Preseason games are normally not fun to watch, but they’re a hell of a lot more palatable when it’s your team on the right end of a one-sided victory. The Seattle Seahawks really underwhelmed in their first two games but finally got in the win column with an emphatic 27-0 blowout of the Los Angeles Chargers.
We didn’t see Russell Wilson or any of the established stars on offense or defense throughout these exhibitions, which is another way of saying they didn’t get themselves injured in these games. We’ll see them in two weeks’ time.
Here’s the last Winners and Losers before we head to the regular season.
It was a win for him just to be out on the field just under a year removed from his ACL tear. But he got the start tonight and had a run stop right away and was the beneficiary of a fumble recovery touchdown after his Utah teammate Cody Barton sacked Chase Daniel. It was only a quarter’s worth of work for Blair but it was impressive and a reminder of his potential to contribute greatly to Seattle’s secondary.
Barton capped off a terrific preseason with that aforementioned sack and added a TFL later on. With K.J. Wright unlikely to be re-signed and Ben Burr-Kirven out for the year with injury, Barton figures to have an even bigger special teams role in addition to more linebacker snaps. This may be against predominantly backups but he looks better than he did over his previous two season.
Darrell Taylor and Dee Eskridge
I’ll combine these two because Taylor is effectively a rookie and Eskridge is one. Taylor had a couple of nice speed rushes and had a full sack and a hustle .5 sack split with Kerry Hyder Jr. He’s showed some flashes of his pass rushing strengths and this was his best preseason outing.
Eskridge electrified with just two touches: 9-yard jet sweep and a 19-yard catch in the middle of the Chargers’ zone. He looked fast and smooth and I can’t wait to see him with the first-team offense.
This is interesting because I think he’s a winner even if he doesn’t actually make the roster. It was a little peculiar that he was playing well into the 2nd half, as if to suggest he’s being dangled for a trade, but if he isn’t then he just got a heavy workout. A whopping 17 touches for 89 yards and a touchdown, with shiftiness and impressive footwork. He really has improved a lot from his first stint with the team as a rookie and will surely be on an active roster come Week 1… whether in Seattle or elsewhere.
Not that Sean Mannion was ever threatening his spot, but that was probably the best preseason showing out of the six that he’s played in Seattle. He had better pocket presence than normal and made some smart, accurate throws that kept the chains moving and also gave the coaches a chance to evaluate the receivers. There was nothing special or especially difficult but by his standards he was alright out there.
Oh yeah, that guy started out in the NFL as a linebacker. He even intercepted Trevone Boykin in garbage time when he was a 49er. Six solo tackles and he was quick to pursue the ball-carrier. Remember when Will Tukuafu was the fullback but also emergency pass rusher? This is a slightly different version of the same thing.
This punt. My GOD. The hope is that he’s not needed that often but also that when he is called upon he gives us this bit of punting genius.
That was a damn good save by Fuller on that Dickson punt and he had a 4th down conversion in the 2nd quarter. It’s going to be tough times at Seahawks HQ determining which receivers will join DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Freddie Swain, and Dee Eskridge. Will we see just five WRs or six? Either way Fuller had a good preseason outing and special teams hustle is always a plus.
There were probably some subpar performers — Damarious Randall being one of them — but I’m generous tonight and I really have no complaints about any particular Seahawk or a specific unit. Refs were pretty flag-happy, though. And evidently this ridiculous blindside block call on Rashaad Penny is technically correct, so the issue is with the NFL’s dumb rule.
- Gavon Heslop, Myles Adams, Alton Robinson (as usual), and Jon Rhattigan were my other top defensive performers, or at least ones who stood out in a positive way. Heslop might be someone Seattle keeps on the practice squad but really very little is assured at outside corner.
- The offensive line had a really solid performance even through the bottom-tier of the depth chart. Jake Curhan has a strong case for making the team and Stone Forsythe fared better than we saw in his debut. That would be bad news for Jamarco Jones.
- Kudos to Darece Roberson for the touchdown grab in the 4th quarter. Always cool to see those moments for guys who are long shots to land on the 53-man roster.
- Josh Johnson is good enough to be on an NFL roster and I think if/when he gets cut Seattle will have a hard time getting him to the practice squad. He runs hard and has good balance while maintaining a sturdy base.
- Rashaad Penny played well. The stats are nothing impressive but I did like a couple of his runs between the tackles and he had a fly sweep carry that I thought was a great way to use his skill set. I’d be shocked if he didn’t survive roster cuts, even though it seems every carry of his is heavily scrutinized.
- DeeJay Dallas not playing may have been down to precautionary reasons, as he did not practice earlier in the week.
- We made it through preseason. Bring on the Colts!