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Video breakdown: 4 (and more) Seahawks who excelled in preseason opener vs Chiefs

Seattle Seahawks v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks are a talented football team with multitudes of gifted players scattered across the roster. It just so happens that those players made some plays to win a football game against the Kansas City Chiefs that they had no business winning. The expressions on the veterans’ faces say it all.

Victory aside, there were some players who popped off of the screen to me throughout the course of the contest. It’s a universal constant that big time players make big time plays in big time moments regardless of the level of competition. Let’s take a look at who stepped up in Kansas City.

Cassius Marsh

Despite being in the thick of the SAM linebacker competition, Marsh played most of his snaps on the defensive line at Arrowhead. Getting after the quarterback and stuffing runs left and right, he definitely showed why he belongs on this team.

Watch his technique as he nearly reaches the quarterback on this 2nd quarter rush:

Utilizing his exceptional hands, Marsh fights off the offensive tackle’s punch attempts and circles around the edge to hit Nick Foles. This isn’t Von Miller-level bending of the edge, but it shows progression from Marsh who has zero career sacks.

Marsh also demonstrated that he can still affect the game on special teams, as it seemed that he was in on just about every punt return. He displays discipline and savvy when weaving through traffic to take down returners.

Marsh reminded us of his versatility and his ceiling which is higher than most of us had thought.

Christine Michael

There’s not a whole lot to say about CMike at this point. He is a living, breathing fire emoji.

After bouncing around teams and landing back with Seattle late in 2015, it seems that he has finally figured things out. He looked decisive and determined whenever he touched the ball against the Chiefs, averaging 6.3 yards per carry in an explosive first quarter display.

Michael fights through a mass of bodies on the above run. He breaks into the second level before being tackled around the first down marker. The most impressive part of this play is what we’ve all been hoping to see from Michael for the last three years: he carries the ball in his left hand. Yeah, you should probably watch it again to believe it. And when he anticipates contact from a defender, he secures the payload with both hands.

If Michael has indeed finally matured into the player that we’ve always hoped he would become, the Seahawks’ running back corps is a whole lot more dangerous.

Tyvis Powell

There should be little doubt at this point; Powell is making this roster. Despite being quite raw, the undrafted Ohio State product looks to push Steven Terrell off of Seattle’s depth chart through sheer will and playmaking ability.

After showcasing his best Golden Tate impression on Tyler Lockett’s lone punt return, Powell made two more impressive plays on special teams including this tackle on kick coverage:

After watching the Seahawks struggle on covering kicks throughout the first half, Powell stops De’Anthony Thomas in his tracks. Thomas, one of the most electric returners in the league, has nowhere to go. Powell is in his face immediately when he hits the 10-yard line. Thomas tries to turn the edge and hit the left sideline, but Powell stays with him and brings him down at the 11.

Ty also demonstrated a nose for the ball on this 4th quarter interception:

Rookie quarterback Kevin Hogan drops back and fires an off-target dart that bounces off of his receiver’s hands. Powell adjusts to the pigskin’s newfound trajectory and hauls it in while tumbling to the ground. It might not be the most impressive pick, but it’s still a pick – a game-changing play that likely took points off of the board for the opposing team. Just watch Earl Thomas’ reaction on the sideline.

It will be interesting to observe Powell’s progression through the preseason, but he looks to have secured a spot on the team by displaying versatility and special teams ability. There’s no way he clears waivers, so look for the Seahawks to retain the hulking safety.

Trevone Boykin

I have gone on record as a fan of Boykin’s skill set. He’s an electric playmaker who can throw a mean deep ball, but he has a lot to work on. The inconsistent and sometimes nonexistent footwork he put on tape at TCU showed up when under pressure against Kansas City. To be honest, when he first came into the game, I was not impressed at all.

Towards the end of the first half, Boykin was in a two-minute drill situation and began to find a groove. Unfortunately, some inefficient blocking by the offensive line killed the drive, but he had the confidence booster he needed.

The second half contained more instances of Boykin throwing off of his back foot and general inconsistencies in his play. But it was clear that he was much more comfortable than he was in the beginning of the contest. His unique physical ability and savvy is demonstrated in this play:

On a 3rd-and-21 while down by 10 points with four minutes remaining, Boykin understands that Seattle needs at least a field goal. He spins out of an oncoming rusher while keeping his eyes downfield. After determining that nobody is open, he gallops up, over, around, and right through the Kansas City defense. While it ends up being five yards short of the first down, Boykin has willed the Seahawks into field goal range. Hau$chka did the thing he does to bring Seattle within 7 points.

After a quick defensive stop, Seattle received a punt deep in their own territory. Needing a touchdown with 88 yards to go and no timeouts left, Boykin returned onto the field and showed why he should be the backup quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks.

A quick 18 yard pass into the deep middle preceded Boykin’s most impressive throw of the game:

With a fairly clean pocket, Boykin waits just long enough before stepping up and floating a perfect pass down the right sideline to tight end Tanner McEvoy. The ball is placed in the perfect spot where only McEvoy can high-point it and haul it in for the big gain.

Two plays later, as time expired, Boykin threw a Hail Mary to McEvoy in single coverage for the touchdown. On the following two-point conversion, the defense sold out on neutralizing Boykin’s running ability which gave tailback Troymaine Pope an easy path into the end zone for the victory.

While a significant chunk of Boykin’s play was very underwhelming, he converted when he needed to in crunch time. He has a lot to work on technique-wise, especially his footwork, but it didn’t matter in the end. He bounced back and completed two awesome throws to win the game for his team.

I expect more growing pains as Boykin adjusts to the league and faces stiffer competition, but my expectations for Boykin are high. Some players have a certain clutch quality about them; an “it” factor that can’t be taught. Boykin has it.

Other Thoughts

–Jake Heaps’ first completion was impressive but then underwhelmed for the rest of his time on the field. Also, can we please take a second to appreciate this:

On the low snap, Heaps smartly locates the ball and falls on it, accepting the loss of yardage and down. Russell Wilson turned a similar botched snap into an enormous gain in one of the coldest playoff games in NFL history, leading to a touchdown. We are so spoiled with Wilson as our quarterback.

–Frank Clark is a monster. He has no regard for quarterbacks’ feelings and I’m totally fine with that. He received a lot of playing time throughout the game and affected it in many different ways.

On this play, Clark beats the left tackle with a great inside move before slamming the quarterback to the ground. He affects the throw just enough to cover up a huge lapse in coverage and prevent a long touchdown. I expect Clark to continue making huge plays like this throughout the entire 2016 season.

–It was weird that Alex Collins got such a small amount of playing time. I thought he might have re-injured his ankle, but he was in on the blocking unit for a punt return late in the game, so it must be something else. Maybe they just really wanted to see how George Farmer looked in live action.

–Jarran Reed looked good and showed some savvy while sniffing out a screen late in the first half. He stood up well against the run and should continue to disrupt plays.

–The first team offense looked good up until Wilson’s interception. It was a poorly timed and poorly placed throw that should have been more of a fade. It was also a great play by Marcus Peters who continues to watch his stock rise in the league. Go Dawgs.

–Tyler Lockett is the truth.

Carry on.

–The offensive line looked a hell of a lot better than we expected. It might have been the tempo of the play-calling that helped them out, but they were clearing some lanes for Christine Michael. Justin Britt looked – dare I say – good at center. I could get used to this. We’ll see if they can keep it up.

–The Seahawks have an uncanny ability to win games they shouldn’t. I’m not complaining. It should be fun to watch how the starters hold up in extended action against a great Minnesota defense on Thursday.