KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — It’s going to take a lot more than one dazzling performance against the Kansas City Chiefs’ first-team defense to surprise Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.
Perhaps getting the starting job on a full-time basis would do the trick.
Wilson certainly staked his claim Friday night, throwing for 185 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-14 rout. The third-round draft pick also scrambled for 58 yards while leading the Seahawks to scores on their first six possessions, and had effectively put the game away by halftime.
“I don’t surprise myself, I think because I prepare in the right way,” Wilson said. “I try to visualize myself being very, very successful, and just positive self-talk, I guess.”
The 5-foot-11 Wilson has been competing for the No. 1 job with Matt Flynn, the former Green Bay backup who signed in the offseason. Flynn missed the game with a sore elbow, giving Wilson a chance to shine after two impressive performances against Tennessee and Denver.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked of him,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “This is the guy we hoped he would be. All of the talk about how tall he is and all that stuff, I don’t see it being a factor. I don’t see it, and I have watched more carefully than anybody could ever have watched, and I don’t see it being an issue. It isn’t to me.”
The Chiefs looked much like the Seahawks in their first preseason game against Arizona, but they struggled last week at St. Louis. New offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s attack simply fizzled against Seattle, going three-and-out on three of its first four possessions.
Matt Cassel was 19 of 34 for 168 yards and a touchdown, but also was intercepted by Seattle safety Earl Thomas, who returned it 75 yards for a third-quarter score.
Even the special teams were a disaster for Kansas City, which watched Golden Tate zigzag 95 yards on a punt return with 2:12 left in the third quarter. The touchdown gave Seattle a 44-7 lead and sent the sparse crowd at Arrowhead Stadium streaming for the exits.
“Obviously we have to play better all around. It’s disappointing to come out here and play like we did,” Cassell said. “I’m glad it’s the preseason right now.”
The Seahawks (No. 22 in the AP Pro 32) are unbeaten in the preseason, and looked downright unbeatable against a Chiefs defense that was among the best in the NFL at the end of last year.
“We need to figure out what we do well with this team,” Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said. “The regular season is just right around the corner. We need to see what we can do.”
It didn’t help that the Chiefs were without starting safety Kendrick Lewis, who is out with a shoulder injury, and cornerback Brandon Flowers, who has missed several weeks with a hurt heel. Still, the Seahawks managed to slash through the defensive line for huge gains on the ground, and that helped give Wilson plenty of time to sit in the pocket and pick apart the secondary.
He led the Seahawks to field goals on their first three possessions before finding tight end Kellen Winslow alone for a 21-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter.
The Chiefs (No. 18, AP Pro 32) answered with their best drive of the night, going 80 yards and scoring on a short TD pass from Cassel to Dexter McCluster. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who signed his franchise tender a week ago, caught his only pass on the drive.
Wilson led Seattle to another touchdown before halftime, hitting Anthony McCoy for two big gains and Charly Martin on an 11-yard scoring strike. The drive was helped along by two late hits on Wilson by Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali, who learned this week he’ll be suspended for the season opener against Atlanta after testing positive for a banned substance.
Turbin put an exclamation point on his big night with a 25-yard touchdown run early in the second half to give Seattle a 30-7 lead. The fourth-round draft pick finished with 14 carries for 93 yards in place of Lynch, who missed practice Tuesday and Wednesday with a back injury.
“We did a great job tonight. We really came out and played a great game,” Wilson said. “A lot of enthusiasm, which is huge for our football team. Defense made some tremendous plays, stopping them on third downs and getting us the ball. We capitalized on some plays and opportunities.”
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
At Kansas City, Mo.
Seattle 44, Kansas City 14
Team 1 2 3 4 F
Seattle 6 17 21 0 — 44
Kansas City 0 7 0 7 — 14
Sea — FG Hauschka 36, 7:29.
Sea — FG Hauschka 39, 1:55.
Sea — FG Hauschka 45, 12:44.
Sea — Winslow 21 pass from Wilson (Hauschka kick), 9:43.
KC — McCluster 9 pass from Cassel (Succop kick), 2:00.
Sea — Martin 11 pass from Wilson (Hauschka kick), :30.
Sea — Turbin 25 run (Hauschka kick), 13:14.
Sea — Thomas 75 interception return (Hauschka kick), 4:48.
Sea — Tate 92 punt return (Hauschka kick), 2:12.
KC — Eachus 7 run (Succop kick), 1:53.
First downs 20 25
Total Net Yards 367 339
Rushes-yards 28-189 25-145
Passing 178 194
Punt Returns 3-114 1-10
Kickoff Returns 0-0 5-118
Interceptions Ret. 1-75 0-0
Comp-Att-Int 16-24-0 24-44-1
Sacked-Yards Lost 2-8 3-18
Punts 2-55.5 6-57.3
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 6-37 6-79
Time of Possession 24:51 35:09
RUSHING — Seattle, Turbin 14-93, Wilson 2-58, Lumpkin 5-24, Sutton 2-8, Washington 2-5, Robinson 1-3, Portis 2-(minus 2). Kansas City, Eachus 10-98, Charles 6-32, Draughn 3-9, Quinn 2-4, Cassel 2-3, Hillis 2-(minus 1).
PASSING — Seattle, Wilson 13-19-0-185, Jackson 3-5-0-1. Kansas City, Cassel 19-34-1-168, Quinn 5-10-0-44.
RECEIVING — Seattle, A.McCoy 2-47, Owens 2-41, Winslow 2-23, Martin 2-15, Edwards 1-32, Tate 1-14, Rice 1-8, McGrath 1-5, Helfet 1-3, Taua 1-3, Turbin 1-0, Sutton 1-(minus 5). Kansas City, McCluster 7-61, Baldwin 6-37, Draughn 3-21, Breaston 2-10, Moeaki 1-31, Kinnie 1-16, Hemingway 1-14, Bowe 1-9, Charles 1-7, DiMarco 1-6.
MISSED FIELD GOALS — Seattle, Hauschka 51 (WR). Kansas City, Succop 50 (WR).