Story by DAVE SKRETTA
(KANSAS CITY, Mo., AP) — Romeo Crennel was anything but the jolly head coach he so often seemed during training camp, stepping to the podium and tritely dissecting a dismal performance by his Chiefs.
Just down the hallway, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll couldn’t have been happier.
Both of them had just watched rookie quarterback Russell Wilson trash the Kansas City defense for the better part of three quarters, throwing for 185 yards and two scores while leading Seattle to a 44-14 rout of Kansas City in a preseason game Friday night.
“It wasn’t a good showing. I thought we’d do better than we did,” said Crennel, who was elevated to head coach after serving on an interim basis late last season.
“We need to figure out what we do well with this team,” he said. “The regular season is just right around the corner. We need to see what we can do.”
That was precisely the reason Wilson got the start Friday night.
Carroll wanted to see what the third-round draft pick could do with the No. 1 offense. He’s been competing with Matt Flynn, the former Green Bay backup who signed in the offseason, and had been impressive in the second half of wins over Tennessee and Denver.
When he wasn’t hooking up with one of his wide receivers or handing off to Robert Turbin, who started in place of the injured Marshawn Lynch, the savvy Wilson was gouging the Chiefs for big gains on the ground. He scrambled twice for 58 yards, both times helping to set up scores.
“We got everything we wanted to get done tonight,” Carroll said. “We were able to work in all phases. You’re fortunate when you get that opportunity.”
The Chiefs looked much like the Seahawks in their first preseason game against Arizona, but they struggled last week at St. Louis, and 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.
Of course, the Chiefs (No. 18) were playing without starting safety Kendrick Lewis, who is out with a shoulder injury, and cornerback Brandon Flowers, who has missed several weeks with a heel injury.
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 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 just 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.”
NOTES: Brady Quinn was the No. 2 QB for the Chiefs. He’s been competing for the job with Ricky Stanzi. … Chiefs DE Glenn Dorsey had to be helped off the field with a left knee injury. … Seahawks WR Terrell Owens dropped a couple of easy passes before making a 40-yard grab in the third quarter. … RB Nate Eachus scored late in the fourth quarter for Kansas City.