Seahawks follow their quarterbacks’ lead in running past Chargers

Posted Aug 16, 2014

The Seahawks ran for five touchdowns, including four by quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Terrelle Pryor and B.J. Daniels, during a 41-14 romp over the Chargers in their preseason home opener on Friday night.

After Terrelle Pryor had slapped an exclamation point on the Seahawks’ romp over the San Diego Chargers with a 44-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, one of the first players to greet him on the sideline was fellow quarterback Russell Wilson.

“I told Terrelle as he got over to the side, ‘You may be faster than me, just by a little bit, but I’m still quicker,’ ” Wilson said with a laugh after Friday night’s 41-14 victory at CenturyLink Field in the Seahawks’ preseason home opener.

It was that kind of night for the Seahawks, as the Chargers got a full dose of their quarterbacks.

All five of the Seahawks’ touchdowns came on runs, and four were turned in by the QBs – Wilson’s 1- and 5-yarders in the second quarter; Pryor’s 44-yarder and a 6-yarder by B.J. Daniels in the fourth quarter.

Robert Turbin had the other – on a 1-yarder to cap the first possession of the game – as well as 47-yarder.

Put it all together and the Seahawks ran for 243 yards, and Turbin’s game-high 81 were three more than the Chargers were able to generate.

“We want to be explosive,” Wilson said. “We also want to run the football extremely well, and still be explosive in the running game but also the passing game.”

Check, and check. In addition to all those rushing yards, the Seahawks also had 37- and 24-yard completions to tight ends Zach Miller and RaShaun Allen. Miller’s came on an eight-play, 62-yard drive to Wilson’s first TD run. Allen’s came on a seven-play, 55-yard drive to Daniels’ TD run.

“Really happy with the first team offense, to move the ball like that and score four times, it was great,” coach Pete Carroll said of the 74-, 78-, 62- and 67-yard drive engineered by Wilson before he called it a night and turned things over to Pryor.

But this game wasn’t all about the offense. The No. 1 defense that played without four starters – end Michael Bennett, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, strong-side linebacker Bruce Irvin and All-Pro strong safety Kam Chancellor – did not allow the Chargers to score. The special teams supplied 55- and 38-yard field goals by Steven Hauschka and a 29-yard kickoff return and 22-yard punt return by Bryan Walters – while Jon Ryan got a DNP (did not punt).

“That’s about as much as we can hope for in this first night coming home,” Carroll said.

And there could have been even more, as a 105-yard interception return for a touchdown by cornerback Tharold Simon was nullified because he was called for illegal contact in the end zone.

As with Wilson meeting Pryor on the sideline following his long run, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman was there to offer encouragement to Simon after his even longer run.

“Richard just came up to me and was like, ‘That was a bad call,” ’ Simon said. “He told me, ‘Great position. Great play. They’re going to review it.’ ”

The play was an example of how the officials are putting an emphasis on contact by defensive backs downfield this season.

“I can tell you that the official said that he had his hands on him 7 yards down the field, instead of 5,” Carroll said when asked about Simon’s big play that wasn’t – at least not officially. “I’ve got to see it again, but I thought it was a perfectly executed two-hand jam and press and turn and roll with the ball and made a great play.

“It was a great play. We’ll see if it was 7 yards down the field. I don’t know. If it was, it was a legit call.”

There was no such controversy when it came to Pryor’s 44-yard burst. He made a quick fake to the running back who was heading up the gut, and the Chargers’ defenders bite. That left Pryor all alone as he broke to his left, and even more along as he outran everyone to the end zone.

“I got a quick jab, and once I hit that corner …” Pryor said, not completing the thought as he broke into a large smile. “That’s why I did it quick. I didn’t want to do a full sell because they would have had time to recover and see that I didn’t hand the ball off.

“It was a great play.”

On what was a great night for the Seahawks in their preseason home opener.