GAME: Oakland Raiders (8-8-0, 1st, AFC West; 1-2 preseason) at Seattle Seahawks (7-9-0, 3rd, NFC West, 2011; 3-0 preseason). TYPE: Preseason. WEEK: 4. WHEN: Thursday, 7 p.m., CenturyLink Field. MEETING: 11th, preseason (Seahawks lead 7-3). STREAKS: Seahawks W 3; Raiders W 1. HEAD COACHES: Pete Carroll, Seattle; Dennis Allen, Oakland. LINE: No line. TV: Q13. RADIO: 97.3 FM KIRO.
The Seahawks have not trotted out a rookie starting quarterback since they unveiled Rick Mirer, a No. 1 out of Notre Dame, in 1993. Although Mirer produced a good rookie season, he never developed into the star Seattle envisioned, his tenure in the Emerald City ending with a thud in 1996 when the Seahawks dealt him to Chicago.
Russell Wilson, who wears Mirer’s No. 3, will make his first start after being named Seattle’s starter Thursday when the Seahawks conclude the preseason with a 7 p.m. date with the Oakland Raiders.
“Russells performance was just so far off the charts that we just had to recognize it,” said head coach Pete Carroll, explaining his decision to go with Wilson over veteran Matt Flynn. “He did so many things in the (preseason) games, but thats not all. This has been a really long-term competition and they have been battling throughout.
“The games did kind of decide the issue, but the work that these guys have put in has been well carried out, highly competitive, fought throughou. We had to make a decision and we feel really good about the decision.
In three preseason games, Wilson quarterbacked 18 drives, 12 of which resulted in scores (8 TDs, 4 FGs). Wilson’s 119.4 passer rating also tops all quarterbacks.
I definitely had starting as a goal,” Wilson said. “I have high expectations of myself. I always have, always will. That will never waver. I always believe in my talent, always have.
“To be in that quarterback room has really been special for me just to learn from (Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson), to be around them and to have a great experience so far.
Wilson said he wasn’t so much surprised that Carroll named him to start ahead of Flynn, who entered training camp as the presumed No. 1, as he was excited by the opportunity.
“I felt like I put a lot of hard work in,” Wilson said. “Matts a great player too and just to have the opportunity to help lead this football team is huge. Even though Im a rookie, I believe in the fact that I can help this team win and do a lot of great things.
“We have an unbelievable defense, we have a very strong offense and great special teams. We just have to keep improving. Its a great opportunity. Im fired up about it, thats for sure. I cant wait.
The Seahawks crushed Kansas City last week 44-14, with Wilson throwing for 185 yards and two touchdowns. The Seahawks have gone 4-0 during the preseason just once, in 2009, in the only year Jim Mora Jr., coached the team. The Seahawks jettisoned Mora after he went 5-11 and hired Carroll.
RIVALRY: Dates to Nov. 6, 1977, when the Seahawks lost 44-7 in Oakland. Sherman Smith ran 16 yards for Seattle’s only touchdown. Seahawks and Raiders have met 53 times in the regular season, Oakland winning 29.Teams split the last six regular-season meetings, with the Raiders prevailing in the mmost recent one 33-3 Oct. 31, 2010.
LAST GAME (Seahawks, Aug. 24): Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns and Earl Thomas returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown as the Seahawks routed Kansas City 44-14 at Arrowhead Stadium. Wilson, a third-round draft pick from Wisconsin, also scrambled for 58 yards while leading the Seahawks to scores on their first six possessions.
LAST GAME (Raiders, Aug. 25): The Raiders had 513 yards of total offense and 27 first downs, and held Detroit to 281 yards and 2.7 yards per attempt on the ground in a 31-20 win. With quarterback Matt Leinart sidelined with a lacerated finger, backup Terrelle Pryor completed 3 of 5 passes for 137 yards and touchdown throws of 39 and 76 yards to rookie Juron Criner. He accounted for 76 yards of a 77-yard drive on two runs, a 59-yard dash down the right sideline and a 17-yard escape act for a TD.
2011 Seahawks: 7-9-0, 3rd, NFC West; scored 321 points (20.1 per game), ranking 23rd; allowed 315 points (19.7 per game), seventh; differential of +6 points ranked 18th. 2011 Raiders: 8-8-0, 1st, AFC West; scored 359 points (22.4), 16th; allowed 433 (27.1), 29th; differential of -74 points ranked 23rd.
