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Takeaways from Seahawks’ loss to Chargers: New offense isn’t afraid to take chances

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was 13 of 21 passing for 193 yards against the Chargers. (AP)

Russell Wilson and the rest of the Seahawks’ starting offense played through the first half of Saturday night’s 24-14 preseason loss to the Chargers. It was more playing time than was expected for the first team, but as a plus, it offered a bit more insight into what this year’s squad might look like.

Recap: Chargers beat Seahawks | Photo gallery | Stats

With that, here are three quick takeaways:

Schottenheimer doesn’t shy away from big plays

New Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has echoed head coach Pete Carroll’s focus on the run this offseason, but he didn’t shy away from attacking the Chargers through the air – and doing it early.

The Seahawks stretched the field on the first play from scrimmage with a 29-yard play-action pass from Wilson to wide receiver Jaron Brown. As a sidenote, Brown finished the night with two receptions for 74 yards and is looking like a promising addition to Seattle’s currently bruised-up receiving corps.

Likewise, the second series began with back-to-back deep targets. The first fell incomplete to wide receiver Brandon Marshall, though the veteran drew a defensive pass interference call to give Seattle a 17-yard gain. The second was a 45-yard bomb from Wilson to Brown, who hung despite another PI call.

… But they didn’t always pay off

By the end of the first half, Seattle had converted 4 of 8 third-down attempts, which is respectable. But it’s worth noting where those drives stalled. The Seahawks were 0 for 3 in the red zone, bringing an end to what were otherwise efficient, promising drives.

A 23-yard touchdown by running back Chris Carson that would have capped Seattle’s first drive was nullified by a penalty on rookie tight end Will Dissly for blocking in the back. A third-down attempt there failed with a sack of Wilson.

The Seahawks found themselves in the red zone again on their second series, but Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram beat right tackle Germain Ifedi on third-and-goal to put pressure on Wilson and force an incomplete pass to tight end Nick Vannett.

A goal-line fumble by Carson ended another, to the displeasure of Carroll, who mentioned the turnover in his postgame press conference.

“There’s a lot of good things,” Carroll said. “But when you don’t knock the ball in, it’s hard.”

It’s probably worth noting in this section (as Carroll did also) that the Chargers led the league in red zone defense in 2017, allowing opponents to score touchdowns just 36 percent of the time.

Rasheem Green continues to impress

Rookie defensive lineman Rasheem Green was a defensive standout last week, racking up 1.5 sacks in his first ever preseason game. He added another 1.5 sacks this week, and also made an impressive tackle for a loss in the third quarter. With the departures of Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, and Sheldon Richardson, Green’s early performance is a promising development for Seattle’s pass rush at a time when the team would like to see burgeoning contributers.

Notes

• The Seahawks made it out with just one injury. Right guard D.J. Fluker suffered a dislocated finger.
• Highlight reel: A pair of deep pass attempts to Brown and Marshall ushered momentum into an early drive, while Carson was physical and elusive on several runs. But the play of the night for Seattle was a pass from Wilson to wide receiver David Moore, who hauled in a completion in double coverage.

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