The Seahawks filled in the blanks on their to-do list while filling up the scoreboard Friday night in beating San Diego 41-14 in their second exhibition game of 2014.
Better offensive line play after the ragged outing in the opening loss at Denver?
Check, as the return of left guard James Carpenter helped pave the way for 260 yards in the first half en route to a 24-7 halftime lead.
More efficient play on third down?
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Check, as the Seahawks converted 8 of 11 for the game after going 3 of 11 against Denver.
A more-inspired effort from the reserves?
While spotty at times, the Seahawks once again showed second-half domination of an exhibition opponent, highlighted by a spectacular 44-yard touchdown run by Terrelle Pryor, one of four rushing TDs for Seattle quarterbacks in the game.
And getting Russell Wilson just enough work to show he’s ready for the season?
Even if that wasn’t specifically on the to-do list, that one was check, check and check as the Seahawks’ third-year quarterback was just about flawless, hitting on 11 of 13 passes for 121 yards while running four times for 31 yards and two touchdowns.
It all added up to a feel-good win for the Seahawks in their first game at CenturyLink Field since the NFC title win over the 49ers last January that led to the Super Bowl win over the Broncos, and all to the delight of 67,615.
Seattle couldn’t have asked for much more out of its starting offense and defense, as the Seahawks took a 24-0 lead late in the second quarter before making wholesale changes.
The Seahawks scored on their first four possessions, with Wilson running for two touchdowns, Robert Turbin running for a score and Steven Hauschka kicking a 38-yard field goal (Hauschka would later add a 55-yarder in the third quarter).
Seattle drove 74 yards after taking the opening kickoff, capped by a 1-yard run by Turbin, who made a good case on this night to be the team’s backup tailback, rushing for 81 yards on 12 carries in the first half. Included in that total was a 47-yard run that set up Hauschka’s field goal that made it 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.
A 37-yard pass to tight end Zach Miller set up Seattle’s third score, a 1-yard run by Wilson. Wilson then capped his night with a 5-yard touchdown run on Seattle’s next drive.
Seattle’s first offense also converted 5 of 6 third downs, a particular emphasis of coach Pete Carroll after the Seahawks hit on just 3 of 11 at Denver.
Seattle got a bit more play from some of its regulars as Percy Harvin had four catches for 31 yards to lead the Seahawks in seeing his first extensive action of the exhibition season. Marshawn Lynch was on the field for the first series, though he did not get a carry.
The first-team defense, meanwhile, allowed just two first downs and just 35 yards on 15 San Diego plays. Cliff Avril was particularly noticeable, consistently getting into the Charger backfield.
Carroll had been pretty candid in his disappointment over the play of the second-unit defense last week and it initially got off to a rugged start as the Chargers drove 80 yards for a TD late in the first half to make it 24-7 at halftime.
San Diego used a 14-play march to cut the lead to 27-14 late in the third quarter, a drive kept alive by two penalties against the Seattle defense for illegal contact, something the NFL has said will be an emphasis this season.
One was called against Tharold Simon on a play in which he picked off a pass and returned it 105 yards for a touchdown that was nullified by the yellow flag laying forlornly in the end zone.
But the Seahawks then added two more scores to make this look more like the exhibition games of the past two seasons, when Seattle outscored its opponents a combined 125-37 in the second half.
Both TDs came on runs by quarterbacks —- Pryor’s 44-yarder in which he faked a handoff and then ran around the end and down the sidelines; and a 6-yarder from B.J. Daniels.
Seattle will host Chicago next Friday in its third exhibition game, a contest in which the starters figure to play into the second half.