Well at least it’s just preseason.
Even by exhibition game standards, the Seattle Seahawks were a hell of a chore to watch against the Las Vegas Raiders. I don’t care about the final score (20-7 Vegas, by the way) as much as individual performances. Simply put there wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about, but the key thing is that any injuries were kept to a relative minimum.
Let’s get to the first preseason Winners and Losers for 2021. These will be shorter than the regular season ones.
For my money he was the best player on the field for the Seahawks. The basic stats will show five solo tackles and a QB hit but he was much better than that. It was his hit on Peterman that forced an errant throw for Ryan Neal to intercept. He also made a couple of impressive stops on jet sweeps where he’s clearly reading the play well just as he did in the last regular season. Robinson also drew a holding penalty to negate a big run, which would’ve been a shorter running play if Alton hadn’t been grabbed so egregiously. The only thing I never want to see again is him covering wide receivers deep down the field. Seriously, what was that?
Green had a sack and a TFL, plus on the game’s opening play his initial pressure forced Nathan Peterman to step into the pocket and get brought down by Bryan Mone. He did have at least one botched assignment in run support but otherwise he was stellar. I think Green really needs a breakout preseason/training camp to assure himself a roster spot and this was encouraging.
The third-year backer had two sacks that essentially killed off two Raiders possessions. He also had two tackles for loss to wrap up a solid day at the office. I’ve been critical of Barton over the past two seasons but this was a good performance... even if it is against other backups.
I don’t consider him a winner in the sense that he was spectacular or anything like that, but certainly one of Barton’s sacks came from Taylor’s backside pressure and pursuit of Peterman. He often found himself rushing up the field quickly to get after the QB but running himself out of the play, but there were times he got close to Peterman and I thought the biggest win for him was getting on the field and playing most of the way. Glad to see him finally make his Seahawks debut.
Active against the run and the pass, Neal is arguably a starting caliber safety in this league. He won’t get starts for as long as Jamal Adams is playing but both him and Ugo Amadi need to continue to be a part of Seattle’s nickel and dime packages. I’m so impressed with the way both of them play.
He’s the only winner on offense. That 43-yard touchdown on 4th down was an easy catch, but he really showed nice acceleration and he shed a tackler on his way to six points. He also chipped in 24 yards on 5 carries as essentially the only running back to see any sustained action for Seattle.
First round of cuts is this Tuesday and unfortunately Wood-Anderson had a nightmare. Two bad drops and a false start while just being all-around ineffective in his push to be the 3rd TE on the roster while Colby Parkinson is injured.
It feels like I’m beating the same old drum over the past couple of season but he looked like the same old Tre. He gave up two third-down conversions, including a deep ball to Zay Jones that was a good throw by Nathan Peterman but also one where he never looked for the ball in the first place. I want him to be better but it’s just not happening.
Outside of a few TFLs by Bryan Mone and Alton Robinson I don’t think the run defense as a whole played well regardless of who was in the game. Too many gaping holes and missed tackles led to an efficient rushing night for Las Vegas, to the tune of 126 yards on 28 carries for their rushers and another 32 on the ground from Nathan Peterman.
All I can say is “Welcome to the NFL, rook.” Better he grows and learns when the games don’t count than in the regular or postseason. I don’t fault him at all for the blitz sack that got Geno Smith hurt but just in general he was getting bossed and looking a step slow.
Land Clark’s officiating crew
This game could’ve ended so much sooner if this new group of officials wasn’t also in preseason mode. How many times was the game halted because of penalty confusion and setting the right down and distance?
- There’s no point in assessing the offense beyond it being stinky when the second-, third-, and fourth-string are in there. Only one first-team regular played (Freddie Swain, who had a couple of nice catches) and we will get no idea of playcall feel, sequencing, or anything else when you have a patchwork o-line and backups populating the field.
- Honorable mention to Aaron Fuller for shaking off a would-be tackler to convert 3rd down and gain 17 yards. It was one of the few offensive highlights for Seattle.
- I think questions needs to be asked of the Seahawks concerning Geno Smith playing after his apparent 1st quarter concussion. Either he got back into the game and actually got concussed later on, or he was concussed on the sack and was hastily put back out there for no good reason. I hope it’s not the latter.
- Tre Brown didn’t do a lot of noteworthy things on defense but he did have a big kick return to start the 2nd half. He’s certainly a way more viable returner option than, say, John Ursua.
- Jason Myers missed a field goal. He’s human.
- While that game might have been a two-pack of ass, it’s great to have Seahawks football back in our lives.