By John Boyle
Seahawks up 31-0 at half
No, this doesn’t count, but the Seahawks have been darn impressive nonetheless. The Seahawks have scored on every possession in this game, including a 59-yard field goal at the end of the half that was set up by a Jeremy Lane interception.
The Seahawks’ offense has now scored on nine straight possessions with Russell Wilson on the field in the last two games. In this game he’s 13 for 17 for 174 yards and one touchdown, good for a 147.7 passer rating, which I think might be pretty good. Wilson also has a touchdown run. Seattle’s offense also went 7 for 7 on third down.
Christine Michael is the leading rusher for Seattle with 26 yards on seven carries, while Wilson has 23 on four and Robert Turbin has 20 yards on five carries. Jermaine Kearse has 63 yards and a touchdown on four catches, while Percy Harvin had 61 yards on three catches.
Earl Thomas strengthened his case for the punt return job with a 59-yard return, though he’ll likely catch a bit of flack in film study for being tackled by the punter.
A couple of injury updates, TE Luke Willson was being evaluated for a possible concussion, but had his helmet on late in the half, which is usually a good sign. TE Cooper Helfet was upended on a second-quarter catch and left the game with a shoulder injury. His return is questionable.
Seahawks lead 14-0 after first quarter
Seattle’s offense picked up where it left off last week, which is to say that punter Jon Ryan is likely quite bored. The Seahawks’ opening drive, which began at the 39-yard line thanks to a 46-yard kick return by Percy Harvin, ended with a 7-yard touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch. Lynch carried three times on the drive for 16 yards, which appears to be all he’ll do for the day, and quite possibly the preseason.
After the Seahawks’ defense got a stop, Seattle’s offense put together a 14-play, 89-yard drive that ended on a Russell Wilson touchdown run. As was the case last week, Wilson looks incredibly sharp tonight. We’ve also seen quite a bit of what Percy Harvin can do to a defense, both in the form of plays he makes and also the way he draws safety coverage, opening things up for others, such as the 18-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse on the second scoring drive.
A few notes about the defense from that drive, Seattle opened in its nickel defense, which meant Malcolm Smith starting at linebacker in his first game back along with KJ Wright… Byron Maxwell had a touchdown-saving pass breakup on a deep ball intended for Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery had a step on Maxwell and the ball was perfectly thrown, but Maxwell reached in and broke the pass up, leading to a Bears punt.
It’s preseason game No. 3, also known as the most important of the fake games. If you missed our story on things to watch in tonight’s game, here it is. Expect to see most of the starters play into the third quarter in what for many of them will be the final tune-up before the regular season begins in less that two weeks.
And among those expected to play are safety Kam Chancellor, left tackle Russell Okung and center Max Unger, all of whom will be making their preseason debut.
Also worth noting, the Seahawks announced via Twitter that K.J. Wright will start at middle linebacker tonight. Wright, usually Seattle’s weakside linebacker, is the No. 2 option behind Bobby Wagner at that spot, but in the first two preseason games rookie
Rookie Brock Coyle has started there with Wagner recovering from a hamstring injury. Perhaps this is just a way to give Wright a little work at another position, or maybe it’s a way to get Malcolm Smith and other outside linebackers more work, but it could also be seen as a sign that Wagner’s status for the regular season opener is in doubt and that the Seahawks are preparing accordingly.
During pregame warm-ups, we saw Richard Sherman, Phillip Adams and Earl Thomas all catching punts, so it’s probably safe to assume we’ll see some combination of those players on punt return duty. Kick return could be interesting with Bryan Walters sidelined by a rib injury. It’s hard to imagine the Seahawks want to use Percy Harvin in a preseason game, so perhaps Doug Baldwin will be in that spot, or maybe Paul Richardson, who Pete Carroll had mentioned as another option.
Oh, and here’s a fun one… Today’s referee is Bill Leavy, the same Bill Leavy who was in charge at Super Bowl XL, and the same Bill Leavy who admitted several years later that he “kicked” a few calls in Seattle’s Super Bowl loss.
Here’s the full list of Seahawks not expected to play, which doesn’t really contain any surprises: WR David Gilreath, WR Bryan Walters, CB A.J. Jefferson, CB Eric Pinkins, LB Horace Miller, LB Bruce Irvin, LB Bobby Wagner, DT C.J. Davis, DT Jimmy Staten, DT Michael Brooks, WR Kevin Norwood.
I’ll be back with updates from the game, though just two warn you now, they’ll slow down in the second half as I’m writing for tomorrow’s paper.