For the umpteenth time, we'll preface an article with the disclaimer, "It's only the preseason." That being said, Pete Carroll looks to have the Seattle Seahawks at a regular season level while the rest of the division is still finding its footing.
The Seahawks absolutely blitzed Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos this weekend in a 40-10 thrashing. Sometimes those preseason scores can be misleading, but it's telling that the Seahawks led 33-7 at the half, when the starters on both squads were still in the game.
Two of Seattle's touchdowns came on non-offensive score, one on a 107 yard kickoff return, and the other on a 106 yard fumble return. The latter was particularly deflating for Denver as they were driving for what would have been a score that brought the game to within 17-14. Instead, in the blink of an eye, Seattle led 24-7.
Russell Wilson was sharp, connecting on eight of 12 passes for 127 yards and two scores in a half of football. He certainly doesn't appear to be missing Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice all that much. The defense did yield 163 yards through the air to Manning, but giving up big yardage to him isn't exactly a sign of a struggling defense.
The Seahawks will visit Green Bay this weekend.
In addition to the Rams, the rest of the division didn't look nearly as sharp as Seattle:
The San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals both recorded victories, but didn't look that sharp doing it. In the case of the Niners, head coach Jim Harbaugh used their game in Kansas City as a showcase for their second and third teamers. Colin Kaepernick played just one series. Frank Gore had two carries, breaking one for 52 yards. Still, the Niners, like the Rams, couldn't crack the end zone until the fourth quarter when backup BJ Daniels threw a touchdown pass.
The Niners' defense did make a statement, sacking Chiefs' quarterbacks seven times. Chiefs QB Alex Smith got a rude greeting from his former teammates and was held to just 62 yards on seven of 16 passing. Mizzou product Chase Daniel did look good, though, connecting on all six of his throws.
San Francisco will host the Minnesota Vikings this weekend.
Bruce Arians got off to a 2-0 exhibition start as Arizona Cardinals' head coach with a 12-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in a sloppy game. Despite six Cowboys turnovers, the Cardinals never could dent the end zone, instead settling for four Jay Feely field goals. Carson Palmer started and was just seven for 15 for 66 yards. Drew Stanton wasn't much better. Even with 152 yards in the air, Stanton threw a pick and didn't have a touchdown.
The Cardinals' defense was very aggressive. The three interceptions were a result of tight, ball-hawking coverage and aggressive ball-stripping tackling. Of course, that aggressiveness can be taken advantage of, too.
Arizona will be at home against the San Diego Chargers this week.
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