QUARTERBACKS: In three preseason games (one start), Russell Wilson completed 35 of 52 passes for 464 yards, 5 TDs and one interception for a passer rating of 119.4 . . . In his final season at Wisconsin, Wilson completed 225 of 309 passes (72.8%) for 3,175 yards with 33 TDs and only four INTs, compiling an NCAA-record 191.7 passer rating and gaining 3,513 yards in total offense; responsible for 39 TDs . . . In two preseason games, Matt Flynn is 17 of 26 for 102 yards with one TD and one INT with a 56.9 passer rating; did not play at Kansas City because of a sore elbow, but will play Thursday.
Carson Palmer: Completed 33 of 56 for 321 yards, no TDs and four INTs during the preseason. Palmer, who won the Heisman Trophy while playing under Pete Carroll at USC, has 25,447 yards and 167 TDs in his NFL career . . . Terrelle Pryor completed 13 of 26 for 196 yards and two TDs during the preseason . . . Matt Leinart, another Heisman Trophy quarterback for Carroll at USC, has thrown one TD during the preseason and did not play last week against Detroit.
SEAHAWKS STATS / NOTES
- SEASON SUMMARY (Preseason): Record: 3-0. Home: 1-0. Road: 2-0. Vs. NFC: 0-0. Vs. AFC: 3-0. Vs. NFC East: 0-0. Vs. NFC North: 0-0. Vs. NFC South: 0-0. Vs. NFC West: 0-0. Points For: 101 (33.7). Points Against: 41 (13.6).
- In two preseason games, Seattles defense is tied for the league lead with a +3 turnover differential, and its six takeaways lead the NFC (T2nd NFL).
- Seahawks have the best run defense, allowing only 61.5 yards per game, and at +30, rank second in points differential, outscoring opponents 57-27.
- Offensively, Seahawks rank third in the NFC (5th NFL) in rushing, aided by their 228-yard performance last week at Denver.
- Seahawks expect Flynn, WR Doug Baldwin and G John Moffitt to play against the Raiders.
NFL OFFENSIVE RANKINGS (2011)
|Total Yards||4861||28||Total Yards||6072||9|
|Yards / Game||303.8||28||Yards / Game||379.5||9|
|Rush Yards||1756||21||Rush Yards||2110||7|
|Rush / Game||109.8||21||Rush / Game||131.9||7|
|Pass Yards||3105||22||Pass Yards||3962||11|
|Pass / Game||194.1||14||Pass / Game||247.6||11|
|Points / Game||20.1||23||Points / Game||22.4||16|
NFL DEFENSIVE RANKINGS (2011)
|Total Yards||5315||9||Total Yards||6201||29|
|Yards / Game||332.2||9||Yards / Game||387.6||29|
|Rush / Allw.||1797||15||Rush / Allw.||2112||26|
|Rush / Game||112.3||15||Rush / Game||132.0||26|
|Pass Allw.||3518||11||Pass Allw.||4023||27|
|Pass / Game||219.9||11||Pass / Game||387.6||27|
|Points Allw.||315||7||Points Allw.||433||29|
|Pass / Game||19.7||7||Points / Game||27.1||29|
SEAHAWKS OFFENSIVE LEADERS (Preseason)
SEAHAWKS DEFENSIVE LEADERS (Preseason)
|Tackles||Chancellor 7, Johnson 7, Sherman 7|
|Sacks||Scruggs 1.5, Allen 0.5|
|Interceptions||Sherman, Lane, Wright, Browner 1|
|Passes Defensed||Thomas 2, Bryant 2|
|Forced Fumbles||Sherman 1, Lane 1, Farwell 1|
|Fumbles Recovered||Farwell 1, Hill 1|
COACHES: Pete Carroll (47-49-0 career, 14-18-0 Seattle) is in his third season as head coach of the Seahawks. In 2010, he directed Seattle to the NFC West title, the Seahawks becoming the first team in NFL history to win a division with a losing (7-9) record. Prior to joining the Seahawks, Carroll served as head coach at Southern California, where his Trojans won seven Pac-10 titles.
