clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What were you expecting? Preseason edition: Game 2, Minnesota Vikings

New, comments
Seattle Seahawks v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

DK Metcalf will never see the field. Chris Carson is the only Hawk worthy of carrying the football. The defensive line is as bad as we feared. The secondary is…worse.

Preseason games have a unique ability to reflect the zeitgeist of our age. We’re all looking at the same twenty-two athletes on a field at a time, coming away with our own different truth as to what the heck just happened. Come regular season, this column might actually contain enough trustworthy information to make informed opinions about this year’s team, but for now, it’s all fun and guesswork until somebody gets hurt.

And for the love of all that is good in the world, don’t let that be [Russell Wilson/Tyler Lockett/Bobby Wagner/insert-favorite-starter-who-doesn’t-need-anymore-playing-time-until-September]

So without further ado, let’s hash out the things you might have expected this week.

Unmet Expectations

Rashaad Penny. It’s not that he played bad (he did) because the offensive line he ran behind gave him no help (it didn’t). It’s that this 2019 version of Rashaad Penny makes no sense.

This far into August, it pains me to be writing anything like this about Penny. As you may remember, I do might not think he’s a bad back. But his supposed offseason revitalization is the part that really kills optimism towards Rashaad right now.

Here’s this from the Seattle Times earlier this summer:

It doesn’t hurt that Penny has a mentor in Hall of Fame running back and fellow San Diego State product Marshall Faulk. Faulk and Penny have been communicating every Monday and Wednesday since January, sifting through the playbook , watching film via FaceTime — basically doing anything necessary to elevate Rashaad’s game.

I’ve got to be honest guys, if all that above is true…than we really overestimated Marshall Faulk.

Penny spent two days a week working with a hall of fame back, so why does he still look confused?

Penny finished Sunday with six yards that totaled two yards in Minnesota’s direction. Fine. Who cares. Anything is justifiable right now with what’s his name and that other guy playing left and right tackle, respectively.

But Penny’s still not making guys miss, and those guys in his face aren’t exactly pro bowlers through the first two games. He’s averaged under two yards per carry unless he’s been thrown the ball. Which is something they are apparently going to do more, but I don’t really understand how he’s going to earn enough trust to take any more carries from Carson than he saw last year. Given Carson’s play so far, he could get less.

Also underperforming right now is the newly hired conditioning staff and their ability to assist rookies. We’ve gone from a worrisome May/June with 5+ rookies sitting out, to an impressive July/early August with nearly all of them returning and performing to a confusingly distasteful mid-August, now that we’re down LJ Collier, Marquise Blair, DK Metcalf, Phil Haynes, and DeMarcus Christmas.

As We Expected

Chris Carson / Russell Wilson / Tyler Lockett. Specifically, Carson’s really like the opposite of Penny. Russ takes everything way too seriously. Tyler is still stupid good going to his left.

But in regards to their 2019 NFL performances thus far, these guys are clearly focused, in shape, and confident in who they are as an offense.

So awhile back, the kind folks over at ESPN did a thing, and we did a thing in return. Specifically, I said any ranking that includes any of these three guys deserves to be in the top half of the league.

Carson, Lockett and Wilson demonstrated in eight minutes why they’ll probably score 90% of the teams points this year.

Here is a very bad way of interpreting Carson’s play:

Again, it has absolutely nothing to do with statistics. Yards per carry in the preseason are the NFL’s equivalent of points given out in Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Here’s a slightly better way of interpreting Carson’s play:

Here’s the best possible way of interpreting Carson’s play:

Exceeded Expectations

Austin Calitro…and that’s not good. Calitro led all players Sunday night with nine tackles, seven of them solo. Watching the game, he was involved on seemingly every play, and he’s been making some really textbook tackles. It’s not necessarily bad news for Calitro, but it’s a problem for the team for two reasons. On the one hand, he’s getting some of the extra tackles because the D-Line is getting beat. On the other hand, if there’s one thing the Seahawks do not currently need, it’s linebackers.

I will maintain that they have the best trio in the league until somebody convinces me otherwise. They’re going to keep Cody Barton; they should keep Ben Burr-Kirven. All that’s happening in these preseason games is a guy that they really don’t need to keep is playing entire games and making a case that he should be kept. I don’t want to see Calitro at the expense of an unproven rookie at a more needy position group, but this is becoming more of a conversation. At least, internally.

Ugo Amadi. Thank the blessed Lord that Amadi is kind enough to let himself be known as Ugo, because Googling and subsequently typing Ugochukwu Amadi over and over was going to make for a long season.

But dang, I hope you saw that hit Sunday night.

100% this is how the preseason is actually useful. I can prove it in three reasons.

1) Veterans don’t do this move in the preseason. Sometimes, they don’t even do it in the regular season. But if you’re not rolling out rookies with something to prove and an ability to demonstrate football-related athletic maneuvering (special teams) this becomes the most pitiful thing to watch week in and week out.

2) Because it’s still football, and we all do enjoy watching really good hits. We just don’t want it to be anywhere within 40 yards of our quarterback, and we don’t want it to cause an ACL tear. But 20-year olds trying really really hard: Awesome.

3) Even pro athletes have memories. Maybe, just maybe, when next the Seahawks play the Vikings, and this Bisi Johnson (who may or may not make the team) is returning punts, he’ll look across the long stretch of turf, see Ugo Amadi (who may or may not make the team/be on coverage), and Johnson will tread lightly. Or drop the ball.

Not Expected

Will Dissly is playing. JD McKissic is not. Jacob Hollister has more or less disappeared. J.T. Barrett posted a 0.0 QB rating. Jazz Ferguson saw seven targets, most in the game.