SEATTLE (AP) — Jimmy Graham’s first one-handed catch was special. His second was even better.
And that doesn’t even mention his open-field hurdle of a defensive back.
Graham needed just one hand to catch two first-half touchdown passes from Russell Wilson, and the Seattle Seahawks held off a late rally for a 31-25 win over the Buffalo Bills on Monday night.
“We talked this week if we get a favorable matchup, throw it,” Graham said. “It’s one of those things in the National Football League these windows are so small that sometimes when a guy is on you, you just have to throw it up.”
Seattle won its 11th straight Monday night game behind a huge game from its tight end. Still less than a year removed from a major knee injury, Graham used his right arm to catch a 17-yard touchdown from Wilson on the first play of the second quarter and later used the same arm to cradle an 18-yard TD pass in the final moments of the first half.
But the Seahawks had to hold on in the final seconds as Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor led the Bills inside the Seattle 10 in the final seconds. Taylor was sacked by Cliff Avril on third-and-goal from the 8 and on fourth-and-goal Taylor’s pass into the end zone fell incomplete.
Buffalo would not have needed a touchdown if not for mistakes by the officiating crew at the end of the first half that cost the Bills a chance at a shorter field goal.
Dan Carpenter eventually missed a 54-yard attempt on the final play of the half, only after Seattle’s Richard Sherman got away with an unnecessary roughness penalty that wasn’t called and a delay of game caused in part by the officiating crew standing over the ball.
NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino tweeted during the game that Walt Anderson’s crew did not make the correct call.
“Ridiculous. ... From an officiating stand point, I think they can do better than that,” Bills coach Rex Ryan said.
Anderson said the play was being “shut down” because Sherman was unabated to the kicker.
“I just didn’t feel like the actions and the contact, because we were shutting the play down, warranted a foul (for roughing),” Anderson said.
Graham caught all eight of his targets for 103 yards. It was his third 100-yard receiving game of the season. Wilson was 20 of 26 passing for 282 yards.
Wilson and Christine Michael both added 3-yard touchdowns runs, but Seattle’s run game was again absent. The Seahawks attempted just 12 running plays and wide receiver Tyler Lockett was Seattle’s leading rusher taking a fly sweep 13 yards.
Buffalo lost its third straight to drop below .500, but it wasn’t due to its quarterback.
Taylor was outstanding, nearly matching Wilson’s performance, except for one miscommunication with a wide receiver that led to Sherman’s end zone interception in the third quarter. Taylor threw for 289 yards. He kept plays alive with his legs and made smart reads and smart throws.
Robert Woods was his favorite target with 10 catches for a career-high 162 yards.
“He played lights out,” Bills running back LeSean McCoy said of Taylor. “Just everything, the small things, play actions, getting the ball out of his hand, extending plays. He was lights out.”
KICKING THE CALL
The final seconds of the first half were a mess.
Carpenter lined up for a 53-yard field goal with 3 seconds left. Sherman jumped offside and crashed hard into Carpenter, blocking the kick. Sherman was flagged for offside and Carpenter appeared to be hurt bringing trainers on the field.
Because the trainers took the field, Carpenter had to leave for one play. Buffalo spiked the ball with 1 second left to set up a 48-yard attempt, but the Bills were penalized for delay of game even with the umpire standing over the ball. Carpenter’s 54-yard attempt on the final play was wide right.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said he talked with Blandino immediately after the game to get an explanation.
Buffalo got a dream start, with Jerry Hughes blocking a punt after Seattle went three-and-out to open the game and Taylor running untouched for a 3-yard TD on the next play for a quick 7-0 lead. It was Buffalo’s first blocked punt since 2014.
Buffalo scored on its first three possessions before Seattle finally forced a punt midway through the second quarter. That snapped a string of nine straight possessions with opponents scoring on Seattle’s defense.
Buffalo center Eric Wood was carted off the field after Gillislee’s TD run with a right ankle injury. Wood was rolled up blocking on the play. Ryan announced after the game it was a broken leg. Ryan Groy took over at center.
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