Thursday’s 22-6 Seahawks exhibition win over the Raiders offered us one last peek at the team before the regular season. Here’s our weekly review of three things we learned:
• Steven Hauschka appears primed for a breakout year.
The Seahawks kicker has always been solid, making 49 of 57 field goals during his two years as Seattle’s starter.
But he’s never been known as one of the NFL’s strongest legs, with a career long of 54 and a 4-for-10 mark beyond 50.
That included making just 1 of 4 beyond 50 last season, something Hauschka said he wanted to improve.
Thursday night Hauschka made three field goals on a muggy, sometimes breezy night, hitting from 56, 51 and 53 yards.
Hauschka ended the exhibition season hitting 8 of 9, with the only miss coming on a 61-yarder at San Diego that hit the crossbar.
• There’s no real reason to worry about Russell Wilson.
The play of the quarterbacks inevitably get the most attention in any game, and Wilson gets a brighter spotlight than most now with every move being examined for any sign of the dreaded “sophomore slump” approaching.
Wilson, though, showed in a crisp opening drive that he’s ready to pick up where he left off in 2012, completing all three passes for 68 yards and running once for 11 yards, accounting for 79 of the 80 yards on Seattle’s six-play drive that ended in a Robert Turbin 3-yard touchdown run.
It’s undoubtedly risky to read a ton into exhibition stats. Any assessment of Wilson’s sophomore year should wait until the real games are played.
• The Seahawks won’t have an easy time cutting their roster to 53.
Like every NFL team, the Seahawks have to cut their roster from the 75 they played with Thursday, to 53 by 3 p.m. today. They made the first cut Friday: fullback Michael Robinson.
For the most part Thursday, the performance of players on the bubble only made the decisions harder, notably middle linebacker Allen Bradford (team-high eight tackles), fullback Derrick Coleman, safety Winston Guy (five tackles, two passes deflected) and defensive tackles Jaye Howard and Sealver Siliga.