Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field on August 22, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
In the pivotal third preseason game that sees starters play into the second half in the biggest tune-up performance before the start of the regular season, the Seahawks looked like they were in a completely different league.
Seattle's vaunted defense shut down an offense led by Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery in the first half. Meanwhile, the Seahawks offense was nearly flawless.
The Seahawks scored on all five possessions of the first half, with four touchdowns and a field goal, in building a 31-0 halftime cushion. Dating back to last week's game against the San Diego Chargers, Seattle's first-team offense put together nine consecutive scoring drives with seven ending in a touchdown.
In the end, the Seahawks don't appear to have lost an inch, let alone a step, from the team that won the Super Bowl in February.
Here are some takeaways from Friday night's performance...
1.) If Seattle's offense can perform like this, the rest of the league is in serious trouble.
The Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII due to the strength of a dominant defense, strong special teams play and an offense that didn't make mistakes and hit a big play every now and then.
While the defense and special teams once again look strong, the offense appears to have raised its game to another level. In fact, they may have raised it three or four levels.
Russell Wilson has completed 30 of 39 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns this preseason. He's also ran for three more scores and has yet to throw an interception. Wilson has appeared to be in complete command the last two weeks and Seattle's first-team offense has not been stopped.
With Percy Harvin healthy and affecting opposing defenses, this offense looks like a different animal. It's fast. It's tough and it can apparently score at will. Marshawn Lynch has only played one series this preseason and he looked ready to go, with three carries for 16 yards and a touchdown as well.
It seems highly unlikely Seattle will score on nearly every possession once the regular season games start. It is still the preseason and opponents aren't putting in gameplans to attack the Seahawks.
However, with this defense, the offense doesn't need to score at this rate. If they can come even close to matching their performances this preseason, Seattle could be a juggernaut this season.
2. Percy Harvin is just special.
Harvin is once of the most gifted athletes you will ever see on a football field.
His speed is effortless and he wants to show he can be tough too. He lowered his shoulder into contact several times on plays Friday night to fight for extra yardage.
He absolutely ran away from cornerback Kevin Hayden on a crossing route on Seattle's opening possession and gained 25 yards on the play.
The threat of Harvin completely opens up Seattle's offense. It widens the field and creates bigger running lanes for Wilson and Lynch, and allows receivers Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse to draw more single coverage matchups.
With Harvin fully healthy and looking like the MVP caliber talent he flashed in Minnesota two years ago, it will benefit Seattle's entire offense. Just how explosive they can be remains to be seen, but Harvin believes they are ready to put on a show.
"The sky is the limit for this offense," Harvin said. "We got a lot of weapons on offense and we can get you from a lot of different directions. ... We're hitting on all cylinders right now. We've just got to keep building each week."
3. O'Brien Schofield's roster spot can be written in permanent ink now.
Schofield has had a fantastic preseason and Friday night was no different.
Schofield earned his second sack of the preseason and added three more quarterback hits against the Bears. Showing his versatility, he also assisting on a tackle on special teams.
Schofield has outplayed fellow defensive end Benson Mayowa all preseason and appears to be in line to get snaps during the regular season as a rotational pass rusher.
Though he's been in the fight for a roster spot all through camp, he should no longer have to worry. He'll be on this roster and should be able to provide significant contributions this season.
4.) Believe it. Earl Thomas will be this team's punt returner.
Despite his importance to one of the best defenses in football, Thomas has all but wrapped up the job as Seattle's primary punt returner.
Head coach Pete Carroll has said all offseason that Thomas is in the lead for the job. He's taken the first reps in practice and in games all throughout the preseason and finally got a chance to break a return Friday.
Thomas returned a punt 59 yards against the Bears only to miss out on a touchdown by a shoestring tackle from punter Pat O'Donnell.
Carroll doesn't seem to have any hesitation over using Thomas for fear of injury on special teams duty. Thomas has frequently run down on kickoff coverage over the past few seasons as well.
His athleticism makes a dynamic threat with the ball in his hands. His big return Friday seems to have locked up the job for good.
5.) Bobby Wagner appears close to getting back on the field.
Wagner has been sidelined since the first week of camp due to a pulled hamstring.
However, Wagner took part in pregame warmups with the team on Friday.
Even though he wasn't expected to play (and ultimately didn't), Wagner was in full uniform getting some work in during team workouts before the game.
Carroll has said they hoped Wagner could get back on the field next week. With his cameo appearance Friday, it seems it would be a surprise if Wagner isn't back on the field in the next few days.