Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson of Wisconsin outplayed Matt Flynn again, leading three second-half touchdown drives.
DENVER — Matt Flynn started at quarterback for the Seahawks for the second consecutive week.
And for the second consecutive week, rookie Russell Wilson finished with a flourish, throwing for two second-half touchdowns and leaving his coach to answer whether he was ready to take a look at Wilson with the starting offense.
“We’ll see,” Carroll said after Seattle’s 30-10 exhibition victory over the Denver Broncos on Saturday. “We have to evaluate all that.”
That was the biggest question to come out of a game in which the Seahawks intercepted Denver’s Peyton Manning twice, held the Broncos to one first down in the second half and rushed for 228 yards while scoring the final 21 points.
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And while Seattle’s quarterbacks may be in competition, there was no comparison in their production Saturday night. Flynn completed 6 of 13 passes for 31 yards, none longer than 11 — though Terrell Owens notably dropped one that would have been a 46-yard touchdown.
The Seahawks didn’t score a first-half touchdown despite three turnovers by the Broncos. Seattle trailed 10-9 when the third quarter began, and Wilson promptly converted three consecutive third-down plays, including an improbably long third-and-17 during an 80-yard drive.
Wilson completed 10 of 17 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 33 yards before Josh Portis was summoned to play the game’s final 3 minutes.
Yes, Wilson was playing against Denver’s backups. No, Flynn did not have Seattle’s full array of receivers.
Still, after playing the first half in two consecutive games, Flynn has yet to lead Seattle to a touchdown while Wilson has thrown for three and run for another.
“He’s doing really well,” Carroll said of the first-year player from Wisconsin. “We’re ecstatic about it. To have a guy coming off the bench like that and play two halves back-to-back and really play football, it’s great for our team.”
You can question the caliber of competition Wilson faced, but not the quality of his throws. Facing third-and-17 in the third quarter, he threw 27 yards to tight end Anthony McCoy. He completed an 8-yard pass to Lavasier Tuinei while being hit by two Broncos in the fourth quarter. And he later completed a 37-yarder to ex-UW Husky Jermaine Kearse.
His first touchdown pass was for 34 yards to running back Tyrell Sutton, who did most of the work. The second was an 8-yard toss to tight end Cooper Helfet.
That production stood in contrast to the first-half difficulties, with five Seahawks penalties and with Flynn noticeably out of sync with Owens. Of Flynn’s seven incompletions, Owens was the target on five.
“It was hard on him,” Carroll said of Flynn’s performance. “It was really hard on him. We didn’t protect very well. We held a little bit. We got some long-yardage situations. He couldn’t even get started, I didn’t really feel. At this point, it’s really hard to evaluate the quarterback because I need to see all that happened.”
The next question is whether Wilson will see time with the first-unit offense before the Seahawks make a decision on their regular-season starter. Wilson said afterward that isn’t his concern.
“I just do whatever it takes to be successful,” he said. “I can’t worry about that. … There’s more learning for me to do.”
Danny O’Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sea — FG Hauschka 43, 5:09.
Den — McGahee 1 run (Prater kick), :00.
Sea — FG Hauschka 36, 8:37.
Sea — FG Hauschka 43, 2:39.
Den — FG Prater 32, :02.
Sea — Lumpkin 16 run (Hauschka kick), 8:38.
Sea — Sutton 34 pass from Wilson (Hauschka kick), 11:01.
Sea — Helfet 8 pass from Wilson (Hauschka kick), 3:36.
A — 74,012.
|Total Net Yards||405||247|
|Time of Possession||39:59||20:01|
Rushing — Seattle, Sutton 3-48, Lumpkin 9-38, Lynch 6-37, Turbin 10-34, Wilson 5-33, Washington 5-20, Kearse 1-10, Flynn 1-6, Taua 1-2, Portis 3-0. Denver, McGahee 8-28, Ball 2-5, Osweiler 2-4, J.Johnson 1-2, Omon 1-0, Moreno 1-(minus 1).
Passing — Seattle, Wilson 10-17-0-155, Flynn 6-13-0-31. Denver, Manning 16-23-2-177, Osweiler 5-11-0-38.
Receiving — Seattle, Butler 3-16, Turbin 2-10, Kearse 1-37, Sutton 1-34, A.McCoy 1-26, McGrath 1-22, Winslow 1-11, Helfet 1-8, Taua 1-8, Tuinei 1-8, Morrah 1-4, Bates 1-2, Washington 1-0. Denver, Ball 4-30, Stokley 3-41, D.Thomas 3-28, Decker 2-34, Dreessen 2-27, J.Johnson 2-17, Tamme 2-17, Green 1-15, Omon 1-5, Willis 1-1.
Missed FG — None.