Seahawks use big first half to rout Bears
SEATTLE — Seattle’s defense is expected to among the best in the NFL again. If Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense can play this well in the regular season, look out.
Wilson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another score, helping the Seahawks rout the Chicago Bears 34-6 on Friday night.
The third preseason game was especially important for the Seahawks, who have just a week between their exhibition finale at Oakland and the season opener on Sept. 4 against Green Bay. And Pete Carroll could not have been happier with the continued efficiency of his offense. Seattle scored touchdowns on its first four possessions, and Steven Hauschka hit a 59-yard field goal — what would be a franchise record in the regular season — on the final play of the first half.
Wilson was behind center for nine straight scoring drives going back to last week’s win over San Diego, a run of 55 points. And it nearly reached 10 on the first drive of the second half before Hauschka’s 53-yard attempt clanged off the left upright.
Wilson completed 15 of 20 passes for 202 yards, including scoring plays of 12 yards to Jermaine Kearse and 7 yards to Christine Michael. Wilson also had a 7-yard touchdown run.
Marshawn Lynch got his first taste of the preseason with three carries for 16 yards and capped Seattle’s opening drive with a 7-yard TD run.
Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler was 12 of 20 for 157 yards and both Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall had four receptions. But the Bears’ run game was again absent with just 21 yards on six carries in the first half.
PATRIOTS 30, PANTHERS 7: At Foxborough, Mass., Tom Brady threw for 204 yards and two touchdowns, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 60-yard field goal and the Patriots shut down Cam Newton and Carolina.
The third preseason game for both teams was no contest as the Patriots outgained the Panthers 405-271.
Brady led the Patriots (2-1) to scores on three of his five series and completed 17 of 21 passes. Newton was 8 for 12 for 88 yards and was sacked three times. All five of his possessions for the Panthers (1-2) ended in punts.
GIANTS 35, JETS 24: At East Rutherford, N.J., Geno Smith and Michael Vick each threw for a touchdown with the New York Jets’ starters, and the defense mostly shut down Eli Manning before the Giants’ backups rallied.
Rex Ryan announced that Smith will be the starting quarterback for the Jets (2-1) after a solid preseason. He was 9 of 14 for 137 yards, including a 1-yard scoring toss to rookie Jace Amaro.
Vick replaced Smith to start the second half, and after a rough first series in which he was sacked and then lost a fumble, led an 11-play, 76-yard drive that was capped by a go-ahead 3-yard TD toss to Eric Decker against the Giants’ backups. Vick finished 4 of 5 for 35 yards in his two series against the Giants (4-0).
PACKERS 31, RAIDERS 21: At Green Bay, Wis., Aaron Rodgers threw for two touchdowns, Eddie Lacy rumbled for a 1-yard score on Green Bay’s opening drive and prized free agent acquisition Julius Peppers recorded his first sack of the preseason in the win.
The game was stopped for several minutes in the second quarter after Raiders linebacker Sio Moore was taken off the field with a neck injury. He gave a thumbs-up sign while the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Moore was taken to a hospital. The Raiders (1-2) also lost two other defensive starters to head injuries in cornerback Tarell Brown and linebacker Nick Roach.
A first-team defense that allowed three touchdown drives in four possessions in the first two preseason games had its ups and down against Rodgers, who finished 9 of 20 for 139 yards playing into the second quarter for the Packers (2-1).
Matt Schaub played into the third, finishing 13 of 27 for 110 yards for Oakland.
LIONS 13, JAGUARS 12: At Allen Park, Mich., Reggie Bush broke free for an 86-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, one of only a few offensive highlights as Detroit edged Jacksonville.
Calvin Johnson played for the first time this preseason, catching two passes for 27 yards, but Matthew Stafford was intercepted once and the Lions (2-1) struggled in the red zone.
Blake Bortles threw for 158 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars (1-2). Jacksonville started Chad Henne, but Bortles — the third pick in this year’s draft — was impressive in relief. He completed 10 of 16 passes, including a 13-yard touchdown to Allen Hurns.
The teams combined for 27 penalties.