Seahawks follow successful formula

Posted Aug 18, 2012

As they did in their preseason opener against the Titans, the Seahawks used a suffocating defense in the first half and a lot of rookie QB Russell Wilson in the second half to beat the Broncos 30-10 on Saturday night.

DENVER – If the Seahawks’ defense doesn’t get you, the Russell Wilson-led No. 2 offense will.

The Broncos discovered this the hard way on Saturday night, as the No. 1 defense forced three turnovers against the Peyton Manning-led Denver offense to set up a trio of Steven Hauschka field goals in the first half and Wilson led three second-half touchdown drives in the Seahawks’ 30-10 victory – against a Broncos team that had the Seahawks’ number, and then some, in previous preseason matchups.

Not surprisingly, coach Pete Carroll liked most of what he saw at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. It didn’t hurt that it was a repeat of what the Seahawks had done the week before in their preseason-opening victory against the Tennessee Titans at CenturyLink Field.

“A lot of good things happened tonight,” Carroll said. “I really like what it feels like. I like this team. They play hard. They care. They’re in it. There’s a lot of good, positive things.”

The Seahawks now have a short week to prepare for their next preseason test on Friday night against the Chiefs in Kansas City. But dealing with that can wait.

Saturday night was all about all the things the Seahawks did so well in winning against the Broncos for only the second time in 10 preseason matchups.

Like play suffocating defense. In addition to the three first-half turnovers – interceptions by strong safety Jeron Johnson and linebacker K.J. Wright and a fumble-forcing hit by Johnson – four other Bronco possessions resulted in three-and-outs.

“That was a big-time play for us, it really change the momentum for us,” said Wright, who picked off a Manning pass that was deflected by defense end Red Bryant.

That it was, as the Broncos had the ball on the Seahawks’ 9-yard line after Denver’s David Bruton had blocked a Jon Ryan punt.

“The defense did a real good job of creating turnovers tonight and trying to help the offense,” Wright said. “We really pride ourselves on being the best defense out there.”

Like run the ball. The Seahawks rushed for 228 yards, and did it by committee as Marshawn Lynch gained 37 first-half yards in his preseason debut and then watched as Tyrell Sutton (48 yards), Kregg Lumpkin (38), Robert Turbin (34) and even Wilson (33) picked up where he left off.

“We want to run the football,” Carroll said.”And to run for 230 or something tonight, that’s a big deal.”

Like marvel at the things Wilson is able to accomplish. His three second-half touchdown drives covered 80, 85 and 68 yards and ended with a 16-yard run by Lumpkin and his scoring passes to Sutton (34 yards) and rookie tight end Cooper Helfet (8).

“Russell did a nice job, mixing it up and moving it around,” Carroll said of the rookie QB. “He was able to put together a nice little game for us.”

Matt Flynn never got that chance in the first half, as the Broncos’ defense was able to pressure him into a 6-of-13, 31-yard performance.

“They came after us pretty good early on,” Carroll said. “It was hard on him, it was really hard on him. We didn’t protect him very well. At this point, it’s really hard to evaluate the quarterback.”

Wilson? He’s not ready to proclaim he’s arrived. Far from it.

“I’m never satisfied,” he said after completing 10 of 17 passes for 155 yards. “There’s a lot more to improve on and a lot more to get better (at). But that’s the constant process that I’m in. You’ve just got to keep growing and keep learning and keep playing and keep fighting and keep competing.”

The next logical step would be to see Wilson do his thing – or things – against another team’s No. 1 defense. That hasn’t happened in the first two games, and Carroll wasn’t ready to say if it will in either of the final two games.

“Russell is doing really well, and we’re ecstatic about it,” Carroll said.