You know what was ultimately my biggest takeaway from that game? The Seahawks are going to fucking DESTROY Dallas next week.
I came away predictably impressed by Minnesota’s defense. That unit as a whole is no joke. I don’t know if, ultimately, their secondary is better than ours, but their front seven is pretty savage, from both run and pass rush perspectives. I also erroneously came away frustrated, thinking that we’d have to play them again in the regular season, but it turns out they’re not actually on the schedule, and we won’t have to play them again until the playoffs.
I also think, yeah, the Vikings are GOING to make the playoffs. Unless that defense suffers no less than 7 major injuries, they should easily carry what should be another pretty anemic offense.
One final bit on the Vikings: I thought it was a real chickenshit move to not start Bridgewater. Given their head coach’s non-answer to why he didn’t play, I can only assume it was because he was afraid that we’d further stunt his limited growth by making him look bad. I mean, it’s not like he’s reached Adrian Peterson status where he can sit out the entire pre-season and then perform at an All Pro level in Week 1. Since Bridgewater played in the first pre-season game, we know THAT level of insanity hasn’t been breached. So, what else could it be? If he was being disciplined for some team violation, the coach could have just said that, and left unsaid what the violation was. But, no, this was a coach’s decision, and I think it was a mistake. That kid needs reps against a legit defense if he’s ever going to grow.
Onto more Seahawky things, I thought Christine Michael looked legit. As a personal philosophy, I don’t like the Running Back By Committee, but as a Marshawn Lynch fanatic, I like the idea that it takes two quality running backs to compensate for the loss of Beastmode. The Seahawks’ running game is in good hands this season.
Knowing full well Minnesota’s defense is great, I thought it was disappointing that we couldn’t score on them in the first half. There are other great defenses on our schedule this season – like the Rams in Week 2, for instance – and it’s disheartening to see us struggle so mightily against these stout front sevens. Of course, penalties and other mistakes don’t help matters much. Russell Wilson looked like he reverted a little bit when the pressure was on – resulting in him taking a couple of sacks he probably shouldn’t have. I was also a little scared to see Wilson get chopped down a couple times where – in seasons past – I remember him being able to get away from such forces. Is he losing a step? Maybe too early to go to that extreme, but he certainly wasn’t doing the type of Russell Wilson things we’ve grown accustomed to seeing.
Regarding the offensive line, I thought the interior played another fine game. But, both the left and right tackles were DISASTERS. The more I think about it, the more we’re going to need to rely on the quick-strike passing game. Teams already want to do everything they can to keep Wilson in the pocket, to prevent him from doing those aforementioned Russell Wilson things. But, that’s made MUCH easier if our tackles are going to give defenders the edge on a constant basis. Bradley Sowell is not a starter in this league, period. Webb’s injury has forced the team to revert Gilliam back to the right side, which has to be fucking with his development like crazy. Don’t expect the tackle positions to be even remotely competent anytime soon.
On defense, we still haven’t seen them play to their full potential. Michael Bennett’s reps have been scaled back, what with it being the pre-season, and what with him being amazing. I don’t know how much we’ve actually seen with Bennett, Avril, and Clark all rushing the quarterback at the same time, but it really hasn’t been a lot (if any).
I thought it was weird that Brandon Browner didn’t get any play with the starters. If he’s supposed to have this “special role” with us, where we use him against opposing tight ends, then how about we at least TRY it in the pre-season to see where and how he fits in?! Like usual, the middle short of the defense, as well as the tight end position, were the areas where we struggled. That offense, with Shaun Hill and no AP, should have looked as inept as can be, but they ultimately managed to move the ball a little bit, to my dismay. And score on us, where we were unable to score on them.
DeShawn Shead looked like the real deal. So did Kelcie McCray. This secondary is in good hands.
Still no sign of Tye Smith having any impact whatsoever. To think, I had such high hopes in his Year 2.
Frank Clark continued to be Mr. Pre-Season, which is fun. Jarran Reed looked strong up the middle, which is also fun.
Boykin almost led us to another second half comeback, then got smacked with a Pick Six, then almost led us to another MIRACLE second half comeback. That kid’s got Quality Second Stringer written all over him (I just hope we don’t have to use him as a rookie, when the games start to mean something).
Steven A. Taylor’s Long Snapper Corner
So, not a great week for Nolan Frese. I saw at least two bad snaps to the punter (maybe three?) and one VERY high snap on a field goal opportunity, that messed with Hauschka’s timing, ultimately causing him to leave a long field goal a few yards short. That also happened while some fans were passing around a video on Twitter of Clint Gresham on YouTube doing his long snapping magic. Gresh is still out there, looking for work. I’d consider it, if I were running the Seahawks …