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O’Neil: Seahawks lost a lot, but preseason started with reminder of what they still have

Russell Wilson was 4 of 5 passing in his short time in the Seahawks' preseason opener. (AP)

For two weeks we’ve talked about the players the Seahawks don’t have.

No Richard Sherman. No Kam Chancellor. No Cliff Avril, no Michael Bennett and (for now) no Earl Thomas.

Recap: Colts 19, Seahawks 17

The first series of the first quarter in Seattle’s first preseason game on Thursday provided a reminder of what the Seahawks do have. The best quarterback in the division.

Yeah, Russell Wilson is pretty darn good. He completed four of the five passes he attempted, scrambled twice for 14 yards and left the game after leading the Seahawks to a touchdown in the only series he played, accounting for the only touchdown Seattle’s offense scored in a 19-17 preseason loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Now, that drive didn’t prove anything or answer any questions about what Seattle is capable of. It was more like a reminder that in this offseason when so much changed inside Seattle’s locker room, there’s no doubt about what kind of difference-maker the quarterback can be. Especially in the NFC West, where the Rams hope that Jared Goff continues to progress, the 49ers are banking on Jimmy Garappolo being as good as he looked in the final month of last season and the Cardinals are hoping that Josh Rosen will be a long-term answer.

Wilson is not a question. He’s an asset, which is why the first play was a little concerning. He scrambled. Again. Bailed from the pocket before the play had much of a chance.

So much for the Seahawks’ new offense, huh? But no sooner had that crack been made than Wilson took the second snap, dropped back and fired an 8-yard out to Jaron Brown to show you that, yes, Seattle can execute an offense on time and in rhythm.

There, was that so hard?

It certainly was last year for an offense, and while the first series of the first preseason game is no time to deem the offense fixed, let’s just say it was a really good start as Wilson completed four of the five passes he attempted. And yes Wilson did scramble twice, sliding feet-first both times for a total of 14 yards.

His best play was his final one. Second-and-4 from the Indianapolis 5, and Wilson had a play in which he was looking for Brandon Marshall in the corner of the end zone. Instead, he bought time scrambling and then threw an absolute dart of a pass while on a dead run, finding tight end Nick Vannett for a 5-yard touchdown.

That was it for Wilson, who didn’t prove anything or make any point. He just provided a reminder that for all the changes Seattle has undergone, the quarterback is one thing the Seahawks should feel good about.

Who helped themselves

David Moore: The second-year receiver not only got one step behind the cornerback on a third-and-5 play in the second quarter, but then he went up to make the catch along the sideline on a throw from back-up Austin Davis.

Nick Vannett: He not only started, but was targeted three times on Seattle’s first possession and made two catches. The first was a 15-yard gain on third-and-16, which helped sustain the drive as Seattle went for it on fourth-and-1. The second catch was for a touchdown.

Rasheem Green: The rookie defensive end had a first-half sack on an outside pass rush. Granted it was against the Colts’ third-string tackle, but a very promising sign for the rookie. He also teamed up with fellow rookie Jacob Martin for another sack in the third quarter.

Whose chances were hurt

C.J. Prosise: He missed the game with a hip injury, which stinks. Not just because it was a chance to see how the Seahawks might use the third-year back, but because Prosise has missed 21 of 32 possible regular-season games since being drafted in the third round with injuries to his hand (September 2016), shoulder (November 2016) and then last year his ankle, which was injured in Week 3, re-injured in Week 7 and again two weeks later, which landed him on injured reserve.

Seahawks injuries: RT Isaiah Battle (knee), OL Jamarco Jones (ankle), WR David Moore (head) and S T.J. Mutcherson (undisclosed).