If Steven Hauschka had missed the field goal and the Seahawks had lost, it really would not have mattered to me. Winning was fun and mattered, but losing would not have really changed the only score that counts in the preseason: How do the players look?
Unfortunately, stats do not matter a whole lot in the preseason either. Not that they don't not never matter always but usually the numbers don't not convey the untrue reality fiction of whether or not the players aren't not doing that ungood.
ProFootballFocus does a great job of tracking preseason stats and I wanted to give you a little glimpse into what the numbers do say because even if a 100-yard preseason game might not mean a whole lot, three preseason drops would mean that you are going to be lucky to make the first cut. Those first cuts are coming Tuesday, and some of these numbers could give you a glimpse into those position battles and fights for the final roster spots.
Make like Joey Gladstone and cut it out. Then make like a surgeon and turn a 'cut' into a check. (Because surgeons get paid to make cuts, you see? Look, my articles are in preseason form too, okay?)
In other words: Check it out.
Kevin Norwood has gotten the most snaps in this group and he's done almost nothing with it, catching two of seven targets for 18 yards. This performance would seem to be in line with Carroll and Schneider's history with fourth round receivers, following in the footsteps of Kris Durham and Chris Harper.
Luckily, he's not the worst wide receiver on the team so far as B.J. Daniels has almost as many snaps but has dropped two of his 11 targets and has just 7.3 yards per catch. He has -6 yards after the catch on seven receptions. I don't even know how that's possible.
I have not really advocated keeping Jermaine Kearse, but despite the fact that he has caught just one of five targets for four yards there really isn't anyone giving Seattle a reason to release him. Outside of Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett, there are no other receivers on this team that would be a lock on all 32 teams in the NFL.
Kasen Williams has caught two of three targets and has forced three broken or missed tackles, which is a valuable asset to Pete Carroll from what we've seen. Kevin Smith has drawn a lot of praise as well. It will be interesting to see where they stand in the pecking order compared to Chris Matthews (14 snaps, one catch) and Ricardo Lockette (26 snaps, one catch).
Paul Richardson really has an opportunity here to pop in midseason and make a huge difference. We're still waiting for anyone besides Lockett to make a difference in the beg-season. (Is that a word for beginning of season? Star-season?)
One of the reasons that PFF's grades suck, perhaps the only reason really, is that they don't give any insight into how they come to these conclusions. So screw 'em. But I will still tell you that they are destroying Jimmy Graham's overall grade because of horrendous run blocking. I have no idea if it's that bad. I do think everyone will be a "better" run blocker when Marshawn Lynch is out there.
Also, when people say things like "Well, Kearse has only caught one of five targets because it's preseason. Starters don't matter as much. Bad stats don't matter as much." Just remember that Jimmy Graham has still been targeted nine times. He's still caught six of those for 75 yards. Yeah, they have to figure things out with Graham in a way they don't with Kearse, but they also want to get their best non-Marshawn players ready and on the same page.
We know who the first two tight ends are but the battle for number three seems to be tight between Cooper Helfet, Anthony McCoy, and RaShaun Allen. They've given McCoy the most chances with 67 snaps but he's dropped two of the three passes thrown at him. His catch went for one yard. (PFF loves his run blocking.)
I would think either Allen or McCoy has to go this week in the first round of cuts. They've stuck by McCoy's side for so long but is there more upside with Allen? Or are we overrating Helfet just because he had to play so much last season?
I'm not gonna bother with PFF grades, so put away your color coded score sheets at home.
At center, Drew Nowak has the most snaps followed by Patrick Lewis. Lemuel Jeanpierre is the only one in the group to have a penalty. Will Pericak seems like a good bet to be let go on Tuesday, though apparently he has played better at guard.
At guard, Justin Britt and Mark Glowinski each have one penalty. J.R. Sweezy and Kristjan Sokoli have each allowed one sack, per PFF. Keavon Milton and Sokoli would appear to be the worst at protecting the quarterback.
Four tackles have a penalty: Alvin Bailey, Jesse Davis, Garry Gilliam, and Russell Okung. No surprises there. Apparently, Terry Poole has allowed five QB hits in the preseason. Only one other player, Bailey, has even allowed one. It would appear as though the two best pass blockers are Okung and Gilliam, the likely starters.
