The Seahawks first team, or what part of it that was active tonight, saw extended action for the first time in 2013, delighting a preseason crowd of 67,000+. There was a time when Seahawks regular season home games got blacked out all the time due to poor attendance; now they're making exhibitions feel like the World Cup. Anyhow, preseason games, while not overly-conclusive, aren't underly-conclusive either. There are a lot of observations that can be pulled from last night's contest; here are a few of mine:
~Remember when Seahawks pregame highlight reels were Leroy Hill calling a play and Kelly Jennings getting blocked and behankerchiefed fans dancing poorly? Now it's Russell Wilson dissecting a zone coverage, Kam Chancellor's shoulder removing childhood memories, and Marshawn Lynch carrying four tacklers into the endzone in the playoffs.
~Russell Wilson (8/12, 127 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 141.3 RTG) is already losing sleep over those four misses.
~Curt Menefee and Brock Huard are pretty good together, and I'm not just saying that to contrast how unlistenably off-rhythm Brock and Danny O'Neil are during their daily show, either. Huard shines when he's with a partner that knows when to let him talk. Felt like I was actually learning stuff during this broadcast.
~I think Brandon Browner wears gloves to hide the octopus suckers on the palms of his hands. BB forced two fumbles in the first two Denver possessions (one was incorrectly called an incompletion), and returned another one eight miles for a touchdown.*
~Jermaine (LASI)Kearse has active-roster-paycheck dreams. The University of Washington standout with great acceleration and hands as soft as waffle irons not only caught the first touchdown of the game, he housed a 107-yard kickoff return.* There may not be an extremely high ceiling for a non-Harvin Seahawks WR corps, but there is an extremely high floor. Someone very good is gonna get cut from that position group.
~Bobby Wagner tackles like he's swinging into ball carriers on a pendulum.
~The Seahawks passing attack is going to be very difficult to gameplan for. The 23 targets thrown by Seahawks QBs were divided by receiver thusly: 3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1.
~The Seahawks have only allowed one sack through two preseason games. That's the good news. The not-so-good news was the offensive line's inability to establish a plus point of contact in the running game like they did last week. Collectively, the O-line looked a lot better when their first step was backward than they did when their first step was forward.
~Robert Turbin (9 rushes, 35 yards) got the lion's share of the first half carries and looked okay, showing decent initiative but getting tripped up a couple of times when it'd be hard to imagine Marshawn Lynch or Christine Michael doing the same. The real star of the running game was fullback/halfback hybrid rookie Spencer Ware.
~Ware, a sixth round pick, carried the football nine times for 54 yards and added two catches for 26. One of the elephants in the Seahawks' room is what to do with incumbent Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson, who is due $2.5M this year (w/ zero "dead money" if cut, per Davis Hsu). Robinson, who Lynch has repeatedly referred to as his "eyes", is an incredibly effective lead blocker and his football acumen has earned him the respect of his lockerroom. Spencer Ware may not be any of those things but he's a got a get-up-and-wiggle that Mike Rob just don't.
~Yes, Peyton Manning looked very good against Seattle's vaunted secondary. That's cuz he's never stopped being Peyton Manning and he's going to look good until that's no longer the case. Also, I won't be worried about Seattle's pass defense until they start getting carved up with their actual starting pass rush (Cliff Avril, Bruce Irvin, Chris Clemons all out tonight) on the field.
~John Lotuleilei had another impactful game. Good luck telling that guy he doesn't belong on this team.
~Still waiting on Chris Harper. Stephen Williams' Cirque du Soleil touchdown only made Harper's once level path to a roster spot steeper.
~Golden Tate returns punts like he'll never get to do it again. He could make five guys miss in an elevator.
~Sucks that Carson Wiggs missed that field goal. I mean, he wasn't going to beat out Steven Haushka anyway, but I've got a soft spot for Wiggy Bank and I'd like him to at least not make the team after kicking well. By the way, does any job in America have a smaller margin for error than a backup kicker?
~Trindon Holliday is what happens when
Dante Hall respawns you put Olympic speed on a football field.
~I watched this game at the award winning Boundary Bay Brewery in Bellingham. While I was there, dude with aviators and a collar turnt up to his ears ordered a Pyramid Hefeweizen. When the bartender told him that they only sold Boundary Bay beer at the Boundary Bay brewery, Brometheus asked if they carried any Pyramid beers. Once the bartender reiterated that no, they don't, Dudacris ordered a pilsner and complained to the spray tan next to him about their lack of selection.
~Benson Mayowa can't be blocked by NFL backups. Hope we get to see if he can be blocked by NFL starters.
~Two hours after their preseason game ended, #Seahawks was still trending nationwide on Twitter.
Like I said last week, it's tough to read into preseason games too much and I'm not here to do that. It would be silly of me, however, to overlook what can be gleaned from this contest and the Seahawks' ledger is comfortably in the black. Preseason win-loss records don't mean much, but that's typically because outcomes are determined by players not likely to have regular season impact. Not so last night, as Seattle's first team bludgeoned Denver's starters for 30 minutes in which they both inhabited the field. The Broncos are not the Raiders; the Broncos are Vegas' pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Does Seattle beat Denver by 30 if they played in the regular season? Assuredly not. But they did last night, and that's what we have to go on. This season's gonna be fun.