The Seahawks left no doubt that they’re regular season ready as they showed up in mid-season form at CenturyLink Field tonight. The Hawks dominated the Chicago Bears in every phase of the game, cruising to a 34-6 preseason victory. Around the league, the third preseason game is generally considered to be the most important of the four; a dress rehearsal where the starters routinely play into the 3rd quarter. If you’re going to read into preseason scores, this it the week to do it, and the Hawks proved once again that they are the class of the NFL.
The Seattle offense, led by Russell Wilson, engineered four straight touchdown drives to cruise to a 28-0 lead and made it 31-0 at the half. The offensive unit was firing on all cylinders and breaking down the Bears defense in a multitude of ways – quick rhythm passes, a powerful run game, play action passing down field, and well, Russell Wilson playing Houdini in the backfield. The defense was dialed in as well, consistently disrupting Jay Cutler in the pocket and clamping down on underneath passes with ferocity. Special teams did well, most notably significant kick and punt returns from Percy Harvin and Earl Thomas, respectively, as well as a 59 yard field goal from Steven Hauschka.
QB Russell Wilson:
The third year signal caller was a man on a mission and displayed Peyton Manning-like efficiency (Super Bowl excluded) on several successful drives. I found myself in awe of his arm strength and zip on his passes. What was particularly special tonight was how he quickly got the ball out and found receivers in tight windows. 15/20 for 202 yards and 2 TDs in less than three quarters of play is a pretty good stat line which was indicative of how well he and the rest of the offense played.
WR Percy Harvin:
Harvin was all over the field catching passes, leaving little doubt that he is fully recovered from hip surgery and finally healthy (knock on wood). He showed a nice burst, great body control, reliable hands, and a willingness to fight for yards after the catch. He also had a nice 46 yard kick return to start the game and set the stage for the beatdown that would ensue.
CB Jeremy Lane:
Lane had a big interception on the goal line right before the half when the Bears were driving and in the red zone. He had a near spectacular return on the pick, setting up the rocket launch of a kick from Hauschka right before half. Lane swarmed up to the ball, making 4 solo tackles, and made a handful of nice breakups in pass coverage.
Tom Cable’s group was in sync from start to finish and played a huge role in how well the team moved the ball. They opened up lanes for RBs Robert Turbin and Christine Michael and gave Wilson time in the pocket to throw. Rookie RT Justin Britt was much improved from Week 1 and 2 and appears to have locked up the starting right tackle job for Week 1 of the regular season.
I know I’m supposed to give game balls to backups, role players, guys fighting to make the team, etc. since it’s preseason, but the guys above really stole the show tonight so… sorry.
I’m going to pose a bold question: Is it possible that the Seahawks will be the best offense in the NFL this season? This thought crept into my head during tonight’s preseason game, and it just felt like we were literally unstoppable with Wilson back there. I can only imagine what opposing defenses must feel like. Add in Lynch, Harvin, Doug Baldwin, and an emerging Jermaine Kearse and you’ve got a pretty scary group. Let me know what you think – is Russell Wilson ready to join the truly elite quarterbacks in the NFL? Will the offense be able to carry the team this year with phenomenal performances like the defense did last year? I think the potential is certainly there, and Darell Bevell’s offense clicked as well as I’ve ever seen tonight – but I guess it was preseason.