, 4th and goal stop in the final minute on Monday Night Football in a 31-25 win over the Buffalo Bills.

The Seahawks offense scored 27 points in the first half, the most for Seattle since a 36-6 rout over the Arizona Cardinals in the final regular season game last year.

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Though it wasn’t perfect from the beginning.

After the Seahawks went three and out to start the game, Buffalo blocked a punt, to set up a 3-yard Tyrod Taylor scoring run. Seattle would answer back with a three-play touchdown drive, featuring a deep 50 yard pass to Doug Baldwin.

Both teams traded touchdowns again before Seattle got their first 3rd down stop, deep in their own territory. Trailing 17-14, the Seahawks manufactured back to back scoring drives to take a 11 point lead into halftime.

After a scoreless 3rd quarter, Buffalo opened the 4th with a touchdown and two-point conversion to make it a one score game. After holding the Seahawks offense in check, Buffalo got the ball back with just over 2 minutes remaining, no timeouts, and down six points.

Tyrod Taylor, who was a magician in the backfield all night, on 3rd and 21 found a tiptoeing Robert Woods down the sideline for a first down. A roughing the passer penalty moved the ball to the Seahawks 23, where Taylor would run for another 8 yards and then drawn Frank Clark offsides to move the ball inside the 10 on first-and-goal.

However, like in so many big games over the past few years, the Seahawks defense came up clutch when it mattered most. And it was the usual suspects.

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KJ Wright and Cliff Avril had back-to-back sacks on Taylor, and Earl Thomas defended a pass intended for Robert Woods on 4th down, sealing the Seahawks 5th win of the season.

Russell Wilson did exactly what he needed to on a night where the running game was virtually invisible. Wilson was 20-26 for 282 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Wilson continued to lean on his tight end Jimmy Graham all game. Graham caught all eight passes he was targeted for 103 yards and two touchdowns, his first multi-score game in a Seahawks jersey.

Seattle only rushed the ball 12 times, with Tyler Lockett leading the team with just 13 yards on one carry. Wilson showed more mobility than in recent weeks, however his 10 rushing yards were well below the dual-threat quarterback’s norm. Christine Michael, the Seahawks leading back through the first nine weeks, ended the night with just 5 carries for 1 yard.

Taylor finished 27 of 38 for 289 yards, one touchdown and one pick. He also had 8 carries for 43 yards and one rushing score.

The win cushions Seattle’s lead in the NFC West, now holding a two-game advantage over the Arizona Cardinals.

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It’ll be a quick turnaround for the Seahawks, as they get set to fly out to the east cost for a Super Bowl 49 rematch with the New England Patriots next Sunday at 10am.