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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

December 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM

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What we learned: Seahawks 50, Buffalo 17

Three things we learned

1. Seattle is packing some punch.
The Seahawks scored 40 more points than they allowed over the first 12 games. They have scored 91 more points than they allowed in the last two, which gives the Seahawks the second-largest point differential in the NFC behind San Francisco. The 49ers are the only team that has allowed fewer points than the Seahawks, which means this Sunday's game is going to be some kind of slugfest between two big-punching heavyweights.

2. You can officially start fretting about Seattle's depth in the secondary.
Buffalo's Stevie Johhnson became the third receiver in four games to amass more than 100 yards receiving against Seattle. The concern spawned by that fact is exacerbated by the uncertainty regarding Richard Sherman's availability for the rest of the season. Brandon Browner won't be back until the playoffs and Walter Thurmond might not be able to come back this week from a hamstring injury. The cornerbacks have been the defining trait of Seattle's defense, and there's room to worry going forward.

3. Pete Carroll isn't going to be called Mr. Manners any time soon.
Seattle's didn't realize there were concerns about the fake punt that Seattle ran while leading by 30 points in the second half. At least not until after the game anyway when he was advised about the reaction the play had drawn. The play -- which was automatically called if the Bills used a certain formation -- should've been called off, Carroll said. Too late. If some people got bent out of shape with Seattle throwing to end zone in the second half of its shutout against Arizona in Week 14, the fake punt is going to draw an even more visceral reaction.

Three things we're still trying to figure out.

1. Just where did all this offense come from?
It's one thing to score 58 points in a game in which the team forces eight turnovers. It's another thing to score on the first five possessions in a game and put up 31 points in the first half without the benefit of a single turnover. Seattle, which scored 110 points in its first six games combined put up 108 in the span of eight days.

2. How is it that Earl Thomas just now scored his first regular-season touchdown?
He is one of the fastest Seahawks, and he has great ball skills. He just hadn't shown them this season, having multiple interceptions he failed to haul in this season. He was inches away from picking off a pass and going the other way in the first half. Had he broken on the ball a moment earlier, he would have been in position for the pick instead of having the ball go by him for a Buffalo completion. Thomas' 57-yard interception return in the third quarter was incredible, beginning with the catch and continuing during a run in which he ran the width of the field and halfway back en route to the end zone. It was his first NFL touchdown, but almost certainly won't be his last.

3. What happened to Seattle's run defense?
Lost in the rubble surrounding Seattle's 33-point win is that C.J. Spiller looked capable of running laps around the Seahawks. He averaged more than 6 yards per carry, showing that Reggie Bush's success against Seattle three weeks ago wasn't an aberration. Seattle isn't shutting down opposing running games like it once did. If there's one thing to worry about heading into Sunday's game against San Francisco, it is Seattle's difficulty in stopping the opponent's rushing game.

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