Another Seahawks game, another outrageously fun party.
The Seahawks continue to do things that just shouldn’t happen in the NFL. When they’re dialed in, it seems like they’re out to prove hyperbole is a myth. There are no qualifiers — It’s just preseason or otherwise — that douse the enthusiasm over how well they’re playing, especially on offense. You can talk about how the Seahawks have faced poor defenses in San Diego and Chicago over the past two weeks, and it still doesn’t matter. It’s not normal to roll over NFL teams like this, no matter the situation.
The Seahawks beat the Bears 34-6 on Friday night at CenturyLink Field. The previous Friday, they smashed the Chargers, 41-14. Two preseason blowouts don’t guarantee a defending Super Bowl champion will repeat, but they do indicate the Seahawks are ready to begin the quest. The Sept. 4 opener against Green Bay can’t come soon enough.
“Oh yeah, I’m definitely ready,” wide receiver Percy Harvin said. “I’m right on point — right now. Let’s go.”
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As special as last season was, the Seahawks look to be balanced now. With Harvin healthy, with more speed, with Russell Wilson a year wiser, the offense appears to be capable of more than running the ball, passing with efficiency and controlling the clock. The Seahawks are explosive. Their talent is varied. And opponents will get headaches early in the season trying to figure out the proper way to defend them.
Over parts of the past two games, four quarters in all, Wilson led the first-team offense to nine consecutive scoring possessions. Seven of them were touchdowns. The final scoring drive, which resulted in an incredible 59-yard Steven Hauschka field goal as the first half ended, was a solid display of clock management.
The first-team offense’s scoring streak ended early in the third quarter with Hauschka missing a 53-yarder. But the Seahawks already had made it clear that they are determined to have an offense that complements the league’s best defense.
“Our big thing with the offense is just to get in tune with the defense,” Harvin said. “They’ve shut people down. They’ve carried us at times. We just want to make our team more balanced.”
In three preseason games, Wilson has completed 30 of 39 passes (76.9 percent) for 360 yards. He has thrown two touchdown passes and run for three more. No interceptions. You can say he’s playing against vanilla defenses and teams that aren’t game-planning right now, but the Seahawks are doing just the basics on offense, too. There’s no doubt the talent on this offense fits Wilson’s skill set, and the big-play potential is stunning.
While he was in the game, Wilson threw to eight different receivers and completed passes to seven of them. Much has been made about the impact of Harvin, but while having him on the field and healthy is an enormous benefit, there’s so much more going on with the offense. The Seahawks now have the personnel to spread out teams, make them defend the whole field and force defenses to choose whether to stop the power running game or the passing game.
“We were talking about it on the sidelines,” Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane said. “We play against our offense every day. I know it’s hard. Those guys are something else. I love going against them every day because, come game time, I know I’m not going to see nothing like that. Not with all the speed they have. Playing against our offense, it slows everything down for me.”
The third preseason game of the NFL schedule is considered the dress rehearsal. It’s the most important of the four exhibition games. It’s the only one in which the starters play most of the game, usually the majority of the first three quarters.
Two years ago, the third preseason game turned out to be the one that won Wilson the starting quarterback job. He was in a competition with Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson, and after good outings in the first two games, coach Pete Carroll started him against Kansas City. The Seahawks won that game 44-10, Wilson shined, and Carroll named him the regular-season starter soon after. Wilson went on to have a stellar rookie season and the Seahawks finished 11-5, then won a playoff game and set the stage for last season’s Super Bowl triumph.
It’s not just preseason. Not for the Seahawks. They take everything seriously. They feed off every accomplishment and learn from every mistake.
Let it be known that, if you defend the Seahawks straight up, they have an offense that can kill you. Opponents’ game plans had better be intricate.
And even then, they should still be worried.