Assuming Russell Wilson’s knee is OK — or at least OK enough — this appeared to be the “welcome back” game the 12s had been waiting for. Seattle’s 37-18 win over San Francisco felt less like a breakthrough and more like a return to normalcy.

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It was missing vs. Miami despite a comeback win.

It was lost against Los Angeles and showed no signs of surfacing.

The Seahawks spent the first two weeks of the season searching for an ally that, for whatever reason, had gone AWOL. But then came Sunday — when they finally found their swagger.

Assuming Russell Wilson’s knee is OK — or at least OK enough — this appeared to be the “welcome back” game the 12s had been waiting for. Seattle’s 37-18 victory over San Francisco felt less like a breakthrough and more like a return to normalcy.

Sure, there’s the possibility this was more a case of the 49ers being bad than the Seahawks being back. But given how every area of doubt morphed into an area of dominance, it’s more likely that this team recaptured its identity.

“It just felt more like Seahawk football,” right tackle Garry Gilliam said.

This was especially true from a tactical perspective, as Seattle finally found a way to effectively run the ball. The Seahawks gained just 3.1 yards per carry through their first two contests, which restricted the passing game and limited them to a combined 15 points.

Considering the line had failed to create any room for running backs Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael against the Dolphins and Rams, it appeared that the offense might be fundamentally flawed. Sunday, however, it was borderline flawless.

Wilson threw a 34-yard completion to Doug Baldwin on the second play from scrimmage. One snap later, Michael sprinted to a 41-yard touchdown thanks to a massive left-side hole.

Michael went on to amass 106 yards on 20 carries, which opened up the aerial attack and allowed Wilson to take his shots. He didn’t miss on many of them.

There was a 59-yard completion to Baldwin that set up an 18-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham. There was a 40-yard pass to Graham that set up a field goal by Steven Hauschka.

It was as if the Seahawks were dismally behind on their explosive-play quota and felt compelled to catch up against the Niners.

“I thought it was a game that we needed. After the first two weeks, we had not really gotten on track,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “Everything was really clicking.”

“Everything” wasn’t that much of a stretch.

After going 9 for 29 on third downs through the first two games, the Seahawks were 9 of 14 Sunday. After being suffocated on returns vs. the Dolphins and Rams, Tyler Lockett took a punt 62 yards vs. the 49ers. After failing to force a turnover through the first 10 quarters of the season, the Seahawks got one in the form of a Bobby Wagner interception.

You get the feeling players are going to bring popcorn to Monday’s film session.

“Every drive, every possession, every play, we know what we can do. We know what we’re capable of and we showed that today,” Wilson said. “There is no fear in us.”

But there is fear when a knee sprain sends Wilson limping off to the sideline.

And that fear isn’t necessarily quelled by Wilson’s optimism, because Wilson is never anything but optimistic.

His health going forward is the only blemish on what was otherwise a masterful day, but even with that question mark, fans have to be feeling more confident about this team than they were last week.

Call the 49ers inept if you will. They’re coming off a 5-11 season and have Blaine Gabbert as their quarterback.

Those downplaying the nature of this Seahawks’ victory certainly have a case for doing so.

But it’s not like this was Alabama vs. Kent State. Even those on NFL’s bottom tier tend to keep games close, and given how San Francisco opened its season with a 28-0 drubbing of the Rams, this victory can’t be dismissed.

The Seahawks entered the game Sunday on a scavenger hunt of sorts. They were looking for their offensive identity, they were looking for some third-down efficiency, and they were looking for the big plays that could create some instant separation from their foes. But mainly, they were looking for their mojo.

Turns out that they found it. And in case you haven’t noticed, that’s not something they tend to relinquish.

Offense at last
The Seahawks scored 37 points Sunday, after scoring a combined 15 points in their two previous games.
Game Points Result Rushing yds Passing yds Total yds
vs. Miami 12 Win 112 240 352
at Los Angeles 3 Loss 67 239 306
vs. San Francisco 37 Win 127 291 418