For starters, the offensive line looked MUCH better, especially running the ball, as the Seahawks piled up 243 yards on 37 carries. Granted, 99 of that was from the quarterback position, but still, they were consistently producing wide-open holes for everyone to run through. You can see it clear as day that James Carpenter is a completely different animal out there. He came into camp in excellent shape, which I feel a lot of people are attributing to his being in a contract year. But, what gets glossed over is the fact that this is the first off-season where he’s been predominantly healthy. Instead of rehabbing a knee or something, he’s had a chance to get his body right and it looks like he’s readying a big step forward. The question with him will always be: can he STAY healthy? But, as long as he does, this offensive line is going to benefit quite a bit.
J.R. Sweezy also looks like he’s going to take another step forward. He might have been the best player on the field on Friday as he was punishing fools. Okung and Unger were still out, as a precaution, but we didn’t appear to suffer for it. This unit will only get that much better in the regular season when they’re ready to go. Lastly, Justin Britt appeared to improve, but it was by no means a perfect night for him. It’ll be interesting to see if he can continue this upward trajectory in the next couple games.
Russell Wilson was legit in control of this game from the get-go. He was nearly flawless in his decision-making and execution.
Marshawn Lynch started, but hardly played, and didn’t get a carry. Robert Turbin more than picked up the slack, as he looked like a beast with that stiff-arm on his 47-yard rumble. The Seahawks might have to worry about depth at certain positions, but running back appears to be hands down the deepest spot on this team.
Percy Harvin gave us yet another glimpse into how this offense is going to function with him on the field. He caught 4 passes for 31 yards, but he was also single-handedly responsible for Zach Miller being WIDE OPEN down the middle of the field for his 37 yard catch down to the goalline. The safety was clearly cheating to Harvin’s side as he lined up out wide, and that was all Miller needed as he ran past the linebackers in the middle for nothing but green grass ahead.
Defensively, the first unit looked good, as San Diego didn’t end up scoring until late in the second quarter, after the Seahawks had already raced out to a 24-0 lead. Hard to say how much of that was us being in sync (in spite of a number of starters not suiting up, including Bennett, Wagner, Smith, and Chancellor), or how much of it was Rivers only playing a single series. San Diego certainly didn’t put a lot into this game, compared to the Seahawks who saw Russell Wilson playing late into the second quarter, running a hurry-up style offense that led to a touchdown with four minutes to go.
O’Brien Schofield looked particularly dominating as he battles Benson Mayowa for the final defensive end spot. Going into the pre-season, you had to give Mayowa the advantage, considering he’s got more team control, while Schofield is on a 1-year deal. However, it’s pretty apparent in the early going that Schofield is the better player right now, and looks to be someone who could make an impact in a rotation with Avril and Co.
Tharold Simon had a 105-yard interception return for a touchdown called back due to a bogus illegal contact penalty. The refs are REALLY going to need to pull their heads out of their asses when the regular season starts. Otherwise, you’re going to see nothing but wide receivers running right into defenders and getting these lame-ass calls on every play.
Hard to say if we learned much more about this team or the upcoming season in this game. We’ll play San Diego again in week two on the road, and that will certainly be a different game. Still, the Seahawks are going to be absolutely unstoppable at home this year, you can take that to the bank. Also, against any teams that might not be so good – I’m looking at you, Oakland, New York, Dallas, and probably Washington – we should expect routs just like this.
Next week, we play against Chicago, again at CenturyLink. I’ll be gone, camping with the family, but I would expect more of the same in that game as well: a dominating Seahawks romp.