The Seattle Seahawks improved to 2-0 on the preseason with a 20-13 triumph over the Minnesota Vikings. Russell Wilson was absolutely superb, going 13-of-18 for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns. Doug Baldwin was in fine form, wrecking Vikings defenders with his route-running and gaining 69 yards on 4 catches. The first-team defense had some up-and-down moments in both the pass and run game, but otherwise kept Sam Bradford and company out of the end zone. Unfortunately, it’s hard not to be bummed by what figures to be a very serious injury to left tackle George Fant, but we’ll get to that a bit later.
Seattle’s went 77 yards on 11 plays for an opening drive touchdown, with the pass protection holding up very well. Eddie Lacy’s first carry went for 8 yards and he later converted on 3rd and 1 to extend the drive. Kasen Williams was the star once again. This absurd one-handed grab while defended by Xavier Rhodes, one of the top shutdown corners in the game, put Seattle deep in Viking territory. Doug Baldwin set Seattle up inside the 3 on the very next play. Lacy didn’t punch it in on first down, a fade to Jermaine Kearse predictably failed on second down, but a fade to Williams resulted in a touchdown. Williams later cemented his Hall of Fame status by tackling Jerick McKinnon inside his own 15 on the ensuing kickoff.
On Minnesota’s first possession, Sam Bradford picked on Shaquill Griffin, who gave up a couple of catches (one to Michael Floyd and one to Stefon Diggs), both of which went for first downs. Earl Thomas lit up Diggs on a slant route later in the drive, but he did well to hang on to convert on a third and short. A busted coverage saw Diggs roam free for 39 yards to send Minnesota into Seattle’s red zone. The Seahawks defense stiffened up and held the Vikings to 3 points, with the aid of a couple of Vikings penalties.
After Doug Baldwin embarrassed Mackensie Alexander, whom I must stress is not related to me, the Seahawks’ second possession ended with Danielle Hunter beating Germain Ifedi and sacking Russell Wilson. Ugly. Minnesota’s next drive began with promise, as Dalvin Cook ripped off several good runs until he met Bobby Wagner, and it was punt time after Sam Bradford threw a couple of incomplete passes. JD McKissic muffed Ryan Quigley’s punt, but Neiko Thorpe was there to recover. McKissic somewhat redeemed himself with a six-yard catch on a 3rd and 4.
With Seattle in Minnesota’s half of the field, and faced with 2nd and 13, Wilson completed a ball to Marcus Lucas, who injured his ankle and didn’t return. Of greater importance on the same play was Justin Britt helping Luke Joeckel finish his block, and Britt inadvertently rolled up on Fant’s leg and the cart was soon out. At the time of this article’s publish, the only info we have is it’s a knee injury and nothing more. It looked nasty, and first instinct is that we won’t see him again this season. I hope I’m wrong and that it’s a sprain, because Fant really looked like he was progressing well and he’d locked up the starting LT spot. Rees Odhiambo replaced him and stunk up the joint, while Luke Joeckel remained at left guard. This drive ended with Blair Walsh doinking a 53-yarder off the crossbar.
The last meaningful possession with Russell Wilson at the helm featured strong work from Chris Carson and Mike Davis as receivers. A couple of snaps after Carson had a 17-yard catch-and-run, Wilson burned the Vikings on a blitz and dumped it to an open Davis, who raced to the goal line for a 22-yard touchdown. Case Keenum drove the Vikings down the field to make the scoreline 14-6 at halftime.
The second-half was painfully boring. It wasn’t all that bad, as Chris Carson forced a fumble on Rodney Adams’ kick return, and David Bass made the recovery. Two sacks killed any idea of a touchdown, but Blair Walsh atoned for his earlier miss by hitting from 52. He’d tack on another three points from the same dist—-wait did he just point at the Vikings sideline?
Blair Walsh hit a 52-yard field goal— SB Nation (@SBNation) August 19, 2017
and then pointed to his former team's sideline . pic.twitter.com/5seo3p0wzC
Vikings fans are probably salty about that.
Seattle’s second and third-string defensive unit kept Minnesota’s backups in check, although Keenum continued what Bradford did and targeted Shaquill Griffin frequently. Griffin had a couple of pass break-ups, but tonight was a growing pains moment for him. While no really huge plays were allowed, he had his fair share of struggles.
Neither Trevone Boykin nor Austin Davis really impressed in their battle to be Russell Wilson’s backup. Davis in particular had a surefire pick-6 dropped, and the coaches actually reinserted Boykin into the lineup to close the game out. There were many sloppy penalties and pass protection problems in the 2nd half, with Odhiambo and Ethan Pocic not faring very well. On defense, Tedric Thompson picked off Taylor Heineke on a tip-drill, although hopefully he’ll sprint forwards the next time he gets his hands on the ball. Delano Hill also made a couple of big hits, albeit with one of them causing him to get shaken up a bit. I believe he walked off under his own power and looked to be alright. Nazair Jones was once again made the most of his playing time and helped generate some pressure, as well as bogging down Minnesota’s rushing attack.
Minnesota got a late touchdown after Alex Collins fumbled in the red zone, but Collins iced the game with a couple of first downs. He led the team in rushing yards with 58, but between the fumble and the holding penalty which negated a nice punt return for JD McKissic, you have the sense that Collins’ NFL future will be somewhere else other than Seattle. Mike Davis had a 38-yard dash while backed up near his own end zone, which was pretty impressive.
On the non-Fant, non-Lucas, and non-Hill injury front, wide receiver Amara Darboh didn’t return to the field after he took a shot to the helmet on his first and only target of the game. Defensive end Frank Clark had his hand looked at by the Seahawks training staff and then he returned to the sidelines. I don’t recall him checking back into the game. Richard Sherman went into the injury tent for a brief moment after nearly intercepting Sam Bradford, but it seems all is fine.
The Seahawks’ next game is on national TV, as they take on the Kansas City Chiefs at CenturyLink Field on Friday, August 25th at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT on CBS.