BY Art Thiel 09:31PM 08/24/2012

Thiel: Wilson does it all for Seahawks in rout

In his debut with the first unit, rookie QB Russell Wilson was masterful. Combined with stout defense and and effective special teams, the Seahawks routed the Chiefs 44-14.

Russell Wilson had a QB rating of 134.8 Friday night in Kansas City. / Seahawks.com

As significant Northwest debuts go, Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was about a dinghy short of Capt. George Vancouver.

As for Matt Flynn . . . he seems like the guy who came to town the day after the circus left.

Given permission Monday to run with the ones, Wilson acted 33 instead of 23.  Against a good defense in a hostile road house, Wilson acted like he owned the joint. He made his head coach, the guy out there on the high-wire, look like Karl Wallenda.

One half doesn’t make a career . . . or does it?

After getting scores on six of the eight possessions he directed in the first two preseason games, Wilson took the first unit to scores on their first six possessions Friday night — three field goals, three touchdowns — and defense and special teams added a TD each to crush the Kansas City Chiefs 44-14.

In a word, it was astonishing. Preseason, yes. But Wilson even made WR Terrell Owens look good (two catches).
“I’m just excited to watch him play,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters afterward. “He continues to show poise and composure well beyond three games.

“Honestly, this is what we had hoped to see. We saw what he did the first two games, and wanted to see if he could do it again. He was very comfortable for the most part, took off (running) when he needed to. We also wanted to see what happened if he (hung in the pocket).”

It was almost all good. Wilson completed 13 of 19 passes for 185 yards and two TDs for a QB rating of 134.8, plus two scrambles from the pocket that picked up 59 yards. And no turnovers. He wasn’t perfect, but he was way too good for rookie — and a third-rounder at that –  in his first start. In the absence of Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson saw his first action of the preseason in the second half, completing three of five passes for a single yard.

After an off-season of public debate and controversy about the quarterback spot, Friday night made it easy for Carroll to determine his regular-season starter, even though he said nothing about it post-game.

Flynn, the presumed starter after he signed a three-year, $26 million free agent deal to leave Green Bay in the off-season, was held out of the game because of a sore elbow that kept him out of Wednesday’s practice too. But after the understudy sucked up all the lights on Broadway, even good health won’t be much help.

“It cropped up mid-week — nothing he’s ever had before,” Carroll said of Flynn’s elbow problem. “We thought it might be all right before the game,  but he couldn’t throw. It’s a tendinitis-type thing. It wasn’t because he got hit.”

Flynn has looked solid in preseason, but few beyond Carroll figured on Wilson’s transcendence. Beyond his passing accuracy, Wilson’s ability to turn a failing play into a positive continues to distinguish him.

Ahead 9-0 in the second quarter, the Seahawks defense, which shut down the Chiefs all night, forced a a three-and-out. Wilson took the next snap, dropped three steps, felt the pressure and took off, first going right, then sweeping left for 31 yards, cool as sunny afternoon in a Seattle fall.

On the next play, another impressive rookie, running back Robert Turbin from Utah State, ran for 14 yards, mostly on second effort. Then Wilson had a gimme, a wide-open Kellen Winslow, who caught a 21-yard pass for a touchdown and a 16-0 lead.

Calm from the outset, Wilson kept getting better.

“I felt I was ready to go,” he told the Fox broadcast crew after the game. “When you’re prepared, you’re never nervous. That’s the way I’ve always been.

All I know is I try to do the best I can to make team better. I keep growing and learning, and we’ll see it happens.”

Through the 3-0 exhibition start, Wilson is 35 of 52 for 464 yards, five touchdowns, one interception and 150 yards rushing.

And it was said that, at 5-foot-11, he was too short to be a QB in the NFL.

Less surprising but no less effective was Seattle’s defense. Aside from a second-quarter drive of 80 yards over 17 plays that produced a touchdown, the Chiefs were regularly throttled. KC quarterback Matt Cassel, who played under Carroll at USC, was heavily harassed. Sacked twice, he finished with 19 completions in 34 attempts and 168 yards (a rating of 66.8) and an interception returned 75 yards for a touchdown by Seahawks safety Earl Thomas.

The other stars were Golden Tate, who returned a punt 92 yards for a score, and Turbin, who finished with 93 yards in 14 carries.

Turbin is a really good football player,” Carroll said. “We’re sohappy with the pick (fourth round). We really wanted someone to complement (starter) Marshawn Lynch. What a great draft pick for us.

