The Seattle Seahawks got their preseason under way with a 24-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, overcoming an early 10-0 hole in the process. Preseason football is usually not a work of art, but there were some players and moments worth getting excited about.
It’s late in the evening and I don’t want to flesh this out like I would a regular season or postseason W&L column, so I’m probably going to be omitting some names. Hopefully it’s still thorough enough.
Sure, why not? He garnered a lot of preseason hype and so far it’s looking warranted. The former Duke and UCLA receiver caught 3 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown, and nearly downed a punt at the 1-yard line but he (or Jonathan Sutherland, or both) was ruled to have stepped on the goal-line. Positive special teams play goes a long way towards making the roster, and Bobo’s offensive display I think puts him in good position to get on the 53-man roster.
Yes, it’s 3 catches for 25 yards but man did he look smooth on that 15-yard crossing route. I cannot wait to see him and Geno Smith together because this could be a hell of a combination. You could also argue JSN saved an interception when he got his hand to an overthrown ball by Drew Lock.
In his heaviest playing time to date as a Seahawk, Lock had a mostly positive night, going 17/24 for 191 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception that was tipped but wasn’t a good decision to begin with looking at the replay. His TD to Easop Winston Jr (who himself had a good night’s work with 3 catches for 29 yards on 4 targets) was a real dart and a super accurate throw, and really above all else it’s a lot easier to assess receivers when the QB is baseline competent. Without the aid of only one projected first-team OL starter at his position — Evan Brown was at center, but Phil Haynes played left guard and not right guard — it’s still not the best circumstances for Lock to run the offense, but it was his best showing thus far.
Holton Ahlers and Matt Landers
I mean, it’s entirely because of that touchdown. That’s something you pretty much can only see in the preseason or probably in a comical Los Angeles Chargers loss. Can’t take that moment away from them, and it was funny as hell to watch in real-time. An arm punt touchdown! Ahlers definitely has some wheels, so he’ll be at least a fun player to watch for as long as he’s on the roster getting preseason run.
It was an active night for Mafe against the run, where he was more effective last year than he was as a pass rusher. Mafe was setting the edge, pursuing the ball carrier, and he had some solid pass rush reps, too. Year two leap, incoming?
We didn’t see a ton of Zach Charbonnet or DeeJay Dallas, and with Kenny McIntosh and Kenneth Walker III injured we got significant snaps out of the ex-Viking Bryant Koback. He had a team-high 75 scrimmage yards on 9 touches, including a 32-yard catch-and-run on a wheel route. Keep an eye on Koback as a potential practice squad option.
If we’re talking about UDFAs to keep an eye on, Sykes was getting push on the interior pretty much all game. He had a QB hit, a pass batted down, and multiple pressures to cap off an impressive evening. Myles Adams also fared well as a pass rusher, as well.
Our first glimpse of Tyreke Smith netted a tackle for loss and at least one holding penalty drawn to prevent a likely sack. He’s had a hard time staying healthy throughout his career, so let’s see if the second-year former Ohio State starter can make his way onto the OLB depth chart.
I asked if there was any concern about Coby Bryant getting moved to safety, and while he may have had a role in the touchdown allowed, he looked alright to me. Bryant played downhill and was aggressive stopping the run, and had a huge hit early that was thankfully not a personal foul was initially called.
Three QB hits and a sack for the former USFL player. If he keeps this up he’ll be the new Nick Reed (if you know, you know).
That was some shitshow, wasn’t it? Technical difficulties throughout the broadcast meant viewers at home either got the “Technical difficulties” screen, or, if you’re like me and the game was simulcast on Portland’s FOX affiliate, you were frequently switched back to the Spain vs. Netherlands game at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. And the NFL Network blacked out the game locally so it was frustrating for many fans, and even more frustrating for those outside of market who endured the Vikings feed for the rest of the evening. Turns out you can catch the live stream of the game on Seahawks.com so problem solved next time, I hope.
The inside linebacker depth
Whoo boy. Exactly what I feared. Jon Rhattigan led the team in tackles but was out of position on a couple of occasions and his play speed would be a massive liability against first-team opposition. I’m happy that Ben Burr-Kirven, who was told he’d never play football again after his knee injury, got back on the field tonight for his hometown team, but his limited playing time suggests that at best, he must be limited to special teams snaps.
I guess Devin Bush had a couple of nice moments, including a run stop and a special teams tackle, but the depth at this position is scarce.
It started so nicely when Brown had a pass defensed on the opening possession of the game. Then he missed a tackle on Johnny Mundt on 4th and 1, lost his man Jalen Reagor on a sail route that broke for a huge gain, and then (I think in tandem with Coby Bryant) gave up Minnesota’s only touchdown to Nick Muse. Mixed bag for Brown at a time when he’s angling for playing time in a crowded cornerback room.
- Derick Hall didn’t register anything in the box score, but I think he had a couple of pressures on Nick Mullens and he does look fast out there.
- Jerrick Reed II flashed some good ball skills in the 2nd half and had a tackle for loss.
- Michael Bennett and Michael Robinson are just the funniest duo out there. It’s a shame the broadcast was drifting in and out because a national audience needed to hear them more often. And shoutout to Kate Scott for her Seahawks preseason play-by-play debut, fresh off of calling group stage matches in the Women’s World Cup.
- I didn’t pay too close attention to the offensive line play, but I thought Olu Oluwatimi fared okay and Anthony Bradford had a pancake block and a hold. Stone Forsythe was... not impressive.
- Griffin Hebert was denied a muffed punt return touchdown because you can’t advance a muffed punt. That rule stinks.
- Another injury for Dee Eskridge, this time a twisted knee. It’s not like he’s getting injured on purpose, but he is injury prone.
- The news on Cade Johnson is thankfully “only” a concussion, given the understandable concern when he was taken off on a stretcher and transported to Harborview Medical Center for head and neck injury evaluations. You certainly don’t want it to be anything worse than that.
- Hey, Seahawks football is back! We’re one step closer to the real thing with the games actually counting.
- While you’re here, We’ve not done any of our own video content in an eternity. Would you be interested in me doing the occasional Field Gulls branded video spot throughout the season? It would be a strict video show and not a podcast, and there would be a mix of solo episodes and ones with special guests. Let me know in the comments!