Rookie Russell Wilson staked his claim to be the Seattle Seahawks’ starting quarterback on Friday night, throwing for 185 yards and two touchdowns to lead his team to a 44-14 preseason rout of the Kansas City Chiefs.
The third-round draft pick out of Wisconsin also scrambled for 58 yards as visiting Seattle scored on its first six possessions to effectively put the game out of reach by halftime.
The 5-foot-11 Wilson has been competing with Matt Flynn for the starting job. Flynn, the former Green Bay backup who was signed as a free agent in the offseason, missed the game with a sore elbow, giving Wilson the stage to himself.
He made the most of his opportunity.
“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, I have watched more carefully than anybody could have ever watched, and I don’t see it being an issue. It isn’t to me.”
Seattle looked impressive in remaining unbeaten (3-0) as it prepares for its preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders next week. The Seahawks open the regular season at Arizona on Sept. 9.
Wilson paced the offense to field goals on his first two possessions before hooking up with tight end Kellen Winslow, Jr. for a 21-yard scoring strike early in the second period.
Wilson, who completed 13 of 19 passes without an interception, added an 11-yard touchdown pass to Charly Martin the first half’s waning moments as Seattle raced to the 23-7 halftime edge and never looked back.
In three preseason games, Wilson has completed 67 percent (35 of 52) of his passes for 464 yards and five touchdowns with just one interception.
The Chiefs’ offensive struggles helped assure the game’s lopsided margin. New offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s offensive attack fizzled, going three-and-out on three of its first four possessions.
Quarterback Matt Cassel completed 19 of 34 passes for 168 yards and a score, but was also intercepted by Seattle safety Earl Thomas, who returned it 75 yards for a third-quarter score.
The Seahawks’ Golden Tate added a 95-yard punt return for another touchdown later in the period to push his team’s lead to 44-7.
Kansas City wraps up the preseason at Green Bay next week before hosting Atlanta to open the regular season on Sept. 9.