It’s easy to be disappointed in the Seattle Seahawks Week 1 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, because the loss was in fact disappointing. Like pretty much any loss. But the Seahawks seemed to have opportunities to win or at least tie the game, and even when you remove the egregious mistakes against them by the referees, Seattle left too much on the table.
Some of that was covered in my post-game article on 7 problem areas that were exposed on Sunday. However, I still think there’s an overall optimistic outlook to this outcome. Most importantly of all, that the Seahawks — a team some have deemed potentially one of the worst in the NFL this year — should have beaten the Broncos on the road. That they did get screwed more than a few different ways; that touchdown reversal of call before the review being one of the saddest displays of judging nonsense I’ve ever seen. (If it was so close that two refs had different opinions than wouldn’t it make the most sense to let the call stand and then make a team throw a challenge flag if they felt necessary? Rather than make a huge call like a touchdown when you know irrefutable evidence might not exist?)
Also, Seattle lost by only three points despite no K.J. Wright, pretty much no Doug Baldwin, and several plays without Earl Thomas in which the Broncos made some of their biggest gains. If they can do that, maybe they can get a little healthier, see their young guys grow a little bit more, and continue to get better throughout the season.
There’s also plenty to be stoked on from Sunday.
Safeties - Earl Thomas, Bradley McDougald
All the offseason predictions that said, “And no Earl Thomas...” were stupid because Thomas was always destined to return. It was extremely obvious. Thomas said after the game that he knew he wasn’t going to miss a game check, that it was too much money. Seattle also never had a serious reason to trade him, not in their minds. Not for less than a first round pick, apparently. And Sunday showed why. Thomas was Thomas and he forced the first turnover of the day.
Welcome BACK, Earl Thomas! pic.twitter.com/LQncaQ8gFk— Seattle Times Sports (@SeaTimesSports) September 9, 2018
McDougald, perhaps the best bargain on the team, had two picks of his own. His career-high for interceptions in a season? Two. So he’s pretty close to beating that already. The idea of starting Tedric Thompson or Delano Hill at this point does seem kind of terrifying though.
Wide Receiver - Brandon Marshall
It took awhile to get going, then there was another very questionable call on a Marshall touchdown catch that was called back.
Brandon Marshall’s probably used that little push-off 6,000 times in his life without ever being called for it, until today— John Fraley (@johndavidfraley) September 9, 2018
He later caught a touchdown that the refs I guess decided to let stand and he seems to be the early number one for Russell Wilson while Baldwin recovers his knees. He looks like the pretty normal version of Brandon Marshall that we remember from before last season.
Brandon Marshall gets a touchdown in his first game as a Seahawk. On Bradley Roby, too. Bit of a push off but not called pic.twitter.com/YE8gFazgoq— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) September 9, 2018
Running Back - Chris Carson
Seven carries for 51 yards, three catches for 28 yards. Why did Rashaad Penny get one more touch than Carson. Why did Carson only get 10 touches? This is a fairly significant question for me. Carson again looked like one of Seattle’s best offensive weapons — outside of a strip takeaway by maybe the best defensive player in the NFL — but they are giving equal time to Penny. It doesn’t make sense to me. Yes, Penny could be great, but Carson is great right now. I think if history of Pete Carroll has taught us anything, Carson will start to get 75% of the touches. Carroll will change things.
Tight End - Will Dissly
All of his production came in the first half, but it was still 105 yards of production. He nearly had another big one, but Wilson overthrew him. It’s exciting to see Dissly break some records in his debut and the Seahawks could have a special tight end on their hands. With so much focus on Penny, Rasheem Green, Shaquem Griffin, Michael Dickson, and Poona Ford, this was not even a rookie we talked about. You could argue he was the least-discussed in the class.
Seattle was keeping a secret that’s clearly out of the bag now.
Linebacker - Bobby Wagner
Just a reminder that if Von Miller is the best defensive player in the NFL, Wagner isn’t far away. The Seahawks still have Wagner and Thomas. That’ll always give the defense a shot at a stop, even though this team needs to get a lot better at run defense and right cornerback.
Punter - Michael Dickson
Michael Dickson punting in Denver is like using a cheat code. pic.twitter.com/jZdW8Q8l31— Gordon McGuinness (@PFF_Gordon) September 9, 2018
Michael Dickson's NFL career long punt is now 69— Spike Friedman (@SpikeFriedman) September 9, 2018
NFL Red Zone should treat all Michael Dickson punts like scoring plays https://t.co/xMliZvWe9Z— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) September 9, 2018
These ridiculous Michael Dickson punts are bouncing right off Dick Stockton - somebody get Dick some coffee. pic.twitter.com/GX6hTy24E8— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) September 9, 2018
Everyone's mad at Russ but when Michael Dickson is your punter it doesn't matter if you get sacked or throw it away, opponent is gonna get pinned regardless— Ben Baldwin (@benbbaldwin) September 9, 2018
NFL fans discovering how good Michael Dickson is.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) September 9, 2018
CFB fans: He won MVP of a bowl game as a punter, we tried to tell you.