On Friday night, the Seahawks defeated the Vikings 20-13 in their first game at CenturyLink Field in 2017. The starters played longer than in the first preseason game, but the young guys also had an opportunity to make their name known and audition for the roster spots. Here are takeaways from the second Seahawks preseason game:
Starting offense looks ready for season to start
Russell Wilson and the starting offense played the entire first half, and scored both of the team’s touchdowns. Even though the offense was without four of the likely starters, they were sharp against one of the better defenses in the league. Not including a kneel down at the end of the half, the Seahawks first team offense has played five drives this preseason. Those drives have finished in a field goal (vs. Chargers), touchdown, punt, missed field goal, and a touchdown. Once the offense gets healthy and figures out the starting running back and left tackle, they could be a force to be reckoned with this regular season.
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Uncertain offensive line becomes even more of a question
Midway through the second quarter, left tackle George Fant’s knee was rolled on, tearing his ACL, and ending his season. Fant has shown great improvement from last season, and was ready to be the starting left tackle. Heading into Friday night’s game, head coach Pete Carroll said the left side of the offensive line was set, with Fant at tackle and Luke Joeckel at guard. But with Fant’s injury, the left side is being pieced together again. Rees Odhiambo struggled at left tackle when filling in, so Joeckel may have to move back to tackle. Excluding center Justin Britt, the rest of the starting offensive still needs to be worked on heading into the regular season.
Shaquill Griffin remains a work in progress
In both Seahawks preseason games, Griffin has started at right corner, and played the entire first half in both games. Against the Chargers, Griffin saw two targets on the first drive, deflecting one with his back turned to the ball. He gave up a touchdown to Antonio Gates on the other target. But against the Vikings, he was being picked on by Minnesota offensive coordinator Norv Turner. The rookie had a very up and down performance. Griffin was repeatedly being beat on 10-yard out routes and in routes. But he was able to deflect two passes, including on a slant route where Griffin beat the receiver to the ball. Even though Griffin gave up catches, he did not give up any big plays, which is a very good sign.
Nazair Jones continues to make impact
As good as the Seattle defensive line is, the one thing that they lack is a pass rushing defensive tackle. Seattle drafted Malik McDowell to be that guy. But after his offseason accident, he opened the door for another rookie to be the guy. Jones has taken advantage of the playing time he has gotten in the preseason, continuing to pressure the quarterback. In two games, Jones has five tackles, two QB hits, one sack and two tackles for loss. If Jones continues to have an impressive preseason, he could potentially jump Ahtyba Rubin or Jarran Reed if the Seahawks want a pass rusher at defensive tackle.