Sometimes you get both what you want and what you need.
That was the case for the Seahawks Sunday, who desperately needed a win in any way imaginable to snap a three-game losing streak and restore hope before heading into their bye week.
But they preferred to get it in dominating, feel-good, confidence-raising fashion if they could.
And that they did, as the Seahawks scored on three of their first four possessions en route to a 31-7 rout of the rebuilding Jacksonville Jaguars in front of a sun-drenched and celebratory Halloween crowd at Lumen Field.
Six days after a 13-10 loss to the Saints on a wet and windy night at Lumen in which Seattle deliberately reined in the offense to avoid mistakes as well as a tough New Orleans pass defense, Seattle opened up the playbook from the start against a ragtag Jaguars defense.
The Seahawks threw on their first play to set the tone as Geno Smith — in his third start in place of injured Russell Wilson — completed his first 14 passes, finishing 14-15 in the first half.
Thirteen of the completions went to receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf as the Seahawks took advantage of a porous Jacksonville secondary that entered the game 31st in the NFL in pass defense.
That defense includes former Seattle cornerback Shaquill Griffin, who was given the assignment of shadowing Metcalf throughout the game.
No matter, as Metcalf caught two touchdowns before the third quarter was six minutes old, and the Seahawks opened up a 24-0 lead.
The rest of the game was then spent mostly seeing if the Seahawks could get their first shutout since a 26-0 blanking of the Bears in the third game of the 2015 season.
That hope evaporated when Lawrence hit Jamal Agnew on a 9-yard TD on fourth down with 1:49 to play.
But the Seahawks fittingly answered right back when Travis Homer scooped up the onside kick attempt and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown to give Seattle a season-high in points.
It helped Seattle’s defense that the Jags suffered a significant loss early when leading rusher James Robinson left the game with an ankle injury — he finished with 22 yards on four carries, all in the first quarter. But the Jacksonville offense behind No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence looked overwhelmed throughout. Lawrence resorted mostly to throwing check-down passes to running backs and tight ends — a 17-yarder to Robinson in the first quarter was the longest gain for the Jags all day.
With the win, Seattle avoided what could have been its first four-game losing streak since the end of the 2009 season and improved to 3-5. Seattle now gets a week off before returning on Nov. 14 for a game at 7-1 Green Bay. That will be followed by a visit to Seattle by 7-1 Arizona.
The Seahawks probably need to win at least one of those to stay in legitimate playoff competition. And maybe they’ll have Wilson back after coach Pete Carroll said Friday he is ahead of schedule in his recovery from surgery to repair a middle finger injury suffered Oct. 7 against the Rams.
On Sunday, Seattle led 17-0 at the end of what was their most complete first half of the season.
Not only was the passing game humming, but Seattle’s defense also didn’t allow Jacksonville to get closer than the Seahawks’ 39-yard line, where it stopped a fourth down try.
The Seahawks also got an interception from Quandre Diggs early in the second quarter on a first down play at the 50 and the score 7-0.
Seattle then drove 73 yards for a touchdown to take a 14-0 lead on a 16-yard pass from Smith to Metcalf, who reached over Griffin to make the grab near the pylon on the right side of the end zone.
After Lockett and Metcalf combined for just four catches against the Saints, the two had 13 receptions for 130 yards in the first half alone. Smith’s only other completion in the half went to Gerald Everett for seven yards.
The Seahawks then turned the game into a rout with a 60-yard drive the second time they had the ball in the second half. A flea-flicker of 28 yards from Smith to Lockett got Seattle to the 5, and Smith then hit Metcalf for the touchdown, with Metcalf again beating former teammate Griffin.
The Seahawks scored the first time they had the ball, moving 80 yards in 10 plays. Seattle reached Jacksonville’s 1-yard line in just six plays, with an apparent TD pass to Lockett ruled down just short of the goal line.
Seattle then was stopped on three straight runs up the middle before Smith then leapt over the line for the TD on fourth down.
The game was never really in doubt again.