SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Seahawks rebounded from back-to-back losses with a convincing, 28-21 victory over the San Francisco 49ers to open NFC West play.

The Seahawks (2-2) have never lost three games in a row with Russell Wilson as the quarterback, and that fact remains true after this get-right performance Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

Three impressions from the Seahawks’ victory:

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Just like old times

You’d be forgiven if you thought for a moment that your TV was playing a prank on you, that it somehow flipped on a replay of a 2012 Seahawks-49ers game with a young No. 3 running the show for the Seattle offense.

But, no, this was no trick.

This was vintage Russell Wilson magic, and it could not have come at a better time for the Seahawks.

The Seahawks, coming in with a 1-2 record and a lot to prove about, were at an early crisis point in this young season. They were desperate. They had to win this. And they did, thanks to Wilson’s we’ve-seen-this-before heroics in the third quarter.

The Seahawks, remember, did not score a single point in the third quarter of their first three games, and questions were starting to emerge about the viability of the offense under first-year coordinator Shane Waldron.

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Then Wilson let loose Sunday.

Wilson doesn’t run as often these days, and when he does it’s not usually an all-out effort such as this. But this … this was fun, Wilson sprinting away from pressure and toward the end zone midway through the third quarter.

He beat a defensive lineman to the left edge, cut up field and dived to the pylon — 16-yard touchdown run that gave the Seahawks their first lead of the game, 14-7.

He was even better — even more unbelievable — a minute later.

After the 49ers fumbled the ensuing kickoff, the Seahawks took over at the San Francisco 14. Two plays later, Wilson spun away from what appeared to be a sure sack by the 49ers’ Dontae Johnson and flung a pass into the end zone for Freddie Swain, who got two feet down for a 13-yard score.

It was reminiscent of Wilson in his early days with the Seahawks, and it was exactly what this Seattle offense needed here.

And all that happened after what might have been the worst start of Wilson’s career. The Seahawks went three-and-out on their first five drives of the game, and Wilson seemed to be on the ground at the end of each series. He was sacked three times, hit four times and was just 4-for-7 for 8 yards midway through the second quarter.

The Seahawks finally got things going late in the second quarter, marching 80 yards on six plays and scoring on Wilson’s 12-yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf, who powered through two defenders and extended at the goal line for the score.

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In the third quarter, the Seahawks went with a lot of no-huddle looks and mixed in some up-tempo plays to change things up.

It worked, and it worked at just the right time.

Defensive turnaround

Sidney Jones’ first start with the Seahawks did not start so well.

Jones, the former Husky, was beat on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to tight end Ross Dwelley, capping a way-too-easy opening drive for the 49ers, who marched 71 yards on eight plays.

There was an uncomfortable, here-we-go-again feel to Seattle’s defensive plan.

But give the Seahawks credit.

They made some significant alterations to their defensive plan. Their playmakers made plays. And they effectively shut down the 49ers for most of the game.

That, as much as anything, was the most important development of the day for this Seahawks team. They said their defense was capable of something good, and they started to show us all that Sunday afternoon.

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Quandre Diggs picked off Garoppolo in the first quarter, and after Garoppolo was sidelined because of a calf injury, the Seahawks didn’t give touted rookie Trey Lance much room to work with.

Sure, we’ll all nitpick the busted coverage of Deebo Samuel’s way-too-easy 76-yard touchdown late in the third quarter. Jones and Jamal Adams appeared to have a miscommunication on the zone coverage, and that simply can’t happen in the NFL.

And, yes, they let the 49ers get back in it late, when Lance led the Niners on a 80-yard drive to get within 28-21 with 1:20 left.

And, sure, the 49ers were a less-than-full strength on offense. George Kittle was limited, Trent Williams left the game because of an injury, and their running-back situation is a mess.

But none of that matters to the Seahawks defense, which was reeling a week ago after the loss in Minnesota. That unit took a much-needed step forward Sunday — three steps forward, really. They got a little more creative, a little more flexible, in using more dime packages, stopping the run more consistently and getting to the QB more often.

A nice day for Seattle’s defense, and there haven’t been too man of those to write about recently.

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Right back to work

Raise your hand if you left the Seahawks dead and buried a week ago at this time, after that staggering loss in Minnesota. Go ahead, keep it up.

You’re not alone.

Now?

Now the Seahawks are right back in the thick of the NFC West race.

The Seahawks improved to 2-2 and have a short turnaround before hosting the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night at Lumen Field — the same Rams team that, a week ago, many were pegging as the NFC’s Super Bowl favorites.

Oh how quickly things can change in the NFL.

The Seahawks addressed some major concerns Sunday, and some new ones popped up in Los Angeles — where the Arizona Cardinals stunned the Rams, 37-30.

That leaves Arizona, at 4-0, alone in first place in the NFC West.

The Rams are 3-1.

And the Seahawks and 49ers are 2-2.

Buckle up, baby. This division is going to be wild, and the ride picks right back up Thursday night.