Three observations from the Seahawks’ 20-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night in Santa Clara, Calif.

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Three observations from the Seahawks’ 20-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night in Santa Clara, Calif.

1. The Seahawks are close to being right back on track

It’s tempting to make too much out of this game because the Seahawks controlled every aspect from the beginning. They won the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball more often than not.

The defense shut down quarterback Colin Kaepernick and took away the running game. The offense churned out yards by running the ball. It looked and felt like the Seahawks team we have come to expect over the past few seasons. The 49ers are not a good team, but still: It’s hard to dominate opponents in the NFL, and the Seahawks did that.

To make this game mean something in the big picture, the Seahawks have to travel to Dallas and beat the Cowboys. If they do that, they would enter their bye week at 4-4 with a game against the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals looming.


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The encouraging thing is that the Seahawks looked like the same old team capable of beating anyone. But now they have to make that stand by being consistent.

2. Marshawn Lynch had his best game this season

Lynch carried the ball a season-high 27 times for a season-high 122 yards and scored a touchdown in his second consecutive game.

Lynch looked like the physical, bruising running back we’ve all come to expect. But even more to the point, the offense looked closer to the identity the Seahawks have cultivated under coach Pete Carroll: They ran the ball hard with Lynch and rookie Thomas Rawls (six carries for 32 yards), and they hit on a couple of big passing plays, most notably the 43-yard touchdown to Tyler Lockett.

It wasn’t perfect. The Seahawks allowed five sacks, and quarterback Russell Wilson threw two interceptions, including one in the end zone at the end of the first half.

But it looked better, and more similar to what the Seahawks hope to be. Even if it’s against a struggling 49ers team, that means something.

3. Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett continued their dominance

Avril and Bennett have had good years for the Seahawks, and Pro Football Focus has rated each as among the best pass-rushing defensive ends in football this season.

But Avril and Bennett were at their most disruptive against the 49ers. Bennett had 3.5 sacks and three tackles for a loss. Avril had 1.5 sacks and one tackle for a loss.

They were all over the place, and there were times when they didn’t register any stats and still were so obviously dominant on the play. It was a complete and thorough domination along the line from Avril and Bennett.