Sunday afternoon the Seattle Seahawks opened the 2019 regular season by squeaking out a 21-20 win over the visiting Cincinnati Bengals. It was an ugly game and it took the Hawks some time to get things clicking, if it’s possible to really say they did get things clicking, but at the end of the day they came out victorious and a W is a W. So, without wasting any further time, here is a look at how the rookies performed during the game.
Metcalf had himself a fantastic game to open his career. He set a franchise record for receiving yards by a wide receiver in their first game in a Seattle uniform and addressed some of the concerns that have followed him since being drafted. Hopefully this is just scratching the surface for Metcalf, who could prove to be the steal of the draft if he continues to produce as he did against the Bengals.
Barton remains buried on the depth chart behind the talented linebacker trio of Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks, but he did play regularly on special teams. Unfortunately, the only time he did anything of note on Sunday was when he was penalized for running into the punter, giving the Bengals a first down.
Like Barton, Burr-Kirven remains buried on the depth chart on defense, but logged quite a few special teams snaps. Specifically, it was BBK who stripped the ball from Bengals returner Alex Erickson, which gave the Seattle the ball in Cincinnati territory late in the first quarter. That particular drive did not result in points for Seattle, but it tilted the field position game their way. Then, with good field position on the subsequent drive, Chris Carson ran it in for the first Seahawks touchdown on the season.
BBK with the forced fumble pic.twitter.com/odnuKOn4OZ— Seattle Times Sports (@SeaTimesSports) September 8, 2019
Blair, at least for the time being, is behind Tedric Thompson and Bradley McDougald on the depth chart while the defense is on the field, but if the pass defense continues to be as porous going forward, that seems likely to change. Like fellow 2019 draftees Barton and BBK, Blair played on special teams, perhaps most notably taking over as a gunner when Neiko Thorpe left with an injury. In that role he made the tackle of Erickson on the punt return with just over five minutes left in the game. Hopefully Thorpe’s injury is minor and Blair earns more playing time on defense going forward.
During the offseason the team made a concerted effort to improve the run defense, and Mone made a couple tackles of Giovani Bernard during the second half against the Bengals. Depending on the severity of the injury that forced Poona Ford out of the game, Mone could make a far greater impact early in the season than anticipated. Already shallow on the interior of the defensive front due to Jarran Reed’s suspension, if Ford is out for an extended period of time, it could be a chance for Mone to shine, with big matchups against the Pittsburgh Steeler and New Orleans Saints in the coming weeks.
Amadi made a pair of tackles in coverage, but will mostly be remembered for giving fans a scare in this game. Amadi had the wind knocked out of him on an inadvertent collision with Bradley McDougald in the secondary. He returned to play, but for a moment things didn’t look good as he lay on the field holding his chest or arm.
Travis Homer was active, but didn’t make his way into the box score. Once the snap logs are released, we’ll be able to see if he actually made it onto the field during the game. The four other rookies did not suit up. Phil Haynes and Demarcus Christmas, of course, remain on the Physically Unable to Perform list, with both of them eligible to return after Week 6. Wide receiver David Moore was inactive as he continues to recover from a hairline fracture in his arm and L.J. Collier is still recovering from the unique foot/ankle sprain he suffered in training camp. At wide receiver, Gary Jennings and John Ursua were both healthy scratches.
Next week the Seahawks travel to Pittsburgh to play an early game on a grass field. Interestingly, while the team has struggled in early games and the offense has sometimes sputtered when playing on grass, when both of those are put together, the Hawks are 6-2 when playing on a grass surface in the early time slot in the regular season with Russell Wilson at quarterback.