Frank Clark and Cassius Marsh have been absolutely phenomenal in the preseason. They seem like a good tandem to start on most teams but instead they'll be like a chicken that meets Ron Popeil: Rotating in.
Clark has seven solo tackles, three assists, five stops, one sack, one QB hit, and one QB hurry. Marsh has seven tackles, two assists, six stops, one QB hit, and two QB hurries.
Meanwhile, the best player on the whole field thus far is probably Michael Bennett, who also has a sack and also has five stops but has played in 38 snaps compared to 94 for Clark and 110 for Marsh. Cliff Avril, Bruce Irvin, and Greg Scruggs also all have a sack from the end position. Obum Gwachum will have a hard time making it to Wednesday. He hasn't played well but his poor play is compounded by the fact that this group is so sick that it signed a DNR.
Somehow K.J. Wright is gonna find a way to breakout in his fifth season even after having already had four very good seasons. He has eight solo tackles, six stops, and has snuffed out three passes thrown his way to only go for two catches and five yards. A 4-3 OLB is going to have a hard time ever getting into the Pro Bowl but Wright looks like he's lining up for a special season.
Eric Pinkins, Kevin Pierre-Louis and Brock Coyle have all done pretty well for themselves.
KPL has the most snaps among them and has six solo tackles, two assists, and three stops. Interestingly enough, he gets thrown at a lot with eight targets going his way. Those passes resulted in seven catches for 72 yards and 48 yards after the catch. He's also missed two tackles. There could be some coverage issues there.
Not that far behind KPL in snaps, not a single throw has gone in Pinkins direction. He has four tackles and three stops. Coyle though, on a limited number of snaps has been more productive than either.
I think when a player is drafted it gives him an advantage in terms of EIBF or "emotional investment by fans" so do people kind of not want Coyle to make this team in favor of Pinkins or KPL? Not that they can't necessarily all make the team, but just because he wasn't drafted or doesn't play a sexy position, Coyle might be the biggest diamond among them.
Mike Morgan is trying to be the guy you didn't know was on this team for the fifth year in a row. Is there anyone playing well enough to force him out?
Alex Singleton, Tyrell Adams, Quashawn Nealy, and Dakorey Johnson, otherwise known as "four guys most of you have never heard of" are likely going to be sweating bullets Tuesday.
Bobby Wagner is good.
So let's put it this way: Douglas McNeil didn't even play cornerback for the first time in his life until a couple of weeks ago and he might be neck-and-neck in terms of coverage play right now with Cary Williams.
The good news is that if Williams can't be trusted to start at one of the outside spots, Tharold Simon and Tye Smith look pretty good. Simon has played just 32 snaps, but he's been thrown at four times and allowed just one catch for two yards and has two pass deflections.
Smith has been out there a lot -- 111 snaps -- and has been thrown at nine times, allowing four catches for 37 yards.
These numbers may all be very gross, and murky, and meaningless, but do your eyes and heart not confirm that Williams might be the fourth-best corner on this team? Try not to think about the $4.6 million base salary and the fact that Kam Chancellor is holding out for more money, okay? The Seahawks don't negotiate anyway, remember?
How interesting of an experiment we get to see when your two All-Pro safeties haven't played a single snap in three preseason games. Yet, the defense has still looked pretty damn good against the first-team Chiefs and first-team Chargers offenses.
There is nothing ironic about the fact that Chancellor's holdout may actually help his half-brother Keenan Lambert stay another week, but that is probably the word most people would try to use.
Dion Bailey has been the true madman out there though, accumulating a team-high 11 solo tackles and four assists with two stops. His coverage has also been okay and he has one of three pass deflections by Seattle safeties. (The others by Lambert and Ronald Martin.)
The guys who have played the most back there are Steven Terrell and DeShawn Shead, but neither has really shined so far. Every safety on the team except for Lambert and Tyrequek Zimmerman (Don't call him "Ty" for short because Tyrequek is already short for Tyrequeksorrouswrexck) has two missed tackles. That is definitely not the type of play we would expect from Earl Thomas and Chancellor.
I still expect them both to play in Week 1, despite having no medical background, no knowledge of Thomas's chart, no background as an agent, lawyer, or general manager, or any idea what Kam is actually planning to do when he doesn't have a new deal on September 13. But take my word for it anyway because I write about sports and fuckabout with Hard Knocks parodies.
In only six more days, the final 53 man roster will be announced barring any late signings. Are you ready?
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