- Associated Press - Monday, December 7, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The pass rush was a problem for the Seattle Seahawks earlier in the season, but lately they’ve given Russell Wilson plenty of time to throw.

He’s been putting on quite the show.

Wilson threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another, Seattle’s defense didn’t allow a score and the surging Seahawks won their third straight game Sunday with a 38-7 romp over the Vikings.

“When he’s able to stay in the pocket, make his reads and deliver the ball like he’s been doing the last 12 quarters, he becomes so deadly because he still has the ability to get out of the pocket and work his magic. When he’s playing like this, it’s hard to say who’s better than him,” said Doug Baldwin, who caught five of Wilson’s passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns.

Wilson has thrown for 11 scores without an interception and an average of 293 yards with a 76.7 completion percentage during the winning streak. He finished 21 for 27 for 274 yards and a 146.0 passer rating against an injury-depleted Vikings defense, taking just two sacks and netting 51 yards on nine rushes.

“He’s preparing beautifully,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He is really dialed in. His connection with his guys, the receivers, is really on it.”

Following a 2-4 start, with losses by a total of 17 points all to teams that were undefeated at the time, the Seahawks have climbed further into the playoffs picture. This was their largest winning margin since the 43-8 victory over Denver in the Super Bowl after the 2013 season.

Thomas Rawls rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, and the Seahawks (7-5) did whatever they wanted with the ball while gaining 433 yards. Minnesota managed just 125, the lowest yardage total by any NFL team this season, according to STATS research.

“As a collective group, I don’t think we can play too much better,” Wilson said.

The Vikings (8-4) couldn’t play much worse. They fell back into a first-place tie with Green Bay in the NFC North.

League rushing leader Adrian Peterson was limited to 18 yards, the third-lowest single-game total of his career, on eight carries. A 101-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Peterson in the third quarter was all that saved them from being blanked.

“I feel like we kind of played into their hands, and once we got down it was tough for us to rebound and get into doing what we do, how we play here in Minnesota,” Peterson said.

Here are some key angles to know about the game:

SEATTLE IN SYNCH: The Seahawks have averaged 34.5 points over the last four games. Even with tight end Jimmy Graham and running back Marshawn Lynch missing with injuries, the way Wilson has been zinging the ball around the field this has become a dangerous offense to deal with.

“That’s the fun part for me playing quarterback,” he said. “It’s just like, ‘Man, who gets the ball right now?’”

TERSE ZIMMER: Vikings coach Mike Zimmer suggested he saw harbingers of a clunker while supervising practice during the week, and he was not in much of a mood to answer questions from reporters afterward.

Did he see this coming? “Maybe.”

Would he be willing to elaborate on that? “No.”

Were there any positive developments to take away? “It’s over.”

YOUNG HAWKS: Rawls, the undrafted revelation from Central Michigan, isn’t the only rookie shining for the Seahawks. Defensive end Frank Clark, their second-round draft pick from Michigan, had two sacks, three hits on Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and two passes defended. Tyler Lockett, the third-round pick from Kansas State, had seven catches for 90 yards and a 47-yard kickoff return.

“That’s exactly what we hope happens, and we’re going to need a lot more from ‘em as we go down the stretch here,” Carroll said.

FLAGS FLYING: Both teams had nine penalties accepted, but the Vikings were particularly peeved with referee Terry McAulay and his crew, especially after an unnecessary roughness foul on Brian Robison after a sack of Wilson. Robison tackled Wilson a second time after Wilson tried to run away.

Even the Seahawks sided with the Vikings on one call. Lockett caught a 29-yard pass between Vikings safeties Antone Exum and Robert Blanton, and Exum’s contact with Lockett’s helmet prompted an unnecessary roughness penalty. Lockett popped right up, though, and Blanton was the one who was hurt during the collision.

“I didn’t end up with a concussion or stuff like that. I thought it was a legal hit,” Lockett said.

VEXED VIKING: Peterson, as he did after the 30-13 loss to the Packers here two weeks ago, questioned the coaching decisions that limited his opportunities. This was the lowest yardage total for the Vikings since Dec. 21, 2006 at Green Bay, when Peterson was still in college.

“It is what it is. I’m not going to dwell on it because we have a long season ahead of us,” Peterson said.

___

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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