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What we learned: Seahawks prevail over Bills in thriller

The Seahawks and Bills treated the football world to the most entertaining prime-time showdown of the year, as Seattle hung on for a 31-25 victory in a game that came down to an end-zone throw on Buffalo's final play. Here's what we learned:

  1. Less than a full year removed from a devastating career-threatening injury, Jimmy Graham stole the show with his own personal highlight reel. With Bills defenders squeezing his left hand, Graham pulled off a pair of incredible one-handed touchdown catches in the second quarter. In between those two plays, he measured up Stephon Gilmore and hurdled the Bills cornerback in the open field -- the surest sign yet that the former All-Pro has recaptured his pre-injury explosiveness. Second only to Greg Olsen in receiving yards (545) among tight ends, Graham is in the pole position of a Comeback Player of the Year race that also features Titans running back DeMarco Murray and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
  1. Prior to the game, coach Pete Carroll noted that Russell Wilsonran full speed in practice during the bye week for the first time since suffering a high-ankle sprain all the way back in the season opener. A more nimble Wilson finally managed to elude pass rushers in the pocket and even converted a bootleg run into a 3-yard touchdown. He also turned in his most impressive passing performance since a sterling showing versus the Jets in Week 4. Wilson was especially effective on throws to Graham and Doug Baldwin, completing all 14 attempts for 192 yards, three pass interference penalties and a pair of touchdowns. Carroll has to feel much better about his aerial attack heading into one of the season's marquee matchups at New England.
  1. As tough as the loss will be to stomach, Bills coach Rex Ryan can take some measure of solace in his own offense's prowess. An electric Tyrod Taylor sold a convincing Wilson impression, consistently keeping plays alive with his feet to unfurl accurate throws and make something out of nothing under pressure. This was not only the finest quarterback performance versus the Seahawks this season, but also one of the best of Taylor's career.
  1. Taylor wasn't Buffalo's only offensive star. It's easy to see why LeSean McCoy had entered the MVP conversation prior to his mid-October hamstring injury. Regaining his trademark cutting ability in tight spaces, McCoy totaled 120 yards on 25 touches as the focal point on three separate scoring drives comprised of 12 or more plays. Wide receiver Robert Woods shook off his own foot injury to haul in 10 passes for a career-high 162 yards against Seattle's star-studded secondary.
  1. As promising as this performance was for Seattle's passing game, it's easy to see that the offensive coaching staff has little confidence in a slumping ground attack. The backfield duo of Christine Michael and C.J. Prosise was sitting on zero rushing yards until Michael strolled in from three yards out for a late second-quarter touchdown. The Seahawks called just eight rushes for 10 yards, which is hardly a surprise considering Michael was afforded precious few holes to exploit for the third consecutive game. Until defenses start respecting Wilson's legs again, Seattle's running game is spinning its wheels. Michael's frustrated fantasy owners should brace for Thomas Rawls' return in Week 11, as Carroll recently suggested.
  1. After vowing to build a house in hurricane-stricken Haiti for each sack he generates this season, Cliff Avril has compiled 8.0 QB takedowns over the past five games. He's as hot as any defensive player in the league. Still, the absences of disruptive defensive lineman Michael Bennett and tone-setting strong safety Kam Chancellor have been felt acutely. Unable to get off the field on third downs, Seattle's normally stout defense has been susceptible to methodical scoring drives since Bennett underwent knee surgery prior to last week's loss at New Orleans.
  1. The Bills have defensive issues of their own, primarily in a secondary missing safety Aaron Williams for the rest of the season. Left on an island in Ryan's scheme, Buffalo cornerbacks were whistled for three pass interference penalties. Ronald Darby was benched in favor of Corey White after his 24-yard penalty set up Michael's 3-yard score. On a positive note, 33-year-old defensive lineman Kyle Williams continues to wreak havoc as one of the NFL's premier pocket pushers. Paced by fellow 33-year-old Lorenzo Alexander, the Bills lead the league with 30 sacks.
  1. As well as McCoy looked in his return, Buffalo's ground attack suffered a deflating loss when center Eric Wood went down with a broken leg. "I think he's the best center in football," a dejected Ryan said after the game.
  1. The riveting Monday night showcase was marred by a bizarre, three-second sequence that cost the Bills three points to close out the first half. Dean Blandino, NFL senior vice president of officiating, confirmed on NFL Total Access Endgame that officials made two mistakes during a confusing scenario Ryan labeled as "absolutely ridiculous."
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