It is possible? Yes.
Is it a good idea? No.
Magento is an event-based system. This means that often times when you save, delete, or modify an object, it triggers other actions within the system.
When an order's status is updated, events fire to make sure that the order's state is also set properly. Status is a child of the State, there is a relationship there and its important to not have an order status that does not belong under a specific order state.
A couple of the relevant event names are:
I'm sure there are other relevant events but these are 2 that come to mind right away. Anyways, by modifying the data directly, you lose out on all events that would fire off and you run this risk of data corruption.