You’ll have to forgive the lateness of my posting on this. I took today off because I spent last night drinking and watching the game on a delay via DVR. Then, I got up this morning and went out to watch that new James Brown movie. So, you know.
I saw what y’all saw. For starters, the offensive line was a fucking disaster! That’ll happen when your starting left tackle, left guard, and center are all nursing injuries and didn’t even make the flight. That’ll also happen when you’re breaking in a rookie at right tackle who doesn’t appear as if he’ll be ready to step right in and own the position like we all hoped he would. Also, was it just me, or did J.R. Sweezy play hardly at all? Probably could’ve used him when some dud named Schilling was letting guys get free runs at our quarterback.
But, you know, you expect difficulties with the pass protection when you’re sending in a M.A.S.H. unit at offensive line. But, our utter inability to run the ball was even MORE disturbing. Not counting the quarterbacks running for their lives, we only managed 59 fucking yards on the ground on 21 attempts for a measly 2.81 yards per attempt. Yeah, the Broncos’ first unit is pretty stout against the run; but, how do you explain the last three quarters? It’s not like we were facing a huge deficit in scoring! The opportunities were there, but we as an offense just couldn’t get the job done.
Obviously, it’s the first pre-season game, so it’s not like I’m going to start panicking. But, this offensive line has proven time and time again that it can’t stay healthy. If we’ve got to rely on these backups to be thrown into the fire, I’d like to think we could hang in there okay. They’ve got three more games to get their shit together.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, of course. There were some bright spots. I thought Paul Richardson looked good in his first action in the pros. Indeed, the receivers as a whole look like a huge strength for this team (this team that likes to base its identity on rushing, but that’s neither here nor there).
The defense didn’t look bad, but they were spotty, and clearly rusty. Cassius Marsh looks like a guy who can step in right now and be a force in that defensive line rotation. He just needs to stay healthy. Yeah, he missed that crucial sack in the second half, letting their QB run for a third down conversion, but he showed great ability to disrupt and get through that line. He very well may be solid coming off the edge, in time, but I REALLY like his potential coming from the D-Tackle position on sure passing downs. Throw him in there with our other studs – Bennett, Avril, Irvin when he’s healthy – and we just might not miss a beat this year in the pass rush department.
I thought the starters looked good at defending the run. Better than I expected anyway. The secondary should be solid as per usual – you can’t stop a guy like Peyton Manning all day every day (in spite of what happened in the Super Bowl). Yes, their starters drove on us for a touchdown, but it was a hard-fought drive that chewed through clock and a bunch of plays. I’d like to acknowledge A.J. Jefferson for being a true force in that cornerback rotation. Here’s to hoping his ankle injury isn’t serious, and that he’s able to quickly bounce back, because I think he can really help this team this year (or, if we cut him, he’ll certainly help some other team and rub it in our faces).
I’ll close with my thoughts on the quarterback position. Russell Wilson didn’t have the best game, but he REALLY looks like he’s going to take the leap this year into true greatness (as scary as that sounds, considering he’s already pretty fucking great). Here’s to hoping we get our offensive line issues squared away so he can stay on the field and achieve that true greatness. Tom Cable is REALLY going to earn his money this year if we’re to make it back to the Promised Land.
Here’s also to hoping that the Seahawks don’t treat this battle for the backup job the way they treated the “battle” for the starting job two years ago (where they kept talking about it being a battle, but stacked the deck heavily in favor of Russell Wilson winning the job over Matt Flynn). Yes, they were vindicated in their treatment of that delicate situation, because Russell Wilson appears to be the real deal. But, I have no faith whatsoever that Terrelle Pryor is the man to backup our franchise quarterback over Tarvaris Jackson.
I’ve given Tarvar a lot of hell over the years, because I don’t see him as a viable starting quarterback in this league. However, he’s absolutely Solid Gold as a #2. No, I don’t want him starting 16 games for my team; but if the worst should happen, I wouldn’t mind seeing him spot-start a couple/few times.
Tarvar is steady. He knows the offense better than he knows himself. He’s a veteran and a leader. He’s the guy who will carefully guide this offense while not trying to do too much. And, with the talent around him, he may even thrive for a short period.
But Pryor? I just don’t see it. Yeah, he had an okay game last night, but it’s nothing to fall all over yourself praising. For starters, he was going up against the dregs of the Broncos’ roster. Yes, he has elite athleticism (which would come in handy should this offensive line continue to struggle on into the regular season), but he strikes me as a slightly-better Tim Tebow and nothing more. You like his strong arm, and his ability to elude tacklers in open space. But, for all that he gives you in those departments, he takes away from you in everything else. I don’t want a Check-Down Charlie with escapability. I want a guy who can run this offense like it was his own.
For me, Terrelle Pryor would have to be far-and-away the superior player to Tarvaris Jackson for him to supplant the veteran. Not only do I not see that, I don’t think he’s even as good! It would be a potentially vital mistake for the Seahawks to give Pryor every opportunity to win that #2 job, because to be quite honest, I don’t even think he’s the third-best quarterback on this team. Letting him win that job while getting reps against the worst players from these pre-season games would be absolutely tragic.
But, as I said before, it’s just one game. One pre-season game. You could hear it from all the 12s in Seahawkland going into this game: the Broncos want it more. This game meant more to them than it did to us. None of us were going to freak out if the Seahawks came up on the short end of the stick, because we won the Lombardi Trophy last February, and they don’t take that away because you lose a pre-season game. Now that it’s behind us – and our pre-season winning streak is behind us – maybe we can move on and put 2013 to bed. We don’t see Denver again until the regular season. In Seattle. With the starters playing all four quarters.
THAT will be a very different affair.