Can the real season start now, please? As in, tonight?
The Super Bowl-champion Seahawks might be thinking that — and more — after another dominant, seemingly-and-absolutely-ready-for-prime-time performance tonight by their starters in the first half of an exhibition game.
Russell Wilson completed 13 of 17 passes for 174 yards, touchdown passes to Jermaine Kearse of 12 yards on a dart and Christine Michael of 7 yards, both on third downs. Wilson also turned what would have been a sack into a scramble run for a 7-yard touchdown run that made it 14-0 in the first quarter. His quarterback rating through two quarters: 147.7.
Marshawn Lynch has his first three rushes in a game since the Super Bowl. The third was a 7-yard, bounce-out run around right end through two Chicago Bears arms tackles for a touchdown to end Seattle’s first drive.
Earl Thomas has a 59-yard punt return — the only shame there being that Chicago’s punter brought him down.
Percy Harvin has continued his supersonic summer with three catches for 61 yards, most after the reception, plus a 46-yard return of the opening kickoff he fielded 7 yards deep in the end zone.
O’Brien Scholfield has another sack and two more quarterback hits, giving him six QB hits in two games. Nickel back Jeremy Lane intercepted a Jay Cutler pass near the goal line in the final minute of the first half and returned it 40 yards. That set up a 59-yard field goal try by Steven Hauschka on the final play of the half. Of course he made it, a fitting end to a phenomenally flowing first half.
It’s 31-0 Seahawks. It’s 55-0 Seahawks starters over the Bears and the Chargers in the first halves of the last two exhibitions.
Sure, it’s still mid-August. But this third preseason game is supposed to be the final, main tuneup before the starters take most of next week’s exhibition finale at Oakland off, so they can rest for the Sept. 4 opener against Green Bay.
Starting left tackle Russell Okung played one series, left for Eric Winston for part of the second drive, returned for Winston and limped some as Seattle scored again, then called it a night. Center Max Unger also took the rest of the night off after two drives, as Seattle had its starting offensive line intact to start a “game” for the first time since February’s Super Bowl.
The Seahawks’ only blemishes of the otherwise gleeful first half were a shoulder injury to Cooper Helfet. Fellow tight end Luke Willson was being evaluated for a concussion — then returned for the first offensive drive after halftime. And Brock Coyle, the undrafted rookie middle linebacker from Montana who has been the surprise at camp, left late in the half with an injury to his lower right leg. Coyle didn’t start for the first time in three exhibition games while Bobby Wagner remains out with a hamstring injury. Usual outside linebacker K.J. Wright started in the middle, as he has done in a fill-in basis in the past. That could hint to a Plan B for the Seahawks in case Wagner isn’t ready for the opener — though Wagner did do some pregame warm-up drills in uniform and might practice next week.