Seahawks can’t come back after late pick-6, fall to Vikings 18-11
Aug 18, 2016, 10:49 PM | Updated: Aug 19, 2016, 2:37 pm
Trevone Boykin threw for the game-winning touchdown for the second consecutive week.
The problem is that this time it was the Seahawks’ opponent that scored.
Boykin stared down E.Z. Nwachukwu, giving Vikings cornerback Marcus Sherels a roadmap to the play. Sherels picked off the pass and returned it 53 yards for the decisive score in Minnesota’s 18-11 preseason victory at CenturyLink Field.
And even after all that, Boykin nearly reenacted his final-minute magic from five days ago in Kansas City. The Seahawks reached the Minnesota 5 but got no closer as two incompletions were sandwiched around a costly 10-yard sack.
Seattle is 1-1 in preseason games. More telling, the Seahawks have scored a total of 28 points in two preseason games, 22 of them coming in the final period during mad-cap comebacks led by Boykin.
The Vikings certainly opened the door when Blair Walsh missed a 47-yard field-goal attempt wide left with just over 2 minutes left. Yes, that’s the same Blair Walsh who missed a field-goal attempt to end last season’s wild-card playoff game in Minnesota. Yes, that kick was also wide left.
But while Walsh’s playoff miss sealed Seattle’s postseason victory back in January, this one turned out to be a tease for the Seahawks. Boykin was picked off on the second play of Seattle’s ensuing possession, Minnesota scoring the go-ahead touchdown with 1:33 left.
Even after Boykin’s interception gave Minnesota the fourth-quarter lead, the Seahawks had one more chance, getting the ball at their own 25 with 1:23 remaining. But while Boykin was able to guide the Seahawks 88 yards in the final 77 seconds of their preseason opener in Kansas City, they came up just short in Seattle.
The Seahawks got the benefit of a 53-yard pass interference penalty, which put Seattle in scoring position, but it failed to reach the end zone on three plays from inside the Minnesota 20. Boykin’s final pass to receiver Antwan Goodley sailed out of bounds through the end zone.
Biggest takeaway: The Seahawks’ first-unit offensive line looked great in Week 1, not allowing a sack on more than 20 snaps. In Week 2? Not so much. The Vikings had three sacks in the first quarter and a half, including one by Everson Griffen, who made quick work of left tackle Bradley Sowell. Seattle also had a drive stall in Minnesota territory after running back Alex Collins was stopped first on third-and-1 and then on fourth-and-1.
Passing grades: Russell Wilson played all of the first half, but his completions (five) were nearly equaled by the number of times he was sacked (four). He threw for 77 yards in the first half, nearly half of that coming on a 31-yard completion to Tyler Lockett in the first quarter. Minnesota chose not to play Teddy Bridgewater, its starting quarterback, instead going with Shaun Hill.
On the frontlines: Seattle’s starting defense was more stout than last Saturday in Kansas City. Minnesota gained 6 yards on four carries in the first quarter against Seattle’s first-unit defense. The Vikings had 28 yards rushing at halftime. The biggest flaw for Seattle was that the Vikings converted four of eight third downs. Seattle’s offense failed to reach the end zone in the first half for the second consecutive week. The issue this week, though, was pass protection.
Rookie watch: Wide receiver Kenny Lawler continues to impress. He converted a third-and-15 with a nice sideline catch with 2 minutes left in the first half and then caught a 23-yard pass on Seattle’s first drive of the second half. He finished with three catches for a team-high 47 yards receiving. Defensive tackle Jarran Reed got to the quarterback. Trouble is that it was about a step and a half late as he drew a 15-yard personal foul for roughing the passer in the second quarter. Reed was down with an injury in the third quarter, but walked off on his own. Running back Alex Collins was stuffed on two short-yardage runs, though that was after Minnesota’s defense got penetration into Seattle’s backfield. The second-quarter pass that went through Collins’ hands when he was lined up at wide receiver? That was all on Collins. Running back Zac Brooks, a seventh-round pick, got his first playing time of the preseason. He gained 10 yards on two carries.
Injuries: Defensive end Cliff Avril was evaluated during the opening possession, but returned to the game. Rookie tight end Nick Vannett suffered an ankle injury in the third quarter.
Absences: Defensive end Michael Bennett did not play for the second consecutive week. Strong safety Kam Chancellor (groin), running back C.J. Prosise (hamstring), wide receiver Kevin Smith (hamstring) and right tackle J’Marcus Webb (knee) did not play.
Snap judgment: When there’s a note on the long snapper, chances are that it’s no praise. Rookie Nolan Frese snapped high on a 54-yard field-goal attempt in the third quarter and low for a punt later that period. While that might average out OK, it’s not good at all for an undrafted rookie trying to replace Clint Gresham, especially since the high snap led to a field-goal attempt that Steven Hauschka left short.
Pope Troymaine the XXVI: Actually, that’s Troymaine Pope, No. 26. He’s an undrafted rookie from Jacksonville State who came to Seattle after a tryout with the Chiefs. He scored the game-winning two-point conversion on Saturday in Kansas City and on Thursday he scored on a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Pope rushed 10 times for 86 yards in the game.
We like C-Mike: It’s just the preseason, right? Well, Christine Michael hasn’t done this even in his previous three preseasons. He rushed 10 times for 55 yards in the first half, leading all players for the second straight game. Not only that, but he lined up at receiver for a 9-yard reception on a curl route.