The Seattle Seahawks got their 2018 NFL preseason underway with a 19-17 home loss to the Indianapolis Colts, but who cares about the result? Seahawks football is back and I couldn’t be happier to be writing about game-action for a second season here on Field Gulls. The opening drive touchdown led by Russell Wilson got my juices flowing, and the crowd did its job to stay engaged and loud even when the game devolved into your typical preseason mess in the latter stages.
Here’s a quick rundown of my winners and losers from Thursday night’s showdown at CenturyLink Field.
Welcome back, Chris! Playing against the very team that ended his rookie season prematurely, Carson ran for 26 yards on 4 carries, showing off spin moves, cutbacks, and power to convert that 4th and 1. He looked healthy and operating as he did in 2017, and that’s great news.
Tight ends as pass-catchers
Nick Vannett caught Seattle’s only offensive touchdown, while rookie Will Dissly had a pair of grabs for 19 yards. Dissly also showed some good work in run blocking, but I’m much more interested in seeing how valuable both men can be as receiving targets. Vannett in particular might be fighting for a roster spot.
The third-round rookie, deemed to be Michael Bennett’s replacement, sacked Andrew Luck in the 1st half and then teamed up with fellow rookie Jacob Martin to get a half-sack. He also hustled excellently on the late fumble recovery touchdown to prevent Brad Kaaya from easily recovering the botched snap. I am so stoked watching him perform, and he might have been the biggest winner of them all.
Four tackles in four snaps in his first defensive series, and a final total of nine tackles (six solo) with one tackle-for-loss on a running play. It’s great to have the Griffin Brothers reunited, and you have to love how Shaquem was flying all over the field throughout the game. He’ll definitely be a quality contributor at linebacker and also on special teams.
Jefferson was disruptive as a pass rusher and fared well in run defense, as the Seahawks are badly in need of any depth at defensive line. He did walk off with a limp after an injury in the 2nd quarter, but it did not look too serious.
Wow can that guy punt! A 61-yard blast that forced a muffed punt, and his first kick as a Seahawk saw him pin the Colts inside their own 20. He had a net average of 50 yards on three punts, and while Jon Ryan didn’t have a bad night, Dickson was definitely better.
He had impressive coverage skills, including a pass defensed on T.Y. Hilton in the 2nd quarter. King also delivered a big hit on that aforementioned muffed punt, although it was considered to be a “lowering the helmet” penalty.
Austin Davis went 4-of-5 for 51 yards, but that one interception was a horrible end-zone throw to Keenan Reynolds, which was easily picked off by Nate Hairston. Rookie QB Alex McGough was apparently struggling throughout training camp, and after a promising early start, McGough tapered off badly and finished 10/13 for just 48 yards, often defaulting to checkdowns and not showing much in the way of pocket presence. Davis should still be considered the favorite to keep his backup spot.
Third-string offensive line
McGough was only sacked twice, but he was hurried several other times, and Skyler Phillipps in particular got owned by Hassan Ridgeway on one of McGough’s sacks. Rees Odhiambo also looked like he had some struggles out at left tackle after he filled in for Jamarco Jones.
Calitro had a drive-extending penalty and a horrible missed tackle, as the Colts kicked a field goal to retake the lead in the 3rd quarter. Not good. Unlike Joey Ivie, who was going to be on the Losers list, Calitro didn’t score a touchdown to atone for his errors.
Whoever is in charge of Seahawks television production
Yellow line for the line of scrimmage and blue line for the first-down marker? Since then? That threw me for a loop early on and hopefully this never appears again.