Another preseason game, another blowout victory for the Seattle Seahawks as they thumped the Denver Broncos 40-10 Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks have now won seven straight exhibition games by an average margin of victory of 20.9 points a contest.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had plenty to be pleased about after the game.
“There were just so many plays, and so much activity,” Carroll said. “So many guys did things that were exiting for us – I mean I can’t even name them. But it was exciting for everybody to see 106 yards and 107 yards touchdown plays. That was really a thrill.
“So we had fun tonight, and played well, and got out of there without anybody banged up.”
Jermaine Kearse – ballin’
Receiver Jermaine Kearse said he hadn’t returned kicks since his days at Lakes High school. Even at the University of Washington, Kearse was relegated to being on the field as an up back.
“I actually asked Coach Nansen (UW special teams coach Johnny Nansen) a couple times, and he always told me I would be on the front line for life,” Kearse said, smiling. “It was an inside joke between us. So that’s always funny. I’m actually going to call him once I get out of here.”
Carroll said that Kearse got the nod over Jeremy Lane because he wanted to go with an offensive player first.
“I really wanted to put an offensive guy back there first, because they’re more used to getting hit, and we’re so concerned about the football,” Carroll said. “He kind of got the nod over Jeremy Lane. So he took advantage of it, I guess. He did about as well as you could do in cranking out your first opportunity. It was beautiful.”
Kearse took advantage of the opportunity, returning his first kick back 107 yards for a touchdown, showing perhaps more speed than some give him credit for.
“I felt like my speed’s been there,” he said. “A lot of people have been doubting my speed, but that’s okay. I know what type of speed I have. And it showed up, I guess.
“I didn’t realize how deep I was in the end zone,” said Kearse, when asked if he realized how deep he was when he came out of the end zone. “The ball was hanging in the air for a very long time”
Along with the kick return for the score, Kearse had an 11-yard touchdown reception, giving him three touchdowns in two preseason games. The UW product has been one of the best players on the field for the Seahawks.
“I just knew if I could sell the slant, and get him to bite on the slant, and come back out freely, I knew Russell would be able to get me the ball,” Kearse said. “He was playing off coverage. I wouldn’t say it would have been harder if he was playing press, but I knew he was off. So he gave me some room to work with, and I just tried to get open as fast I could for Russell.”
Offense gets into rhythm
After not getting into the end zone against San Diego last week, Seattle’s starting offense finally got on track.
Russell Wilson led the Seahawks to scores on four of his five drives in the first half, including two touchdowns. Wilson finished 8 of 12 for 127 yards, two touchdown passes and no interceptions. Wilson was sacked one, and finished with a 141.3 passer rating.
“It was good,” Carroll said. “The first drive we went down and scored. The next drive we got a field goal, and felt like we were doing things like we like to do it. Russ (Russell Wilson) missed a couple, but he threw a couple touchdown passes, too in the first half. So I think it all worked great.”
Carroll also credited the offensive line for the way the starting offense played in the first half.
“I thought that the first line did a nice job,” Carroll said. “They’re going to be a good, solid group. They really know what they’re doing, and I think we can really count on those guys, protection-wise, adjustment-wise and all of that. And we got to where we were moving the ball on the ground, too, which was nice.”
It’s all about the ball
The Seahawks continue to make plays on the ball, finishing with three fumble recoveries and an interception by DeShawn Shead.
Against San Diego, the Seahawks corralled two interceptions. Even more impressive, Seattle’s offense has not turned the ball over in two games.
“The most important factor that’s happening right now is were not giving the football up,” Carroll said. “And there’s nothing more important than that. And that’s two games with no turnovers, and that’s how we intend to play forever. And so when you do that, you win.”
Carroll also said his team is getting really solid play from special teams, which is helping Seattle control field position.
What’s up with those penalties?
While forcing turnovers has been a positive, costly
turnovers penalties continue to be an issue for Seattle.
The Seahawks finished with 12 penalties for 107 yards. Last week against San Diego, the Seattle finished with eight penalties for 65 yards. Through two games, the Seahawks are second in the NFL with 20 penalties for 172 yards.
“There’s just stuff, we’ve got to see where they all are,” Carroll said. “They’re scattered we didn’t have error repeaters tonight. We had a bunch of guys who contributed. We just have to get better there. It’s lousy to play football like that. I don’t like it at all.”
Wilson said on offense the Seahawks need to understand how penalties set the team back.
“The biggest thing I try to tell the offense is, ‘Hey, let’s stay on schedule.’” Wilson said. “If we can stay on schedule, we’ll be in great situations. We’ll be in third and shorts, which obviously we can handle with the running game and also the throwing game. And if we can do that, we’ll be in the red zone more. We’ll make some plays, the defense will get us the ball every once in a while, and we’ll have short fields.
“So we’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities. And when you do that, it makes it tough on the other team. It makes it tough on the other team to capitalize against us. I think the main point we get as an offense for this game is, ‘Hey, it shows if we stay on schedule we can do a lot of great things.’”
Carroll said that Phil Bates turned his ankle in the second half, but should be fine.
With 9:13 remaining in the opening quarter, Denver defensive end Derek Wolfe went down hard on the turf after a legal cut block by tight end Luke Willson, followed by a drive block by fullback Michael Robinson.
Wolfe was taken off the field on a stretcher and loaded into the back of an ambulance.
According to the team, Wolfe suffered a cervical spine injury and had movement in all his extremities.
In an update, the Broncos said all tests on Wolfe were negative for fractures and he was going to travel back to Denver with the team.