Preseason wins and losses are meaningless. In 2009, the Seahawks won all four preseason game and went 5-11 to finish the regular season. In 2018, the Seahawks lost all their preseason games, then went 10-6 and made the playoffs. What the preseason does tell us is a little bit about what the starters might look like against another team’s starters, and what kind of depth the team might have.
On this Sunday night, the Seahawks did some cool things when the starters were playing, but their depth looked challenged in at key areas, to put it mildly, and that is a concern.
Here on my notes.
Poona, Poona, Poona.
Defensive tackle Poona Ford had a dynamic game. He wrecked run plays and running backs, and he affected pass plays. He won with leverage, he won with quickness, and he won with strength. He played like an All-Pro, and was clearly the best defensive player on the field for Seattle. He’s an exciting talent. Buy his stock now.
Russell Wilson looked generally sharp passing minus a third down pass in the red zone that sailed a bit out of reach for running back Chris Carson. He moved well in the pocket, and showed a nice command of the offense against a quality Viking defense. There was a poise and confidence to his outing tonight that comes from a seasoned veteran.
Receivers Tyler Lockett and Jaron Brown looked sharp and their routes and each had big plays.
The starting offensive line pass blocked well.
Running back Chris Carson continued to look impressive. He is so fun to watch.
Seattle’s starting defense showed some effective blitzes and defensive end Cassius Marsh had a great inside rush that forced an bad throw ended with a pick six touchdown by safety Deshawn Shead.
Veteran defensive tackle Al Woods had a great tackle for loss play.
Rookie safety Ugo Amadi had a fantastic punt coverage tackle that all pretty much assured him a roster spot on the final 53.
Jason Meyers looked great hitting on all of his field goals.
Starting left cornerback Shaquill Griffin gave up an easy deep pass. Last week against the Broncos he had a pretty solid game, but Pete Carroll’s defense is all about not giving up big plays down field. He shouldn’t get beat like that. I want to see him have a bounce back game next week.
For two weeks in a row, the defense gave up a big run play. Tonight, it looked like outside containment on the right side got exposed, and someone failed with their gap assignment. Can’t have that on a Pete Carroll defense.
The second team defense struggled to generate pass rush, and kind of oddly had edge rusher Jacob Martin in coverage at times. Not sure what is going on there. Maybe they wanted to see what he could bring as a SAM linebacker. Last week against the Broncos, they had him in full pass rusher mode and he was really effective. Tonight, they went away from that. Hmm.
The second string offensive line was a hot pile of burning dog poop. With no George Fant, Jordan Simmons and Jamarco Jones, the team’s depth was seriously challenged in this game. They need to get a couple of those guys healthy soon, or perhaps look at making some veteran addition. Elijah Nkansah looked out of sorts at left tackle, and the right side was getting blown up against the run. Burning dog poop.
Rookie safety Marquise Blair appeared to blow his red zone coverage and gave up an easy wide open touchdown. This was another guy who had a positive outing last week who looked like he took a step back tonight.
Paxton Lynch had an extremely rough outing at quarterback after Russell Wilson’s night was done. Granted, he wasn’t helped by his blockers early on, but his throws were often awkward and off, and he never looked comfortable. He might have just played himself off the team.
Rashaad Penny had a rough night running, but also was not helped by his offensive line much at all. Still, like Lynch, he looked tentative, and when he was replaced by rookie Travis Homer, he was outplayed by Homer with the same line. He had one nice catch on run play on third down, and maybe that is going to be his role this year, but for a former first round pick, we should see more out of him.
The referees robbing Poona Ford’s sensational tackle for a loss that led to a fumble by the Minnesota running back because they whistled the play dead. WTF? The play was a bang bang tackle for loss. How the bleep do they whistle that dead so suddenly?
Minnesota’s defender Holton Hill’s helmet to helmet hit on Paxton Lynch was gruesome to watch. The refs made the right call kicking him out of the game, but dang was that ever ugly to watch.
The news the rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf is going to have knee surgery this week, and his time table to return is not full defined. Pete Carroll said that he hopes that he will be back by the start of the season, but it isn’t a certainty. Fingers crossed that he isn’t out a long time.
I think what we can gleam from this game is that Seattle has enough talent with their starters to be a pretty competitive team in 2019. Poona Ford looks like a star in the making at defensive tackle, and Jarran Reed and Al Woods are also big time run defenders. Seattle had Russell Wilson at quarterback, and so long as he plays sixteen games, this team is probably going to be in playoff contention, and he is complemented by a nice starting offensive line, and a terrific talent at running back in Chris Carson. Seattle also has Bobby Wagner, who is the best linebacker on the planet, so that’s also nice.
What got exposed tonight was Seattle’s present depth on the offensive line, which was once thought of as being pretty good, and after tonight, it looks fairly bad. I wouldn’t be surprised if they might look to add some veteran assurances there before the regular season starts.
I also thought that Seattle’s pass rush depth got pretty exposed in the second half of the game. I’m not convinced that Seattle is interested in trading for Jadeveon Clowney, but I’m starting to see the reason in Seattle maybe looking to add a veteran there soon, perhaps. Who that is, I don’t know, but they have the cap space to afford somebody, and after tonight, it seemed fairly clear that presently really challenged there. I have a sneaking suspicion that the team might have been waiting to see what came out of this game before deciding whether they make a move. After tonight, I think the stock is up on them making a move.