Golden Tate opened the scoring by leaping over a cornerback to pull in a perfectly placed touchdown pass, then capped the day for Seattle with a TD toss of his own.
In between those bookend moments, the Seahawks did their part in adding another chapter to the tough season of the New York Jets.
“My mindset is any time a get the ball I can make something special happen, a touchdown, a big first down in a crucial moment, a big gain, that’s just how I am,” Tate said.
“That’s how I approach every single ball that comes my way because I don’t know how many I’m going to get so I want to make the most out of every single ball that comes my way.”
Russell Wilson had two TD passes, before Tate’s shot put TD pass to Sidney Rice late in the fourth quarter completed the Seahawks’ 28-7 rout of the New York Jets on Sunday.
Tate’s 23-yard TD toss to Rice was punctuated by the receiver taking a bow to three sides of CenturyLink Field. It might as well have been a collective bow by the entire Seahawks sideline after a dominating second half.
“We hung tough. We weren’t playing very well early and some things happened and we hung tough and kept punching away at it,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “We finally put together a real good finish.”
Marshawn Lynch added 124 yards rushing and a 1-yard TD plunge as the Seahawks (6-4) won their second straight, improved to 5-0 at home and sent the Jets to their worst start since 2007.
Lynch also topped 1,000 yards for the season on an 18-yard run, bouncing off tacklers late in the fourth quarter. He has 1,005 for the season.
It was an interesting cap to Seattle’s first 10 games. They’ve struggled on the road, but been perfect at home, setting themselves up for a shot at a playoff run beginning in two weeks at Miami.
Mark Sanchez struggled in his meeting against Seattle coach Pete Carroll, his former coach at USC.
Sanchez threw an interception at the goal line in the first half, then fumbled at the Seattle 32 on a blitz from Richard Sherman and Seattle’s Jason Jones recovered in the fourth quarter.
Sanchez finished 9 of 22 for 124 yards. Tim Tebow ran four times for 14 yards, and was 3 of 3 passing for 8 yards. But Tebow was of no help to the offense.
“I don’t know how many more losses you can spot somebody before you think you can make the playoffs,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “It’s about a 2 percent chance at making the playoffs with the record we have and we are going to take that shot.”
The Jets finished with just 185 total yards and only 73 in the second half. It’s the second time this season the Jets were held under 200 yards of offense.
New York’s only touchdown came when Muhammad Wilkerson returned a fumble 21 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Otherwise, it was a bevy of breakdowns, turnovers and poor decisions from the Jets, who are off to their worst start since 2007.
“That is the most frustrating thing because we are missing opportunities and we have them right there,” Sanchez said. “We have opportunities to make plays. It’s my job to do everything right and put us in the right position and not hurt our team.
“I know we have the talent, I know we have the coaching, it’s just a matter of executing and making good decisions.”
Coming off their bye, this was an opportunity for the Jets (3-6) to try and make a late-season charge and reinvigorate an offense that was stymied by Miami in a 30-9 loss before getting a week off.
The performance didn’t get any better. In fact, it regressed against Seattle’s defense that sacked Sanchez three times.
It looked promising for the Jets when they got their first fumble return for a touchdown since 2009. Mike DeVito hit the scrambling Wilson, who held the ball too long.
The ball bounced into Wilkerson’s arms and he rumbled for the TD. It was the first fumble returned for a touchdown against the Seahawks since 2009.
Seattle had more problems holding on to the ball.
Lynch fumbled on the first play of the second quarter at the New York 40, his first lost fumble in a year. Lynch sat on the bench with his headband pulled over his face in disgust.
Lynch’s fumble nearly became the turning point for the Jets. Tebow converted a third down with a 3-yard keeper, then Sanchez found Jeremy Kerley for 43 yards to the Seattle 7.
But on third-and-goal Sherman baited Sanchez into throwing across the field, where the Seahawks cornerback stepped in to grab his fourth interception of the season.
“Just trying to play out too long and got greedy,” Sanchez said. “That kind of stuff happens when you do that. It’s my job to move on to the next play, kick a field goal, get us some points and get out of there.”
Sherman’s sack in the fourth quarter was the first of his career. The Seahawks also got a key turnover when Kerley fumbled a punt that was recovered by Kam Chancellor. Seattle capitalized on the turnover and took a 14-7 lead at halftime on Lynch’s 1-yard score.
“We’ve played really consistent football. I’m really proud that we’re getting that done,” Carroll said. “It hasn’t always transpired into a win in some of these close games that we’ve had, but we’ve really been steady about the way we’re doing things.”
Notes: Lynch is the first Seattle RB to have consecutive 1,000-yard seasons since Shaun Alexander. … Seattle has won the past two meetings vs. Jets after losing the previous five. … Rice had his first 2 TD game since Dec. 5, 2010, while with Minnesota vs. Buffalo. … Jets RB Shone Greene rushed for 58 yards, but had just six carries in the second half.
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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.