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Seahawks first-team offense and defense shine in Friday’s mock game

The offense is humming, and the defense is showing signs of improvement against the run.

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks Training Camp Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks football is back.

The Seattle Seahawks wrapped up their annual mock game on Friday afternoon. While the mock game is generally free of big hits and major contact, it is still one of the first opportunities to get a real sense of how the roster and position battles are going ahead of the preseason. It is also one of the first major opportunities to get a look at how the rookies are coming along. The squad broke out into a “blue team” (the starters) and a “green team” (backups). Ultimately the starters won the game 20-17. In the words of Corbin Smith, Geno Smith looked like he is ready to pick up where left off:

Picking up from where he left off winning Comeback Player of the Year last season, Smith promptly marched Seattle’s first-team offense downfield with a pair of explosive passes. First, after narrowly missing Metcalf on a downfield bomb just one snap prior, he connected with the star receiver on a post route after he sprinted past safety Coby Bryant for a 40-plus yard completion. On the very next play, he hit Jaxon Smith-Njigba down the seam to inside the opposing 10-yard line, setting up Dallas’ short touchdown run.

Smith also noted how efficient the first team defense was, particularly against the run. Bobby Wagner took the field once again, teaming up with Devin Bush and Dre’Mont Jones to provide an encouraging sneak preview of some improvement over 2022. Corbin Smith noted their performance, particularly, in shutting down the team’s backup running backs while Ken Walker and Zach Charbonnet remain sidelined. Smith also noted how well Dre’Mont Jones has been playing throughout camp thus far.

It’s only August 4, so it remains to be seen how much better, if at all, the Seahawks will be at defending the run compared to a year ago. But continuing to show encouraging signs of improvement with a new cast of characters along the defensive line and at linebacker, they shut down Kenny McIntosh, Bryant Koback, and company, dominating the line of scrimmage throughout the mock game.

Officially, these are the offensive stats from the mock game. Note: att/comp are backwards for the QBs.

Boye Mafe reportedly had a great performance, and he has been having an excellent offseason in general, according to Pete Carroll.

Mafe recorded a “strip sack” on Lock, for what that is worth. According to Michael-Shawn Dugar of the Athletic, the first team defense looked solid across the board during the mock game. This is to be expected at this point in the offseason, but encouraging to hear that the new players are gelling with the system.

...Mafe making plays in the backfield is an encouraging sign for Seattle’s defense, which was extremely effective against Lock and the second-team offense Friday. The penetration up front played a major role. In addition to Mafe’s forced fumble, defensive linemen Jarran Reed and Dre’Mont Jones recorded “sacks” on Lock (although they eased up before getting too close). In five drives, Seattle’s starting unit didn’t allow a touchdown.

Beyond the hoopla of the mock game itself, several of the team’s stars got a chance to remind fans of why we are so excited to see them play again. Like DK Metcalf.

The Seahawks are less than one week away from their first preseason game of 2023. We will get to see them take the field on Thursday, August 10th, to take on the Minnesota Vikings at Lumen Field. I don’t expect to see Geno Smith throw 15 passes on Thursday, so this mock game may be the most significant look at the first team passing offense until later in August. Hopefully, the team can remain on its upward trajectory as the Seahawks wrap up one of their most exciting offseasons in recent memory.