The Seattle Seahawks’ 2018 draft class played in their second preseason game on Saturday night against the L.A. Chargers, with two glaring omissions as Rashaad Penny and Jamarco Jones missed the game with injuries.
The starters received an extended run as the Seahawks work their way to the regular season dress rehearsal next week, but all seven healthy rookies saw the field.
Green, the star of Seattle’s preseason opener last Thursday, had another strong game. His 1.5 sacks matched his output in Week 1, bringing him to three sacks through two preseason games. Additionally, Green paced the Seahawks in tackles with six.
Similar to last week, the most encouraging part of Green’s performance was the way he got off blocks. Green’s hand usage was excellent and the consistency in the technical side of his game through two weeks wasn’t something you saw from him in college. Green had multiple strong reps against the run at the point of attack, as well as a pressures from bending around the corner and on a stunt up the middle.
Through two preseason games, Green has shown every trait desired from an outside-in rusher in Pete Carroll’s defense.
Dissly’s performance in L.A. was largely nondescript, with the exception of one negative play. On Chris Carson’s stampeding, arm-tackle-breaking 23-yard touchdown run, Dissly was flagged for a block in the back, negating Carson’s fine work.
Seahawks RB Chris Carson with the impressive TD pic.twitter.com/s2n3TtsruT— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) August 19, 2018
That flag would be the lone time Dissly’s name was called, as the tight end saw no targets against the Chargers. Tyrone Swoopes received the majority of tight end snaps in the second half.
For the second week in a row, Shaquem Griffin moved sideline-to-sideline on defense and flew down the field on special teams like it was a playoff game. Griffin was better in coverage compared to the loss against the Colts and continued to flow to the football extremely well.
Griffin’s most noteworthy moment came on special teams — likely a common theme in 2018 — as he hustled down field on a Michael Dickson punt to lay a big hit and not allow a return.
Byron Maxwell sat out for a second game in a row, so Tre Flowers once again started at right cornerback. Flowers was targeted on an easy completion for Philip Rivers to Keenan Allen. In fairness to the rookie, it was an extremely tough assignment, in the slot against one of the NFL’s best route runners, and the receiver with perhaps the best release in the league.
Keenan Allen vs Tre Flowers... Great route running.— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) August 19, 2018
- Crossing route from slot
- Allen beats Flowers initial punch with outside hand
- Allen pushes vertically to get Flowers in trail
- Hard jab step, cuts horizontally for separation#Seahawks #Chargerspic.twitter.com/gBszURtNQU
The next time Flowers’ name was called, it was for much more positive reasons. Facing a third down, Flowers came off the edge on a blitz, timing it superbly. Green looped inside as Flowers got home to the quarterback, who had nowhere to go.
In the punter competition that-isn’t-over-but-is-definitely-over, Dickson again looked more impressive than Jon Ryan. Ryan’s net yardage total was hurt by the long touchdown return, however Dickson still had the best punt of the night: A booming 57-yarder placed perfectly to the sideline at the Chargers’ 10-yard line, not allowing for a return.
After a terrific start to the preseason last week against Indianapolis, Martin’s performance in Week 2 wasn’t as flashy. The rookie still came off the ball well and produced one great pressure to end the third quarter, but that was about it on defense.
Although official snap counts aren’t available at the time of publishing, it appeared as though a large portion of Martin’s snaps from last week went to UDFA Jake Pugh on Saturday. Pugh, along with recent addition Erik Walden, is Martin’s main competition for the backup SAM linebacker spot.
Martin again saw snaps on punt coverage, and was one of the first players down field on the punt return touchdown.
Limited to just three drives on Saturday, McGough made the most of his opportunities and looked improved from Week 1. The biggest knock against McGough versus Indianapolis was how hesitant he was to take the check-down, but in L.A. he was consistently getting the ball out. Six of McGough’s nine completions went to running back C.J. Prosise.
McGough’s best moments came on his touchdown-leading drive. The touchdown itself, a fade to Malik Turner, was thrown with outstanding touch and timing.
The subsequent two point conversion had perfect placement to Cyril Grayson’s back shoulder.
Saturday’s performance was exactly the type of game McGough needed to remain in the backup quarterback competition, and perhaps dissuade Seattle from looking elsewhere.
Overall, the Seahawks must be very pleased with their rookie class through two preseason games, and encouraged for their potential contributions in 2018.