MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – It was more entertaining than a preseason game has any right to be, but the Seattle Seahawks got the short end of the stick.
David Moore’s nifty 31-yard touchdown reception from Alex McGough late in the fourth quarter broke a tie and put the Seahawks ahead, but Kyle Sloter hit Chad Beebe for a 25-yard touchdown with 47 seconds left and the Minnesota Vikings converted for two points to beat Seattle, 21-20 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
"We've got some stuff to work on still, and hopefully we get it right," Moore said after the game.
Since the Seahawks lost, maybe it's not a surprise that the star of their show was the special teams.
Seattle's decision this week to solidify Sebastian Janikowski and Michael Dickson as the core of their special teams looked brilliant Friday. Janikowski hit both field goals and both extra points he attempted – including a line-drive 55-yard FG - while Dickson looked sensational again with five punts for 268 yards, including a long of 61 yards and a beautiful tackle on his only punt that was returned for significant yards.
"Marvelous job from the kickers tonight. I was so fired up to see Seabass (Janikowski) hit a bomb and then another one, and then Michael Dickson, (he) really couldn't have been more effective for his first time out when he was really the guy," coach Pete Carroll said after the game.
Russell Wilson had a successful if forgettable start, playing into the second series of the first half. Wilson completed 11-of-21 passes for 118 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He ran the ball just once, picking up five yards.
Outside of that fourth-quarter touchdown pass and a late Hail Mary, McGough was a bit of a mixed bag, completing 5-of-14 passes for 140 yards and that touchdown. He also had a particularly ugly interception in the fourth quarter that the Vikings turned into the game-tying touchdown eight plays later and was sacked twice for 19 yards.
To be fair, McGough also had a nice run called back on a hold, and ran four times that counted for 22 yards. That last-second Hail Mary to Caleb Scott connected for 55 yards, but came up just short of the end zone.
There’s still no clear winner in the running-back battle, though there were some encouraging signs. Chris Carson had seven carries for 26 yards and a touchdown, Mike Davis had eight carries for 31 yards, and C.J. Prosise carried four times for 18 yards.
"It felt like we had some crispness to us," Carroll said. "The running backs were hitting the line of scrimmage pretty good. Mike hit it, as well as Chris. … it feels like we’re heading in the right direction."
Maurice Alexander led the defense with seven tackles, while Shaquem Griffin, Austin Calitro, K.J. Wright and Delano Hill all had five.
Free safety Tedric Thompson left the game in the first quarter in the injury, but returned and finished with three tackles. Carroll said he suffered a rib injury, the extent of which was uncertain.
"There's a lot of things we've got to clean up, a lot of things we've got to work on," Carson said. "But we took a step in the right direction tonight."
The Seahawks finish off the regular season Thursday, when they’ll play host to the Raiders in a 7 p.m. game that will be broadcast on the official home of the Seahawks, Q13 FOX. The regular season begins Sept. 9, when they’ll travel to Denver to play the Broncos in a 1:25 p.m. game.