As preseasons go, the Seahawks’ couldn’t have gone much better.
They put the finishing touches on another unbeaten preseason Thursday night, with Steven Hauschka kicking five field goals and Russell Wilson leading a six-play, 80-yard touchdown drive on the only series the starting offense played in a 22-6 victory over the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field.
But even more important than the ninth consecutive preseason victory, to extend their franchise record streak, was how the Seahawks played in a preseason where they defeated the Chargers in San Diego 31-10; the Denver Broncos at CenturyLink Field 40-10; the Packers in Green Bay 17-10; and now the Raiders, for the third consecutive summer in their finale.
“I was really fired up that the guys played hard all four times we went out in these games,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “We called on them to play full-speed football on game night … and guys did that.”
The next time the Seahawks play will be September 8 in their regular-season opener against the Panthers in Carolina.
“We’re ready to go for the season coming up,” Carroll said. “It’s great that the regular season is finally here.”
Especially after the way things went in the preseason finale. The game-opening drive against the Raiders that ended with Robert Turbin scoring on a 3-yard run provided all the points the Seahawks would need, as Wilson was 3 of 3, including a 50-yard completion to 6-foot-5 wide receiver Stephen Williams and a 20-yarder to rookie tight end Luke Willson on third-and-1.
The defense then forced a three-and-out, with Leo end O’Brien Schofield breaking up the third-down pass.
“We really accomplished exactly what we hoped to accomplish with the offense and the defense in the first groups,” Carroll said. “If we could have dreamed it right, we would have gone right down the field and scored and then the defense would go out and get three-and-out and get out of there.
“So that was great. Guys really came through for us.”
The game then turned into a showcase for Hauschka, who connected from 56, 53, 51, 43 and 22 yards; as well as those players battling for a role on this team and/or a spot on the 53-man roster.
The 75-man roster must be cut to 53 players by Saturday, so the next two days will be filled with anxious moments.