SEATTLE – It was promising, if not successful.
The Seattle Seahawks got a great drive out of their starting offense and plenty of reason to be excited with their young defensive players as they lost 19-17 on Thursday night at CenturyLink Field in both teams’ preseason opener.
We’ll start with the starters.
Russell Wilson only stayed on the field for one series, but it was a great-looking series for a team that notoriously struggled out of the gate last season. Wilson completed 4-of-5 passes for 43 yards, and capped a 75-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Nick Vannett that put the Seahawks up 7-3 in the first quarter.
"Russ was real clean and he moved when he needed to because he had time," coach Pete Carroll said after the game. "That’s a real good, positive look – guys caught the ball well. We saw the things we needed to see.”
Chris Carson appeared to win Round 1 of the fight to become the starting running back, carrying four times and picking up 26 yards. First-round draft pick Rashaad Penny had more opportunities, carrying the ball eight times, but only averaged two yards a rush and ended up with 16 yards. Mike Davis had six carries for 25 yards.
“We saw some sparks," Carroll said. "We had some spacing in there.”
The real excitement came on the defensive side of the ball. Much-hyped fifth-round pick Shaquem Griffin led the Seahawks in tackles with nine, and at one point racked up four in a row. Third-round pick Rasheem Green looked good at defensive end as well, winding up with 1.5 sacks and six tackles.
"Rasheem has looked very good in practice and he’s looked like he’s got a chance to be a rusher, so that was great stuff," Carroll said.
The defense even managed to score a late touchdown on a wild play play with a little more than three minutes to play. Seattle chased down a botched snap from 29 yards out, and, after a mad scramble, Joey Ivie fell on the ball to make it 19-17.
For the first time in years, the Seahawks have competition in the kicking game. Jason Myers got the only shot at a field goal, hitting a 43-yarder, and Sebastian Janikowski made both of the Seahawks’ extra-point attempts. Jon Ryan had three punts for a total of 150 yards, while Michael Dickson had three for 150, but another that went for 58 was called back on a lowering-the-head penalty on Akeem King after the Colts’ returner muffed the catch.
Of course, the primary objective in a preseason game is to avoid injuries and the Seahawks didn’t quite make it out unscathed.
As offensive tackle Isaiah Battle went down with a knee injury and didn’t return. After the game, Carroll said the knee was sprained but said "it's not severe."
Offensive tackle and fifth-round pick Jamarco Jones also left the game, on a cart in the fourth quarter, and was holding his ankle. Carroll said X-rays were negative, which was good news, but said it was "probably a pretty legit sprain."
Running back C.J. Prosise was scratched before kickoff with a hip injury.
Seattle takes the field again Aug. 18 with a 7 p.m. game against the Los Angeles Chargers that will be broadcast on the official home of the Seahawks, Q13 FOX.