After a terrible opening preseason performance from the defending Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks made the most of Russell Wilson playing his first game in the preseason, beating the San Diego Chargers 41-14, showing some incredible dominance on both ends of the field before easing off by letting the replacements play a little bit.
Maybe Mike McCoy quickly realized what was going on, because he allowed Philip Rivers to play just one series. Rivers completed 2-of-4 passes before being taken off, paving the way for Kellen Clemens and Brad Sorensen. The Seahawks scored the first 24 points of the game, as the Chargers got on the scoreboard for the first time with 44 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Wilson didn’t throw any touchdown passes but did run for a couple as he completed 11-of-13 passes for 121 yards, adding 31 more on the ground. The Seahawks scored all five touchdowns on the ground, which included Terrelle Pryor once again showing he’s a much better rusher than passes. He completed just 1-of-4, but ran 44 yards to get his touchdown and 59 yards overall, second behind Robert Turbin with 81 yards, most of them thanks to a 47-yard rush.
So what did the Chargers have to be pleased about? Clemens throwing two touchdowns was nice. One of them was to Keenan Allen, looking to follow up his excellent rookie season with an even better one in 2014, and tight end Jack Byrne, hoping that this season he’ll finally able to count himself as an integral part of even a fringe one of an NFL offense instead of just looking on from the sidelines.
Still no Marshawn Lynch for the Seahawks, but everything else felt familiar and looked just as good. Percy Harvin caught four passes for 31 yards and Zach Miller also caught one big pass for 37 yards. The Seahawks’ defense didn’t create turnovers, but they did make it through the offensive line for five sacks, although none of them came against Rivers, who had himself a Rennessiance season after a vast improvement to his offensive line in 2013.
Preseason doesn’t mean much, but it also is about more than nothing. Wilson looks sharp, but that’s not the most important thing. The Seahawks’ defense is functioning at a very high level, and they have an offense to count on to put up some points. For the Chargers, anything close to what we saw from them last season, especially in the second half of that year, will be regarded as great success.