Clayton’s Observations: Seahawks’ WR situation coming into focus
The Minnesota Vikings are the perfect team for the Seahawks to face for a second or third preseason game. It’s been that way for the past several years.
Both teams have playoff-caliber rosters. Both teams aspire to have great defenses. Both teams play their first teams in the preseason at a regular-season pace. It gives both coaches the ability to judge their offense and defense.
The Vikings won 25-19, but there’s more to the story. Let’s review what happened Sunday night.
• Russell Wilson got off to a good start with the Seahawks’ first-team offense, which was on the field for two series. He completed 6 of 9 passes for 82 yards and didn’t take a sack. He completed three passes to Tyler Lockett and two passes to Jaron Brown. In Wilson’s second and final drive, he led the Seahawks on a 60-yard drive in 12 plays for a field goal that tied the game at 3-3.
Lockett continues to look as though he’s evolved into a No. 1 caliber receiver. Brown is trying to lock up the No. 2 job as a starter, and his receptions of 33 and 19 yards helped his cause.
It was bad news for the Seahawks that Pete Carroll revealed rookie receiver DK Metcalf will need minor knee surgery. That shuts him down for the preseason but Carroll thinks he could be ready for the start of the regular season. Metcalf has been one of the stars of the OTAs, minicamp and training camp.
As for the starting jobs, it sure sounds as though Lockett and Brown are going to be 1-2.
• Running back Chris Carson looks even better than last year. Against the first-team Vikings defense he had five carries for 25 yards and was breaking tackles like he did a season ago. Rashaad Penny, who looked so good last year, struggled with minus-2 yards on six carries.
The Seahawks’ backup offensive line was thin because of injuries. Jamarco Jones didn’t play along with Jordan Simmons, who had knee surgery last week, and Phil Haynes, who is on PUP. Then the Seahawks lost undrafted rookie Demetrius Knox late in the game with a serious quad injury.
Rookie running back Travis Homer had a couple of nice runs in his NFL debut, though.
• Before he suffered a concussion on a horrible hit by Vikings cornerback Holton Hill, backup Paxton Lynch didn’t do what he hoped. He could have moved closer to the backup quarterback job but he struggled mightily.
Lynch was 6 of 15 for 67 yards. There were plenty of line breakdowns, but Lynch struggled throwing as he had to be on the run. Some passes were high, and some passes were short of the mark.
There is no timetable for Lynch being in concussion protocol. That gives Geno Smith the chance in the next two weeks to lock up the backup job.
• Veteran defensive back DeShawn Shead had a great game and is vying for a roster spot. Shead had an 88-yard pick-six in which he read the quarterback after seeing two crossing routes. Playing at strong safety, he stepped forward and had a great return.
Shead didn’t have a job when he attended Cliff Avril’s surprise retirement party last month. He told teammates how much he wanted to be back with the team. The Seahawks made him an offer and he signed it quick. He has a chance to be with the team for Week 1.
• One of the Seahawks’ concerns has to be the lack of a pass rush. Though the defense looked strong in the final two practices before the Vikings game, Minnesota quarterbacks had too much time and Seattle had only three QB hits Sunday night. That allowed the Vikings’ offense to be on the field for 74 plays and gain 409 yards.
• The Seahawks cut their penalty total from 16 in the preseason opener to nine Sunday night. That’s progress, but more things have to be cleaned up in the next two weeks.
• Jason Myers continues to dazzle everyone with his kicking. He went 4 for 4 on field goals, including a 52-yarder. Michael Dickson is right on pace with his punting just like he did last year. So far they look like Pro Bowlers, which they both were last year.
• It now looks as though the Seahawks will have Tedric Thompson and Bradley McDougald as the starting safeties. Marquise Blair had to be carted off due to back spasms. Lano Hill is making a comeback from hip surgery and is starting to show some things. Thompson has been the constant so far at free safety.
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