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Sunday Night wrap-up: Russell Wilson sure looks healthy again

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The Seahawks went on the road and defeated the Patriots, 31-24, in a game decided by a little last-minute drama. Doug Baldwin and LeGarrette Blount each had three TDs in the back-and-forth match.

Russell Wilson is apparently, finally well.

Tom Brady might not be completely well after this game, but he was still pretty good.

The Seahawks star quarterback out-dueled the Patriots star quarterback, as Seattle went on the road and took a 31-24 win after some last-minute drama.

Wilson threw for a season-high 348 yards and three touchdowns, as he looked a little more able to move. He’s still not running the way he used to because of the knee and ankle problems which plagued him this season, but the Seahawks offense is working again.

And while Kam Chancellor made some mistakes early in the game, the Seahawks safety’s low hit on Brady seemed to have some impact on the Patriots’ quarterback, which might have limited him as the game went on. He was getting some medical attention on the sidelines, though he didn’t miss a snap.

But as sharp as Brady has been all season, Wilson was even more so this time. And while it doesn’t make up for the Super Bowl XLIX loss, it does move the Seahawks to 6-2-1 and makes the Patriots look just a tad more vulnerable.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. The Patriots knew they lacked a certain degree of pass-rush. And there were significant chunks of the game when they didn’t even try.

They used a two-man rush at times against Wilson, banking on coverage rather than trying to get to him in the backfield. It wasn’t always that passive, and perhaps they were banking on Wilson still not being his normal mobile presence.

But part of the problem is self-inflicted. The Patriots dealt Chandler Jones to the Cardinals this offseason because of a glut of defensive players to pay, hoping Jabaal Sheard would take up some of the slack. But Sheard hasn’t seen much action lately, as they’ve taken a longer look at 2015 fourth-rounder Trey Flowers.

They have a few problems on defense at the moment, but their inability to create pressure is near the top of the list.

2. Speaking of absent pass-rushers, Seattle is clearly a different defense without Michael Bennett on the field, but there is a future there.

Bennett missed his third straight game with a knee injury, and has begun running in hopes of being back in another week or two.

And while they still have a weapon in Cliff Avril, it’s backup Frank Clark who is flourishing. His fourth-quarter sack gave him 7.5 for the season, trailing only Avril.

Clark slid to the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft because of a domestic violence incident in college, and has provided excellent value for the Seahawks.

3. He’s not Marshawn Lynch and he may not be Thomas Rawls, but the Seahawks have a part they can work with in C.J. Prosise.

The third-round rookie finished with 153 yards from scrimmage (66 rushing and 87 receiving).

Those numbers would have been higher if his fourth-quarter touchdown had been granted on review (it sure looked like a score), but if he was a bigger back, it might have been more clearly a score.

He’s not the physical back Rawls is, and is still learning how to pass-protect (as all young backs are when they enter the league), but there’s clearly something to work with once Rawls returns from his leg injury.

4. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski likes to have fun, says funny things, and isn’t exactly what you’d call a deep thinker (at least about non-football topics).

That doesn’t make it fair game to make light of the possibility he might have suffered a brain injury during the first half.

Gronkowski left the game and was checked by the medical staff after taking a hard shot from Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, and there were immediate jokes on social media on what a concussion test on Gronkowski must be like.

But you don’t have to be a Rhodes Scholar to justify concern about damage to your brain, and even though Gronk likes to party, it’s still a little disconcerting to see the immediate reaction be one which dismisses the potential damage.

5. With high-profile teams, star players, and seven lead changes, this was the game the NFL needed now that the election’s over.

It capped a day of exciting finishes, and its back-and-forth nature kept interest throughout. That’s precisely what the league needed after weeks, but it’s not because of the ratings.

The football was good, and the game wasn’t over-officiated, which makes it a win for everyone other than the Patriots.