Loss To Chiefs On Friday Leaves Room For Hope

You take the good, you take the bad.  You take them both and there you have.  The facts of life.  The facts of life.

That’s a quote from some TV show I’ve never seen.  I don’t think it’s talking about the Seahawks/Chiefs pre-season game this past Friday, but I’ll have my people look into it to confirm.

What were we looking for heading into that game?  Primary issue #1 – will there be improvement in the offensive line play?  I think we can all shout from the rooftops a resounding SORTA!  Zero first half sacks sure is encouraging, even if it is The Terrifically Escapable Russell Wilson leading the charge in that period of time.  Garry Gilliam was particularly impressive as he took on some of the better pass rushers in the league and shut ’em down.  And, I didn’t notice anyone talking about Justin Britt on the inside, so I consider that a victory (no news is generally good news with offensive linemen).

The run game was still remarkably lacking for the second straight week.  I don’t know what to think about that.  I mean, I GUESS you can pin some of that on not having Marshawn Lynch out there, but I wonder if he would’ve been able to make much chicken salad out of that chicken shit blocking.  Robert Turbin isn’t on the same level as Beastmode, but he’s also no slouch either; he ended up with 6 carries for 4 yards.  Christine Michael didn’t fare a whole lot better, with 10 carries for 27 yards.

It’s nice to have the security in knowing our quarterback is safer with this lineup out there – compared to what we had against Denver the week before – but this offense is built on the run game.  Say what you will about James Carpenter, but that guy was the biggest load we had on that line, and he was bar none our most powerful run blocker.  The salary cap is what it is, and we obviously had bigger areas of concern to lock down this past offseason (Wilson & Wagner, obvs), but I wonder if we’re going to rue the day a little bit on letting ol’ Pancakes Carpenter walk out of our lives forever.  Here’s to hoping a little cohesion with this group of five guys starts to generate a little more consistent play going forward.

Also, as of the writing of this sentence, Evan Mathis hasn’t signed with us or anyone else.  So, that’s interesting, I guess.

Elsewhere, I thought the defense looked great, especially the front seven.  K.J. Wright was flat out silly out there, blowing up everything in his path.  Obviously, you gotta mention Bobby Wagner’s killer instinct on that pick-six.  Mebane and Bennett both looked awesome.  And, I know we were extremely short-staffed in the secondary, but I thought they shined pretty well too!  Shead looked like a natural at cornerback; here’s to Kam Chancellor coming to his senses by the start of the regular season so we can bump Shead outside (as I’m still less than confident in Cary Williams being The Man).  I also thought Ronald Martin looked like a man possessed out there with three tackles (one for loss).  Finally, a couple shout-outs to KPL for being awesome and to Frank Clark for playing in a limited capacity despite a sprained ankle.  Good to see the second generation of amazing Seahawks defenders under Carroll living up to the hype.

But, for real tho:  what were we doing having Bruce Irvin cover Jeremy Maclin on that touchdown in the first half?  As a defense, don’t you have to recognize the #1 recever lining up in the backfield and put a cornerback over there to cover him accordingly?

I’m just going to come right out and say that it was a bad day for the #1 offense as a whole.  First drive:  3 & out; couldn’t run the ball, and Wilson missed Baldwin on third & long.  Second drive:  3 & out; three pass plays, netting all of 1 yard.  Third drive:  finally some movement, getting into Kansas City territory.  But, again, couldn’t run the ball (drive netted 30 yards, 3 of which came on the ground, 2 of which was from a Wilson scramble on a designed pass play), and another Okung false start crushed our chances on third & long.

It wasn’t until our fourth drive – starting with 10 minutes left in the second quarter – before we FINALLY played something resembling Seahawks football.  Balanced attack, third & managables, big play up the seam to Graham on 2nd & 18 for 21 yards.  Unfortunately, the drive stalled just outside the redzone (resulting in a field goal), but I guess I can’t blame the Seahawks too much for not over-exposing our exciting new tight end in a meaningless pre-season game.  Still, that’s one good drive out of four in the first half.  Obviously, the Chiefs have a lot of talent on defense, so maybe I’m being a little hard on the Seahawks.  But, still, you like to see more than three points from your starting offense in the first half.

Finally, I’ll leave it with this:  I thought R.J. Archer looked pretty good out there!  Grain of salt and all that, but for a while there, he was getting passes out timely, with a lot of zip on the ball.  He had a rough time in the fourth quarter, but that field goal drive showed a lot of promise out of a guy who probably doesn’t have much of a shot at making the team outside of the practice squad.  Either way, if we can get him back into camp next year, I would expect some real improvement, to the point that maybe he can eventually replace Tarvaris Jackson as this team’s go-to backup quarterback.

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