Seahawks 21, Raiders 3

Just days after being named the Seattle Seahawks starting

quarterback, rookie Russell Wilson was the last guy out of the

tunnel – greeted by the loudest cheers during the pregame pomp and

circumstance.

Even though he’s now the starter nothing felt different to

Wilson.

Maybe that’s because for the last 50 games that have counted,

Wilson has known he’s the starting quarterback. It’s a streak that

will continue when the Seahawks begin the regular season next

week.

”I wouldn’t say I had a different feeling. … The feel of the

game, no, not any different. Just the reps were different,” Wilson

said.

Wilson played just one quarter in his final tuneup before the

regular season, so high-priced backup Matt Flynn led Seattle on

three scoring drives. The Seahawks (4-0) closed out the second

perfect preseason in franchise history with a 21-3 win over the

Oakland Raiders (1-3) 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 two touchdowns. That was more than the Seahawks needed

thanks to a stingy defense that continued to impress.

”We have a very good quarterback situation right now,” Seattle

coach Pete Carroll said. ”I’m very happy about it.”

Wilson played the 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.

Flynn, who sat out last week’s game at Kansas City with a sore

elbow, threw 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.

”I thought he was solid as a rock. He hit almost everything. He

handled all of the situations, all of the calls. He was

comfortable,” Carroll said. ”He hasn’t had a chance to throw a

lot coming back. I thought he was very much in control.”

What Seattle’s quarterback duo did was ultimately moot compared

to a defense that continued to impress. Seattle’s starting defense

allowed just 17 points 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 draft 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.

”It felt like I had a new born baby,” Irvin said of his first

sack. ”I felt good. I finally got a chance to break the ice and

get going there.”

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 opens the regular season on Sept. 10 hosting San Diego.

”We have all started thinking about the San Diego Chargers,”

Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer said. ”I have already started

watching film on them. That was our main objective, you want to get

a win but to get out of this game healthy and be ready to roll for

Week 1.”

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.

With Wilson seeing 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 two 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.

Taua suffered a knee strain in the second half and Seattle was

so limited with running backs that wide receiver Jermaine Kearse

ended up having to carry the ball three times for 9 yards. Taua

wasn’t the only injury worry for Seattle. 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.

Running back Leon Washington did not play after getting poked in

the eye during practice this week.

Palmer saw six snaps and handed off all of them, including two

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.

Terrelle Pryor played the entire second half for Oakland and was 6

of 9 for 55 yards, but was sacked twice and was forced to scramble

out of trouble plenty of other times.

”We were not good enough. We got overmatched, upfront on both

sides of the ball,” Oakland coach Dennis Allen said. ”I think

defensively we got worn down. But effort wasn’t to our standard

upfront.”

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