Rost: Observations from Seahawks’ preseason-opening win

Aug 10, 2023, 10:21 PM | Updated: 10:42 pm

Seattle Seahawks Jaxon Smith-Njigba...

Jaxon Smith-Njigba of the Seattle Seahawks during a preseason game against the Vikings. (Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

(Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks opened the preseason on Thursday night with a 24-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings at Lumen Field.

Watch highlights from Seahawks’ preseason victory | Box score

What stood out and what stats were of note? Let’s break it down with some observations.

Seattle Seahawks observations from Preseason Week 1

• Tre Brown was the starter at left cornerback and Mike Jackson was the starter on the right side. Coby Bryant, who spent last year as the starter at nickel, continued his work at safety and was the starter there alongside rookie Jerrick Reed. Devin Bush and Jon Rhattigan started at linebacker. Myles Adams, Roderick Perry and rookie Mike Morris got work on the defensive line with most regular starters out. On offense, Evan Brown got the start at center, while rookie Olu Oluwatimi took over in the second quarter.

• There weren’t many early highlights for Seattle, but if one does make the list it’ll be a near-catch by first-round wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Quarterback Drew Lock attempted a throw over the middle in the first quarter that was too high for Smith-Njigba, but a leaping attempt showcased the rookie’s own athleticism and, more importantly, kept Lock’s pass from falling into the waiting arms of a Vikings defender. Also notable: Devin Bush had a nice hit on special teams and was greeted by a fired-up Bobby Wagner on the sideline.

• Seattle’s first score of the first half came with 4:16 remaining in the second: a bullet from Lock to WSU alum Easop Winston Jr. to wrap up a six-play, 59-yard touchdown drive.

• There was a scary moment just before the half. An at-the-time unidentified Seahawks player — later confirmed as wide receiver Cade Johnson — remained in the blue injury tent for several minutes before being stretchered off field with Tyler Lockett and Noah Fant walking alongside. Johnson was transported to Harborview Medical Center as a precaution for head and neck injuries. The team’s official update is that he is in stable condition.

More: Seahawks WR Cade Johnson taken to hospital as precaution

• If you were hoping for electric plays from a promising rookie class, you didn’t get much. I wouldn’t read into much during the preseason though, especially here. Smith-Njigba, Derick Hall, and a few second-year players have had solid training camps so far.

• An electric moment in the third quarter didn’t end up counting but still got the Seahawks sideline cheering and brought great field position. Tight end Griffin Hebert hauled in a bounced muffed punt mid-air and ran it into the end zone. Unfortunately for Seattle, there’s no advancing a muffed punt (can we change that for the preseason?). Seattle’s offense did keep possession deep in Vikings territory, though. The reward: A beautiful 19-yard touchdown pass from Lock to Jake Bobo to give Seattle a 17-13 lead.

• Lock’s final stat line: 17-of-24 for 191 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.

• Running back Bryant Koback led all rushers with 32 yards on 6 carries. Koback had another 43 yards as a receiver. Jake Bobo led all pass catchers with 55 yards and one touchdown on three caches.

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