Seattle beats Oakland 21-3 to finish preseason
August 31, 2012
SEATTLE (AP) – Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson played just one quarter in his final tuneup before the regular season, so high-priced backup Matt Flynn led Seattle on a three scoring drives. The Seahawks closed out the second perfect preseason in franchise history with a 21-3 win over the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night.
Wilson saw limited action just days after winning the quarterback competition and being chosen the regular-season starter. He is one of five rookies expected to start for NFL teams when the season begins next week.
Flynn played most of the second and third quarters and led Seattle to a pair of touchdowns. That was more than the Seahawks needed thanks to a stingy defense that continued to impress. Seattle’s starting defense allowed just 17 points while on the field during the preseason.
It wasn’t just the starting defense that was dominant for Seattle. The reserves were pretty good too, as the Raiders were held to 101 yards total offense and five first downs. Seattle first-round pick Bruce Irvin had 1 1-2 sacks and a forced fumble, and fellow rookie Jaye Howard tackled running back Mike Goodson in the end zone for a safety in the fourth quarter.
Eddy Carmona’s 31-yard field goal with 15 seconds left kept the Raiders from being shut out for the second time this preseason. Oakland finished the preseason 1-3 and opens the regular season on Sept. 10 hosting San Diego.
The last time Seattle went undefeated in the preseason was 2009. That season ended with the Seahawks going 5-11, losing their last four games, and then coach Jim Mora got unceremoniously fired.
Wilson played the entire first quarter and probably would have added yet another touchdown to his preseason total. But Vai Taua dropped a pass in the flat inside the 5 with a clear path to the end zone. Wilson finished 5 of 11 for 73 yards, his least productive appearance of the exhibition season.
Wilson did get a chance to be acknowledged by the home crowd for his dynamic preseason performance that earned him the starting job when the Seahawks travel to Arizona on Sept. 9. He was the last player introduced during the pregame pomp and circumstance and ran out to the loudest cheers.
With Wilson seeming limited time, it was Flynn’s turn to get the bulk of the work and make up for missing last week’s game at Kansas City with a sore elbow. Flynn led Seattle on a pair of second-quarter scoring drives, once taking advantage of an Oakland turnover and on the other leading Seattle 78 yards – mostly on the legs of Taua and Kregg Lumpkin. The 11-play drive was capped by Taua plowing in from the 2 for a 13-0 halftime lead.
Flynn added a 4-yard TD pass to tight end Cooper Helfet in the third quarter, and he finished 11 of 13 for 102 yards and a quarterback rating of 125.0.
If there was an injury concern for Seattle it came in the second half when receiver Golden Tate danced backward on a punt return and was tackled awkwardly. He was limping on the sideline and shaking his right leg while being looked at by team physicians.
From a roster standpoint, kicker Steven Hauschka was well short on a 53-yard attempt in the first quarter, a made field goal in the second quarter that was partially blocked, and had an extra point blocked in the third quarter.
Oakland starting quarterback Carson Palmer saw six snaps and handed off on all of them, including a pair of third-down running plays. Darren McFadden never saw the field.
With Palmer getting a short stint, Matt Leinart played the remainder of the first half and was unimpressive. Leinart was 3 of 11 for 14 yards with an interception and a passer rating of 1.7.