The Seattle Seahawks fell to 0-3 on the 2018 NFL preseason, which likely displeases Pete Carroll but bothers me not one bit. Apart from a truly unwatchable 3rd quarter, this was an entertaining exhibition game, and credit to the Minnesota Vikings for snatching a last-minute 21-20 defeat once it became the battle of the third-stringers. Believe it or not, this is the first time ever under Russell Wilson that Seattle has dropped the “dress rehearsal” game as it’s unofficially known.
Final scoreline aside, this game certainly had more positives than negatives, and we’re going to review them in the penultimate preseason edition of Winners and Losers.
Germain Ifedi (and the rest of the offensive line)
Most of us have been staunch Germain Ifedi critics, and I know that he wasn’t going up against Everson Griffen on Friday night, but he held up quite well in pass protection and sprung Chris Carson forward for his touchdown run. Also important? Zero penalties. With George Fant in competition at right tackle, Ifedi is under pressure to perform, and for at least one preseason game, he looked like a really competent NFL right tackle. Hopefully that boosts his confidence. The rest of the o-line also gets a tip of the hat for keeping Russell Wilson clean and giving him room to step up in the pocket, as well as opening up holes in the running game.
I do have to ding Mingo for his early missed tackle on CJ Ham, but overall he had a really good night. He clotheslined Vikings kick returner Jeff Badet (legally! No penalty!), had an early pressure on Kirk Cousins, plus a diving pass break-up on the Vikings’ two-point conversion. Mingo has been a disappointment throughout his NFL career, but thus far he’s performed well in preseason for the Seahawks, and figures to be the starting SAM linebacker.
Marshall didn’t catch anything last week, but he did draw a defensive pass interference penalty. This week he snagged three balls for 34 yards, including a jumping grab over Xavier Rhodes to set up the Carson TD. He’s fighting to make the team and this was a pleasant sight to see.
The final stat line will show Carson only had 26 yards on 7 carries (plus a touchdown), as well as two catches for 20 yards. Carson just does the little things right. He maneuvers space and seems to always find a way to fall forward or push the pile for extra yardage. Carson notably broke an open field tackle from Erik Kendricks on one of his receptions, and got the touchdown that eluded him the previous week. As long as they can stay healthy, I can’t wait to watch the Chris Carson-Rashaad Penny combination.
Say it with me, “David Moore is making this team!” The second-year pro out of East Central University caught a 36-yard touchdown in the 4th quarter, and had a punt return TD called back on an iffy holding penalty against Trevon Reed. Moore has been acing these contested catches and made splash plays in every preseason game, backing up the hype from training camp.
I know, 5/14 for 140 yards, a TD, and an INT is hardly awe-inspiring, but he looks better than he did in his preseason debut, and has to be favored to get the backup QB spot. The rookie is certainly far from starter material, which is to be expected, but the man is fearless, has some wheels on him, and made some nice sideline throws... of which not all were caught. Bad luck on the Hail Mary at the end of the game being two yards short, as that would’ve been insanely exciting.
The slot corner doubles as a very effective blitzer, and he denied Adam Thielen a catch with a well-timed hit. Coleman impressed in 2017 after being traded from the New England Patriots, and he continues to look like a great acquisition.
Not a bad way to make your debut. Two sacks on the evening in limited action. It’ll be a fight for Walden to make the final 53-man roster, but we know he’s brought in basically for one thing and one thing only, and that’s to rush the passer.
Second-unit defensive line
Rasheem Green (who had some snaps with the 1s), Poona Ford, Branden Jackson, and Jacob Martin made life miserable for the miserable-to-watch Trevor Siemian, and also shut down the running game of the Vikings. They held Siemian’s offense to -4 yards in the 3rd quarter, with Martin getting a strip-sack along the way. Good stuff all around.
Look at this. Just look at this, dammit! His punting abilities are out of this world, and that’s going to go a long way towards fixing Seattle’s recent special teams woes.
The old man has still got it. He hasn’t missed any kicks all preseason, and when trotted out to kick one from 55 yards, he just knocked it past the left upright. Meanwhile, the Vikings’ rookie kicker Daniel Carlson missed two field goals, which must be cause for concern. Maybe they bring in Blair Walsh for competition.
First-team pass rush
I’m sure someone will correct me/verify my own memory here, but I counted one pressure by the Seahawks’ first-team defensive line without blitzing, and that came from Tom Johnson. Apart from the blitzes, the pass rush was hardly getting to Kirk Cousins, who admittedly threw a lot of quick passes, but had plenty of time for longer developing routes. It’s going to be a tall order to replace the productivity of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, that’s for sure.
He’s terrible. 2-of-3 and -1 yard was his shift for the day. With McGough looking more comfortable after a shaky first game, I’m ready to cut ties with Davis.
King saw early action when Cousins was still in the game, and was fortunate not to be burned twice over. Cousins overthrew an open Adam Thielen, who easily beat King, and then King got turned around by Laquon Treadwell for a 27-yard gain. To cap his day off, King had the chance to stop Jake Wieneke short of the goal line to preserve a Seahawks win, but bounced off his man and Wieneke stretched the ball forward and broke the plane.
In King’s defense on the deciding two-point conversion, he shouldn’t have been in that situation if not for Mike Tyson giving up the touchdown to Chad Beebe on a crosser. Tyson has been beaten deep-ish downfield at least once in each preseason outing. He did have one positive moment in the form of a QB pressure on a blitz, but it’s clear the safety-to-corner conversion isn’t working. I am not expecting Tyson or King on the roster.
Zero catches on three targets, including a weak effort on McGough’s interception. He’s not coming back. Not with what the other Seahawks receivers have shown.