“We did a lot of really good, positive things in all ways. I’m excited we took care of the football, played good defense and ran it well enough to control the game.”


YourThoughts

  • Obi-jonKenobi

    Hey, Art, thanks for talking Carroll into playing the rookie.  Worked out great!

    What a treat to see a Hawk team DOMINATE.

    • Artthiel

       Sure. Any time. Next I’ll talk McGinn into funding the Lander St. overpass in SoDo.

  • Obi-jonKenobi

    Hey, Art, thanks for talking Carroll into playing the rookie.  Worked out great!

    What a treat to see a Hawk team DOMINATE.

    • Artthiel

       Sure. Any time. Next I’ll talk McGinn into funding the Lander St. overpass in SoDo.

  • RadioGuy

    Have to admit I hadn’t watched a game yet because I don’t get too excited about the preseason, but I did tune in for a couple of quarters last night.  VERY impressive.  I’d thought the Seahawks might’ve gotten a third-round steal in Wilson because of what he did in one year at Wisconsin on and off the field (I don’t listen to the “too small” worries…a player is a player), but I never expected Wilson to do this well this soon.  It IS the preseason so a lot of this might be taken with a grain of salt, but Wilson surely does look like the real deal.

    A side note:  Would he become the first QB ever to tell Terrell Owens to shut the hell up if/when TO starts shooting his mouth off about him?  I don’t get the impression Wilson is the kind of guy who’ll put up with that. even from a Hall of Fame WR.  Wilson showed very soon after arriving as a transfer in Madison last year that he can make a team “his team” in short order. 

    • Artthiel

       Those who’ve followed him closely will say they’re not surprised. He’s had “it” since grade school. He seems to have won over the locker room to the point where other vets would get in Owens face before Wilson had to speak. But I don’t think Wilson will have to worry about TO after next week.

  • RadioGuy

    Have to admit I hadn’t watched a game yet because I don’t get too excited about the preseason, but I did tune in for a couple of quarters last night.  VERY impressive.  I’d thought the Seahawks might’ve gotten a third-round steal in Wilson because of what he did in one year at Wisconsin on and off the field (I don’t listen to the “too small” worries…a player is a player), but I never expected Wilson to do this well this soon.  It IS the preseason so a lot of this might be taken with a grain of salt, but Wilson surely does look like the real deal.

    A side note:  Would he become the first QB ever to tell Terrell Owens to shut the hell up if/when TO starts shooting his mouth off about him?  I don’t get the impression Wilson is the kind of guy who’ll put up with that. even from a Hall of Fame WR.  Wilson showed very soon after arriving as a transfer in Madison last year that he can make a team “his team” in short order. 

    • Artthiel

       Those who’ve followed him closely will say they’re not surprised. He’s had “it” since grade school. He seems to have won over the locker room to the point where other vets would get in Owens face before Wilson had to speak. But I don’t think Wilson will have to worry about TO after next week.

  • osoviejo

     Art, after watching Wilson’s post-game press conference, I think you should sit him down and show him the classic Hank Stram “keep matriculating the ball down the field” clip from NFL Films.  It was pretty funny to see him use the line (in a Kansas City Chiefs post-game, no less) but it’s clear he has no idea where it comes from (or what ‘matriculate’ means).

    These kids today.

    http://www.seahawks.com/videos-photos/videos/Press-Conference-Russell-Wilson-Preseason-Week-3/f56c3beb-989f-4846-9233-ad1e92652944

    • Artthiel

       If that’s his only flaw, I’ll see you in New Orleans for the Seahawks’ second Super Bowl.

  • osoviejo

     Art, after watching Wilson’s post-game press conference, I think you should sit him down and show him the classic Hank Stram “keep matriculating the ball down the field” clip from NFL Films.  It was pretty funny to see him use the line (in a Kansas City Chiefs post-game, no less) but it’s clear he has no idea where it comes from (or what ‘matriculate’ means).

    These kids today.

    http://www.seahawks.com/videos-photos/videos/Press-Conference-Russell-Wilson-Preseason-Week-3/f56c3beb-989f-4846-9233-ad1e92652944

    • Artthiel

       If that’s his only flaw, I’ll see you in New Orleans for the Seahawks’ second Super Bowl.

  • Hammtime

    Excited but trying not to get too excited :)  Wilson looked d**n good last night. I want to see more!

