RENTON, Wash. (AP) Adrian Peterson was leading the NFL in rushing, about to face a Seattle defense that he had darted through three years earlier for 182 yards, the most allowed by the Seahawks in Pete Carroll's tenure.
By the time last Sunday was done, Peterson had just 18 yards rushing and the Seahawks had taken another step in re-establishing themselves as a dominant run defense.
''To hold him to 18 or whatever is definitely something you can applaud yourself,'' Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. ''But you can only applaud yourself for 30 seconds and then move on from there.''
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While their pass defense has been hurt at times, the Seahawks have been stout against the run for most of the season, and especially the past three weeks while shutting down San Francisco, Pittsburgh and the Vikings.
Heading into Week 14, the Seahawks rank third in the NFL at stopping the run, trailing only the New York Jets and unbeaten Carolina. The 87.8 yards per game Seattle is allowing is not as good as the Seahawks were last season, but better than 2012 and 2013 when they were still giving up more than 100 yards rushing per game.
The Seahawks also have yet to let a running back go off. Seattle is the only team in the NFL that has not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season. And they've smothered runners the past three weeks.
The Seahawks allowed 59 yards rushing to San Francisco, 58 to Pittsburgh and a mere 31 to Minnesota. The 31 yards allowed against the Vikings were the 10th fewest in Seattle franchise history for a regular-season game.
''It's always good when you can stop a back like that that is of that pedigree, and stop a team like that,'' Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett said.
Often with the Seahawks, the success of their run defense comes down to their tackling. At times in the past, Seattle's been beaten in the run game because players have been out of position or a team has found success with a different blocking scheme.
But Seattle's tackling against Minnesota was superb. Peterson's longest run was 5 yards and the Seahawks were so good at stopping him on first and second down that Teddy Bridgewater could not convert third-and-long situations through the air to sustain drives. Minnesota's longest drive was eight plays.
Given their upcoming opponents, the Seahawks have a chance to finish as the best in the NFL at stopping the run. This week's opponent, Baltimore, has rushed for more than 100 yards just once in the past seven games and is relying on rookie Javorius Allen as its primary ball carrier.
Next week's opponent, Cleveland, has gone six straight weeks without rushing for 100 yards as a team and is one of five teams not to have an individual 100-yard rusher this season. Arizona in Week 17 could be using reserves if its spot in the postseason is already set.
The only running back remaining on Seattle's schedule that ranks in the top 10 in the league is St. Louis' Todd Gurley in Week 16.
''We're going to continue to try and play fundamentally sound and disciplined up front and try to take advantage of our scheme and our guys' knowledge of it. And when you do that and play really hard, it's hard to run it at us,'' Carroll said.
NOTES: Injured RB Marshawn Lynch returned to the team's practice facility Wednesday and was a spectator for practice. Earlier in the day, Carroll said Lynch is continuing with his rehab but still has no timetable for his return following abdominal surgery. ... Carroll said he spoke with BYU AD Tom Holmoe regarding offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell as a potential candidate for the Cougars' head coaching job, but that Bevell was remaining with the Seahawks. ... Seattle signed TE Anthony McCoy and S Akeem Davis on Wednesday. McCoy spent five injury-filled seasons with the Seahawks before spending six games this season with Washington.
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