Irrelevant 27-17 Seahawks victory aside, Saturday night’s preseason opener at the Clink against the Tennessee Titans gave fans a chance to serenade two former hometown quarterbacks.
The Seattle defense, however, wasn’t in a loving mood. Just ask Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker.
On the first play from scrimmage, Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas stripped a diving Nate Washington on a short pass from Hasselbeck. The ball deflected off both players before popping straight up. Cornerback Brandon Browner corralled and ran 23 yards untouched into the end zone.
That set the tone on a night Seattle introduced Matt Flynn as a starting quarterback and Russell Wilson as a potential starting NFL quarterback. Splitting playing time, both acquisitions showed why general manager John Schneider opted to replace quarterback Tarvaris Jackson during the offseason
- Flynn looked sharp his first series, going 6-6 for 27 yards on Seattles 15-play, 62-yard opening drive. The offense, however, stalled just outside the red zone. Kicker Steven Hauschka capped the series with a 41-yard field goal to give the Seahawks a 10-0 lead. The drive was Flynn’s most efficient of the first half. He finished 11-for-13 for 71 yards and an interception.
- To start the secon quarter, Richard Sherman picked off a deep pass from Hasselbeck. The former Seahawk signal caller was 5-for-9 for 45 yards and two interceptions in one-and-a-half quarters.
- Flynn followed with an interception of his own the ensuing possession after eight consecutive completions. The former Green Bay Packer failed to recognize underneath coverage, then forced a pass over the middle. Titans linebacker Colin McCarthy jumped the route for the pickoff and returned it to Seattle territory.
- Locker, freshly inserted into the game, couldn’t capitalize on the advantageous field position thanks to more stout play from Seattle’s defense. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s starting unit forced an interception and two punts during the first half, as the Seahawks took a 10-3 lead into intermission. The Titans’ lone first-half score came after Locker orchestrated an 11-play, 79-yard drive with time winding down in the second quarter. The former University of Washington quarterback overcame a few early misses to go 7-for-13 for 80 yards.
- Wilson entered in the third quarter and wasted little time topping Flynn. The rookie from the University of Wisconsin nimbly scrambled out of the pocket on his first third-and-long, then found a streaking Charly Martin for a 14-yard completion and a first down.
- Two plays later, he launched a deep ball down the left sidelines intended for Braylon Edwards. The wide receiver leaped over Tennessees cornerback to haul in a 39-yard touchdown pass to give the Seahawks a 17-3 lead. Wilson finished his first drive 3-for-3 with 59 yards.
- The Titans responded with 14 unanswered points, the first six on a 21-yard Darius Reynaud touchdown run on Tennessee’s next possession. Reynaud struck again at the 5:31 mark in the third quarter, taking a Jon Ryan punt back 85 yards for a touchdown.
- Seattle picked up the go-ahead score in the fourth when Hauschka banged in a 40-yard field goal for a 20-17 lead.
- After a Titans fumble deep in their own territory, Wilson made his sole mistake of the night when he lofted a poorly thrown ball into the end zone. Tennessee linebacker Zac Diles came down with the interception.
- Titans third-string quarterback Rusty Smith marched his offense down the field the next drive, but kicker Will Batson missed a 36-yard field goal wide right with his team trailing 20-17 and just over six minutes remaining.
- Wilson capped his impressive debut the next possession with a 32-yard touchdown run on a reverse bootleg that befuddled Tennessee’s third-string defense. He finished 12-for-16 for 124 yards passing.
The Seahawks play Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Denver Saturday.