Starting quarterback Russell Wilson turned in his shortest and least spectacular performance this month.
If Matt Flynn completed 11 of 13 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown two weeks ago, it would have been significant.
On Thursday night it was a footnote to Seattle’s 21-3 victory over Oakland at CenturyLink Field.
“I thought he was solid as a rock tonight,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He hit almost everything. … We have a terrific quarterback position right now. I’m very happy about it.”
No controversy. No competition. Not with rookie Russell Wilson already named the starting quarterback, a decision that took the suspense out of Thursday’s exhibition finale, and not just because Seattle outgained Oakland 335 yards to 101.
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Wilson turned in his shortest and least spectacular performance this month. Not quite bad per se, but a long way from overwhelming. He completed 5 of 11 pass attempts for 72 yards. He overthrew tight end Kellen Winslow badly on one play, and Wilson took a seat after three series with Seattle leading 3-0 and was replaced by Flynn.
“He just did a very good job again,” Carroll said of Wilson. “He’s very comfortable. He had no problem with it. It was great to have him play at home as the starter.”
And sure enough, Wilson got the loudest reaction of anyone when he ran onto the field during the introductions.
But it’s hard to get too carried away over the fourth exhibition game, which is typically the most meaningless of all the meaningless games an NFL team plays. Matt Hasselbeck didn’t even play in three of the last four exhibition finales of his Seahawks career. Oakland starter Carson Palmer played the first series, but didn’t attempt a pass, handing off six times.
Seattle won all four of its exhibition games, only the second time in franchise history the team went unbeaten in those games. The significance of that achievement remains to be seen, though. The Seahawks were also 4-0 in exhibition games in 2009, and went 5-11 that year under coach Jim Mora.
Seattle was conservative Thursday. Receiver Sidney Rice played only the first series, and the starting offensive line was out of the game after two series.
This wasn’t so much a warm-up for Seattle as a cool-down.
Neither Marshawn Lynch nor Leon Washington dressed for the game, and Kregg Lumpkin led the team with 71 yards on 20 carries. Fullback Vai Taua had a team-high five catches for 39 yards and scored Seattle’s only rushing touchdown on a 2-yard run in the second quarter.
This was the final practice game for the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback, though. Wilson led Seattle on 12 scoring drives in the 18 possessions he played in the first three exhibition games. In Thursday’s finale, the first drive resulted in a missed field goal, the second a punt and the third netted a field goal that was set up by a special-teams turnover.
Flynn led Seattle on two touchdown drives in the two quarters he played. Second-year quarterback Josh Portis played the fourth quarter for the Seahawks. He finished with more rushes (six) than completions (one).
The Seahawks led 21-0 after Seattle rookie Jaye Howard tackled Raiders running back Mike Goodson in the end zone for a safety. Starting defensive end Red Bryant got so excited celebrating on the sideline after that play he suffered a chipped tooth.
The Seahawks outscored opponents 67-21 in the second half of exhibition games this season, which speaks to the team’s improved depth.
Seattle must trim its roster to 53 players on Friday, and will open the regular season Sept. 9 in Arizona.
“We did a great job this preseason,” Wilson said. “But now it’s time to look forward on to what’s next, and that’s the season. Obviously, we have to take one step at a time.”
Danny O’Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @dannyoneil
Sea — FG Hauschka 25, 1:05.
Sea — FG Hauschka 29, 9:32.
Sea — Taua 2 run (Hauschka kick), 1:11.
Sea — Helfet 4 pass from Flynn (kick blocked), 4:29.
Sea — Howard safety, 8:14.
Oak — FG Carmona 31, :15.
A — 66,157.
|Total Net Yards||101||334|
|Time of Possession||20:50||39:10|
Rushing — Oakland, Goodson 8-26, Jones 7-12, Pryor 2-9, L.Miller 2-0. Seattle, Lumpkin 20-71, Taua 9-49, Portis 4-23, Turbin 4-14, Kearse 3-9, Obomanu 1-(minus 5).
Passing — Oakland, Pryor 6-9-0-55, Leinart 3-11-1-14. Seattle, Flynn 11-13-0-102, Wilson 5-11-0-72, Portis 1-6-0-10.
Receiving — Oakland, McGee 3-36, L.Miller 1-17, Session 1-8, Carrier 1-7, Jones 1-5, Gordon 1-1, Goodson 1-(minus 5). Seattle, Taua 5-39, Lockette 2-15, Helfet 2-14, Lumpkin 2-10, Durham 1-25, McGrath 1-24, Rice 1-22, A.McCoy 1-20, Robinson 1-11, Martin 1-4.
Missed FG — Seattle, Hauschka 53 (SH).
|Aug. 11||Tennessee||W, 27-17|
|Aug. 18||at Denver||W, 30-10|
|Aug. 24||at Kansas City||W, 44.14|
|Aug. 30||Oakland||W, 21-3|
|Sept. 9||at Arizona||1:25 p.m.|
|Sept. 16||Dallas||1 p.m.|
|Sept. 24||Green Bay||1 p.m.|
|Sept. 30||at St. Louis||10 a.m.|
|Oct. 7||at Carolina||1 p.m.|
|Oct. 14||New England||1 p.m.|
|Oct. 18||at S. Francisco||5:20 p.m.|
|Oct. 28||at Detroit||10 a.m.|
|Nov. 4||Minnesota||1 p.m.|
|Nov. 11||N.Y. Jets||1 p.m.|
|Nov. 25||at Miami||10 a.m.|
|Dec. 2||at Chicago||10 a.m.|
|Dec. 9||Arizona||1:25 p.m.|
|Dec. 16||at Buffalo||1 p.m.|
|Dec. 23||S. Francisco||1:25 p.m.|
|Dec. 30||St. Louis||1:25 p.m.|
|All times subject to change|