    • Artthiel

      Carroll will see to that.

  • Hammtime

    Excited but trying not to get too excited :)  Wilson looked d**n good last night. I want to see more!

    • Artthiel

      Carroll will see to that.

  • Bayviewherb

    Jackson and Flynn will have to flip a coin to see who rides tge bench this year.

    • RadioGuy

      Yeah, Flynn might’ve Wally Pipped himself out of a starting job by sitting out last night.

      • Artthiel

         Marshawn Lynch better get over his back problems or he’ll find himself Wilsonned by Robert Turbin.

    • Artthiel

       Then again, why not trade Flynn? Just sayin’.

  • Bayviewherb

    Jackson and Flynn will have to flip a coin to see who rides tge bench this year.

    • RadioGuy

      Yeah, Flynn might’ve Wally Pipped himself out of a starting job by sitting out last night.

      • Artthiel

         Marshawn Lynch better get over his back problems or he’ll find himself Wilsonned by Robert Turbin.

    • Artthiel

       Then again, why not trade Flynn? Just sayin’.

  • PokeyPuffy

    Wilson has such awesome footwork!  Like a boxer or really good point guard in bball, he is always setting him self up for his next move.  Not sure how he sees defenders so well without seemingly moving his head around like other QB’s do.

    Best part of all this:  here it is late August and the term “game manager” hasn’t been used in weeks!!!!

    • Artthiel

       Not only are his feet fast, he has a quick release. That’s how he compensates for shortness. The only time height is a factor is when the bodies back up into his face. If Wilson gets the ball off a half-second faster, the crowding becomes less of an impediment. Notice how he doesn’t have to set himself before h throws. He has big hands and big arms that make for a fast trigger.

  • PokeyPuffy

    Wilson has such awesome footwork!  Like a boxer or really good point guard in bball, he is always setting him self up for his next move.  Not sure how he sees defenders so well without seemingly moving his head around like other QB’s do.

    Best part of all this:  here it is late August and the term “game manager” hasn’t been used in weeks!!!!

    • Artthiel

       Not only are his feet fast, he has a quick release. That’s how he compensates for shortness. The only time height is a factor is when the bodies back up into his face. If Wilson gets the ball off a half-second faster, the crowding becomes less of an impediment. Notice how he doesn’t have to set himself before h throws. He has big hands and big arms that make for a fast trigger.

  • Jtkxyz

    Art, in light of all the post-orgasmic glow from Seattle fans over Wilson’s performance last night, I have to ask you as an insider, Do you see a weakness in Wilson’s game?  The only reason why I ask is because you mentioned in your last Seahawk’s related post that you thought Wilson would struggle against the ones.  Are we justified in going completely gaga over him, or do people in the know think he has weakness to address before he can become a legitimate NFL QB? 

    • Artthiel

       I think I wrote that the Seahawks need to find out if he will struggle against ones.   But to your point: Carroll was worried that Wilson would tend to run before a pass play gets fully developed. He’s a good runner, but NFL defenses will account for it if he bails too often. Wilson came through. He ran only twice, and the 59 yards proved the wisdom of his choices.

      The other concern is reading sophisticated defenses. KC ran a lot of stuff, and the entire offense handled it well. Inevitably, he will misread things he’s never seen, but Carroll is so impressed with his quick uptakes that they will live with the mistakes, knowing it will happen once and Wilson will have solved for it.

  • Jtkxyz

    Art, in light of all the post-orgasmic glow from Seattle fans over Wilson’s performance last night, I have to ask you as an insider, Do you see a weakness in Wilson’s game?  The only reason why I ask is because you mentioned in your last Seahawk’s related post that you thought Wilson would struggle against the ones.  Are we justified in going completely gaga over him, or do people in the know think he has weakness to address before he can become a legitimate NFL QB? 

    • Artthiel

       I think I wrote that the Seahawks need to find out if he will struggle against ones.   But to your point: Carroll was worried that Wilson would tend to run before a pass play gets fully developed. He’s a good runner, but NFL defenses will account for it if he bails too often. Wilson came through. He ran only twice, and the 59 yards proved the wisdom of his choices.

      The other concern is reading sophisticated defenses. KC ran a lot of stuff, and the entire offense handled it well. Inevitably, he will misread things he’s never seen, but Carroll is so impressed with his quick uptakes that they will live with the mistakes, knowing it will happen once and Wilson will have solved for it.

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