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Seahawks 20 Vikings 13: Winners and losers from Seattle’s injury-riddled victory

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks held off the Minnesota Vikings 20-13 at CenturyLink Field to improve to 2-0 in the 2017 NFL preseason. No sensible person really cares about the final score or the win-loss column because it’s preseason, and within the context of this game, the likely season-ending injury to starting left tackle George Fant really soured things, especially with how well Seattle’s offense was performing up until that point. TE Marcus Lucas injured his ankle on the same play, then WR Amara Darboh had a possible concussion towards the end of the half. Ultimately, the focus moving forward for the remainder of this preseason is how Seattle will reshuffle the left side of its offensive line with Fant out.

Here are my winners and losers from Friday’s win. Much like the Chargers game last week, there aren’t too many serious negatives to get worked up over/be concerned about heading into the regular season.


Russell Wilson

After playing virtually the whole of last season at less than 100%, Wilson looked like his old self on Friday. He was decisive, accurate, scrambling effectively, and turned in a terrific performance against a formidable Minnesota defense. Before handing the keys over to Trevone Boykin and Austin Davis, Wilson went 13-of-18 for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns, and he could’ve had a third if Kasen Williams didn’t drop one in the 2nd quarter. And this was an offense sans Lockett, Richardson, Rawls, Prosise, and Graham. I’m getting unreasonably excited about what Wilson can do this season.

Kasen Williams

His statline of 2 catches for 28 yards and a touchdown isn’t remotely as flashy as the Chargers game, but context matters. Xavier Rhodes is an excellent cornerback and Williams was able to make a tough one-handed grab over him, and then he proved his worth in the red zone with the touchdown on what was essentially the same fade route Jermaine Kearse failed to convert just one play prior. We did see Williams drop a TD later on in the game, but with the way he’s started this preseason, he can be forgiven for a misplay. Williams also made a great tackle on special teams to pin Minnesota inside its own 15 on the ensuing kickoff after his TD. This is a man who’s making the most of his snaps, especially at a time when several other receivers are banged up.

Chris Carson and Mike Davis

There’s the obvious caveat here that neither Thomas Rawls nor C.J. Prosise played, but it’s very telling that both Carson and Davis had significant contributions to the first-team offense. Carson had one carry go for 13 yards, a catch of 17 yards on a 3rd down, and then Davis capped off Seattle’s first-half scoring with a 22-yard touchdown on a dumpoff pass as Russell Wilson was being blitzed. We also saw Carson force a fumble on a kick return, which David Bass recovered. Carson feels like a lock to make the team, and Davis is really making a strong push to be a part of the 53-man roster.

Blair Walsh

Yeah, he hit the crossbar on a 53-yard field goal, but his other made field goals were from 52, and he made his extra points with no trouble whatsoever. Walsh is now 4-5 on field goal attempts, 8-8 on PATs, and 1-1 at throwing shade at his former team.

Delano Hill

There were some Kam Chancellor-esque hits being delivered by the rookie strong safety from Michigan, and he was also very effective in run pursuit. Hill finished the game with 6 tackles, 2 of them solo, and for my money he was one of the better players on defense last night.

David Bass

In addition to the aforementioned fumble recovery on special teams, Bass had a pass defensed (I believe he tipped a Keenum throw in the 3rd quarter), as well as a couple of quarterback pressures. Bass was added to the roster in May and so far he’s been a solid contributor against the second- and third-string units of both the Chargers and Vikings.

Nazair Jones

Who’s ready to hop on the Nazair Jones bandwagon with me?! Seattle’s only sack of the night came courtesy of Jones, with an assist from Kache Palacio. The Seahawks need a defensive tackle with a high motor and an ability to rush the passer, especially with Malik McDowell’s indefinite absence, and Jones has provided that and plenty more thus far in preseason.


Wide receivers not named Doug Baldwin or Kasen Williams

Baldwin and Williams were the only Seahawks wide receivers with multiple receptions on the night. Amara Darboh’s debut ended almost as quickly as it began, as noted in the opening paragraph. Jermaine Kearse, Tanner McEvoy, and JD McKissic each had a reception, but Seahawks QBs went 3-of-10 for 45 yards throwing to WRs other than Baldwin (who caught all 4 of his targets) or Williams (who had a drop and a pass defensed on 2 of 4 targets). Cyril Grayson had a drop, as did Kenny Lawler, and David Moore had an end-around go for -6 yards.

Alex Collins

All things considered, Alex Collins played reasonably well. Collins rushed for 58 yards on 10 carries and 4 catches for 35 yards, so why is he a loser? It’s abundantly clear that he’s buried on the RB depth chart, so he doesn’t have much room for error, and he made two. A 30+ yard punt return by McKissic was erased due to his holding penalty, and then a possible 14-point swing late in the 4th quarter was caused by a Collins fumble. While he did clinch victory with two first-downs in the three-minute offense, I think the damage has already been done. I believe Collins will be on an NFL roster for this season at the very least, but it’s hard to see how he’s going to make the team.

Rees Odhiambo and Ethan Pocic

Woof. That wasn’t good to watch. With George Fant likely done for the year after tearing his ACL, Rees Odhiambo replaced Fant at left tackle. The results were decidedly not encouraging. Odhiambo gave up a couple of sacks and had some holding penalties, including a real poor series as soon as Boykin entered the game. Rookie Ethan Pocic didn’t fare much better at right tackle, where the Vikings pass rushers gave him trouble. I believe he also had some action at right guard, although my memories of Pocic’s worst moments were all at RT.

Austin Davis

Not that Trevone Boykin was much better, but Davis really looked poor. He stared down Cyril Grayson and pretty much threw a pick-6, only for the Vikings DB to drop it. Davis’ mobility is also severely lacking and the athleticism gap between him and Boykin is one of the main reasons I believe Boykin’s place as the #2 QB is safe.

Final Thoughts

  • As I wrote last night, Shaquill Griffin had a growing pains moment. He got picked on by both Sam Bradford and Case Keenum, and the end result was several catches allowed for first downs. Quill had a couple of pass break-ups, so it wasn’t a nightmare game or anything, he just has to learn the ropes, and this appears to be textbook trial by fire.
  • Germain Ifedi gave up a sack and committed a holding penalty, but he had some solid moments in the run game, so I’m not as livid as I was with his Chargers performance.
  • I’m not willing to hop on the “Lacy won’t make the team” train like some impatient Seahawks fans may be. He hasn’t had any live game action for almost a year, and his opening carry for 9 yards was what I imagine the coaching staff wants to see out of him.
  • Tedric Thompson had an opportunistic interception off of a deflected pass late in the 4th quarter, then ran backwards for some reason. I thought he played better yesterday than against the Chargers, for what it’s worth. He did still give up Minnesota’s only touchdown to Bucky Hodges, who has the most baseball player sounding name ever.
  • Nick Vannett does indeed exist, contrary to popular belief. Yes, it was just one catch for 31 yards on a great throw from Russell Wilson, but I did need to double check to make sure he’s still on the roster.
  • I cannot believe Terence Newman is still in the league. He must be 71 years old.
  • I don’t remember which play caused Frank Clark’s hand injury, but it doesn’t appear to have been serious. Ditto for whatever possible problem Richard Sherman had on a near-interception of a Sam Bradford deep ball. We don’t need more scares like this, please.