As sputtering as last week’s start was for the Seahawks’ first-teamers in the exhibition opener at Denver, that’s how splendid they were tonight against San Diego.
None were more sterling than Russell Wilson.
Seattle’s do-it-all quarterback did it all, rushing for two touchdowns, completing his first nine passes and 11 of 13 in all, and running away from numerous sacks in a runaway first half for the starters. Wilson’s second scoring run of the half came when he avoided a Charger on each of his flanks and ran up the middle for a 5-yard touchdown. That amde it 24-0.
On the sidelines following that TD, Wilson went the length of Seahawks’ left bench giving fist bumps to everyone. Docs, injured guys in sweats, managers. Everyone.
About the only thing Wilson didn’t do against San Diego, which had its starting defense in for about two of Wilson’s four drives, was tackle someone.
His defense did plenty of that.
One week after allowing the Broncos huge, sustained drives, the Seahawks’ starting defense held San Diego to zero points, 42 yards and three first downs in four drives. The second-team D entered with about 4 minutes left in the half and surrendered San Diego’s first score when its zone coverage got mixed up in the back of the end zone for a touchdown catch by Keenan Allen.
Coach Pete Carroll had said Thursday he wanted better play on third downs. He got it. Seattle converted five of six third downs into first downs in the opening half. Its defense allowed the Chargers to convert two of five third downs.
Last week, the Seahawks made good on just three of 11 third downs, and their defense allowed Denver to convert 8 of 12 on third downs.
The other star on offense in that first half: Running back Robert Turbin. He gained 81 yards on 12 carries and had the game’s first score, a 1-yard touchdown at the end of the opening drive. Wilson set up that score with a savvy, lofted throw to wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who made an equally clever play by jumping into the Chargers defensive back at the goal line for the defensive pass-interference penalty.
Terrelle Pryor entered at quarterback in the final minute of the first half. It ended with the Seahawks leading 24-7 . It also had the 60,000-plus fans that had been waiting six months for their champs to return to playing roaring over the show.
Marshawn Lynch started in his preseason-game debut. He played two plays and called it a night.
Seattle was again without starting left tackle Russell Okung (toe surgery) and starting center Max Unger (groin), though both were practicing fully this week. Both seem likely to play next week’s third exhibition game, at home against Chicago.
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