Dennis Allen: Allen, 39, is the NFLs youngest head coach, more than six months younger than the leagues previously youngest coach, Pittsburghs Mike Tomlin. With 16 years of combined coaching experience at the college and professional levels, Allen enters his 11th NFL season. On six occasions during his 10 years as an NFL assistant, his team earned a playoff berth: 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Four came after division championships: The NFC South with Atlanta in 2004 and New Orleans in 2006 and 2009, and the AFC West with Denver in 2011. Allen began in 1996 as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Texas A&M, where he was a four-year letterman as a safety. He worked with Aggies defensive backs for four seasons before coaching the secondary at the University of Tulsa from 2000-01.
KEY DATES: Friday — Roster reduction to 53 players; Saturday — Clubs establish practice squad of eight players; Sept. 9 — Start of regular season; Nov. 18 — Seahawks bye week; Jan. 5-6, 2013 — Wild card weekend; Jan. 12-13 — Divisional playoffs; Jan. 19-20 — Conference championships; Jan. 27 — Pro Bowl (Honolulu); Feb. 3 — Super Bowl, New Orleans. Feb. 20-26 — NFL combine (Indianapolis); April 25-27 — NFL draft.
- Aug. 26: Waived LB Jameson Konz, DE Pep Levingston, DB Roy Lewis, TE Cameron Morrah, WR Phil Bates, OT Edawn Coughman, CB Donny Lisowski, CB Ron Parker, RB Tyrell Sutton, OT Alex Barron, OG Deuce Lutui, WR Terrell Owens.
- Aug. 27: Traded LB Barrett Ruud to New Orleans to for an undisclosed future draft pick; waived DE Dexter Davis and re-signed CB Denny Lisowski, an undrafted rookie free agent from Montana who attended O’Dea High; traded QB Tarvaris Jackson to Buffalo for an undisclosed future draft choice.
COMING UP: Regular season begins at Arizona Sept. 9. Seahawks play at Century Link Field Sept. 16 against the Dallas Cowboys.
2012 Seahawks Preseason Schedule
|8/11/12||vs. Tennessee||7 p.m.||Q13||W||27-17||1-0|
|8/18/12||at Denver||6 p.m.||Q13||W||30-10||2-0|
|8/24/12||at Kansas City||5 p.m.||Q13||W||44-14||3-0|
|8/30/12||vs. Oakland||7 p.m.||Q13||—||—||—|
2012 Seahawks Regular-Season Schedule
|9/9/12||at Arizona||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|9/16/12||vs. Dallas||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|9/24/12||vs. Green Bay||5:30 p.m.||ESPN||—||—||—|
|9/30/12||at St. Louis||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|10/7/12||at Carolina||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|10/14/12||vs. N. England||1:05 p.m.||CBS||—||—||—|
|10/18/12||at S. Francisco||5:20 p.m.||NFLN||—||—||—|
|10/28/12||at Detroit||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|11/4/12||vs. Minnesota||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|11/11/11||vs. NY Jets||1:05 p.m.||CBS||—||—||—|
|11/25/12||at Miami||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/2/12||at Chicago||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/9/12||vs. Arizona||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/16/12||*at Buffalo||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/23/12||vs. San Francisco||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/30/12||vs. St. Louis||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
* in Toronto
2012 Seahawks Capsules
Aug. 11 Seahawks 27, Titans 17 (at Seattle) — Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson ran for a touchdown and passed for one, leading the Seahawks to victory over a Tennessee Titans team featuring two quarterbacks with strong local ties, ex-Seahawk Matt Hasselbeck and ex-Husky Jake Locker. Hasselbeck threw two interceptions while Locker completed 7 of 13 for 80 yards.
Aug. 18: Seahawks 30, Broncos 10 (at Denver) — Starting his second straight exhibition game, QB Matt Flynn failed to seize control of the quarterback job, finishing 6 of 13 for 31 yards with no TDs or INTs. But rookie Russell Wilson made a case for himself by completing 10 of 17 for 155 yards, two TDs and a passer rating of 28.5. The Seahawks finished with 228 yards rushing, led by Sutton’s 48 yards on three carries.
Aug. 24: Seahawks 44, Chiefs 14 (at Kansas City) — Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson completed 10 of 17 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns as the Seahawks doused the Denver Broncos 30-10. With Wilson playing into the second half, Seattle scored 21 points, overcoming a 10-9 halftime deficit. Earl Thomas made the big defensive play, returning an interception 75 yards to a touchdown. Seattle’s starting QB, Matt Flynn, did not play due to injury.