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Seahawks open 2023 preseason with 24-13 win over Vikings

The Seahawks’ 2023 preseason is off to a winning start.

NFL: Preseason-Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks (1-0) didn’t win a preseason game last season, but they got off to a victorious start in 2023 with a 24-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings (0-1) at Lumen Field. Minnesota jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, but Drew Lock threw a couple of touchdown passes, and UDFAs Holton Ahlers and Matt Landers hooked up for a pretty bizarre but effective game-clinching score in the 4th quarter.

As expected, few starters/projected first-team players participated on either team. We did, however, get to see Jaxon Smith-Njigba get 3 catches for 25 yards, Zach Charbonnet gain 28 yards on 6 touches, and Derick Hall showed some good pass rushing moves despite not showing up in the box score.

1st Half

The Vikings got the ball first with Nick Mullens at quarterback, but went backwards and nearly allowed a safety with late pressure from Mike Morris and Derick Hall. The two rookies forced a bad throw by Mullens and a 3rd down incomplete pass. Drew Lock’s first snaps resulted in a three-and-out, although Jaxon Smith-Njigba got his first NFL catch for a couple of yards.

Minnesota got a couple of good runs from Ty Chandler, took advantage of missed tackles, and a roughing penalty on Derick Hall to get into the red zone. Jacob Sykes put pressure on Nick Mullens to force a 3rd down stop, and Minnesota took a 3-0 lead.

The Vikings extended their lead with Mullens throwing a touchdown to the back of the end zone to tight end Nick Muse, who got the better of Tre Brown in a physical mismatch. Brown had also been victimized on a coverage bust when Mullens found Jalen Reagor open on a sail route.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba moved the chains with a 15-yard catch-and-run over the middle, then he saved an interception on a Lock overthrow when he was put under pressure. Jake Curhan’s holding penalty killed the drive and led to another Michael Dickson punt.

Seattle’s offense finally got going when rookie Zach Charbonnet gained 9 yards on a 2nd down carry, followed by a 29-yard catch-and-run for Jake Bobo into the red zone. On 3rd and 7 from the 12, Lock threw a dart to Easop Winston Jr who overcame pass interference to hang on for the touchdown. The Seahawks closed the gap to 10-7 heading into the break.

2nd Half

Bryant Koback made his presence felt by getting a 31-yard catch-and-run on the wheel route thrown by Drew Lock. Seattle did stall on this drive, but Jason Myers was able to tie things up to kick off the 3rd quarter. Lock committed the game’s first turnover with a slightly deflected pass that was intercepted by Jaylin Williams, who snagged the ball underneath with Matt Landers as the intended target. Minnesota turned that into a field goal but didn’t gain a first down, so Greg Joseph had to knock one home from 54.

Seattle went three-and-out but swiftly got the ball back after a muffed punt by the Vikings. Undrafted free agent TE Griffin Hebert thought he had a touchdown, but you can’t advance a muffed punt so the ball was spotted where Hebert recovered it.

Lock and the Seahawks capitalized with a 19-yard touchdown throw to UCLA undrafted rookie Jake Bobo, who beat Andrew Booth for the score.

After a 4th down stop on defense, the Seahawks inserted UDFA rookie QB Holton Ahlers, who fumbled the ball on his very first snap. He rebounded with a 22-yard run on 3rd and 9, and capped off his first NFL drive with a 30-yard arm punt (???) touchdown to fellow UDFA rookie Matt Landers, who mayyyy have gotten away with a pushoff on his way towards making the catch and heading for the end zone. That wrapped up the scoring on the night, as Seattle’s defense stifled Jaren Hall for pretty much the entire 2nd half.

Scoring Summary and Highlights

1st Quarter: Greg Joseph 26-yard field goal - MIN 3, SEA 0

2nd Quarter: Nick Muse 4-yard touchdown pass from Nick Mullens - MIN 10, SEA 0

2nd Quarter: Easop Winston Jr 12-yard touchdown from Drew Lock - MIN 10, SEA 7

3rd Quarter: Jason Myers 35-yard field goal - MIN 10, SEA 10

3rd Quarter: Greg Joseph 54-yard field goal - MIN 13, SEA 10

3rd Quarter: Jake Bobo 19-yard touchdown pass from Drew Lock - MIN 13, SEA 17

4th Quarter: Matt Landers 30-yard touchdown from Holton Ahlers - MIN 13, SEA 24

Seahawks Injury Report

WR Dee Eskridge left the game in the 1st quarter with an apparent knee injury suffered on the opening kickoff.

WR Cade Johnson was carted from the sidelines to the locker room in the 2nd quarter. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center as a precaution for head and neck injuries.

Box Score

Next Week’s Opponent

The Seahawks stay at home for a Saturday, August 19 showdown with the Dallas Cowboys. Kickoff time is 10 PM ET/7 PM PT on KING-5 (NBC).