Seahawks fail to find end zone on offense in 25-19 loss to Vikings

Aug 18, 2019, 5:53 PM | Updated: 9:29 pm

The Minnesota Vikings gave the Seahawks considerably more trouble on offense than in Seattle’s previous preseason game.

The Seahawks failed to find the end zone on offense Sunday and fell 25-19 on the road in the second of their four exhibitions ahead of the 2019 NFL season.

Seahawks’ Metcalf set for knee surgery | Stats: Vikings 25, Seahawks 19

Seattle wasn’t kept out of the end zone entirely, though. Veteran defensive back DeShawn Shead picked off Vikings quarterback Sean Mannion for an 88-yard pick-six in the second quarter, which gave the Seahawks a 10-7 lead. And while Seattle held the lead once more, 13-10 in the third quarter, it was mostly punchless when it had possession of the ball, especially after backup quarterback candidate Paxton Lynch took over for starter Russell Wilson late in the first half.

The defense struggled after halftime for the Seahawks as well, as Minnesota outscored them 15-9 in the final two quarters to break the 10-10 deadlock the two teams took into the half.

The Seahawks suffered two notable injuries to rookies, too. Safety Marquise Blair, the hard-hitter out of Utah that Seattle took in the second round of April’s NFL Draft, was carted away with a back injury in the second half, and undrafted guard Demetrius Knox needed help off the field with an apparent leg injury late in the fourth quarter. We will have updates on both players on when they are available.

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at Seattle’s loss.

First quarter

Vikings 3, Seahawks 0

Second-year Seahawks defensive tackle Poona Ford nearly had the big play of the quarter, as he wrapped up Minnesota running back Alexander Mattison deep in Viking territory, threw him to the ground and wrestled the ball loose, which Seattle recovered. The Vikings got a very courteous call on that first play of their second possession, however, with it being ruled that Mattison’s forward progress had been stopped before the ball was stripped out, allowing Minnesota to keep driving.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins connected with Adam Thielen on a 34-yard pass two plays later, then got a pass interference call on Seahawks cornerback Tre Flowers, putting Minnesota all the way at the Seattle 6. The Seahawks’ defense stood tall in the red zone, however, to limit the Vikings to a 24-yard Dan Bailey field goal.

Seattle started strong on offense in QB Russell Wilson’s first offensive series of the preseason (coach Pete Carroll chose to sit Wilson in the opener against the Broncos), as he completed passes to both Tyler Lockett (16 yards) and Jaron Brown (19) for first downs on the second and third plays of the possession. Seattle stalled out near midfield after that, however.

Wilson was impressive despite the 3-0 deficit, completing 5 of 6 attempts for 49 yards, plus five yards on one carry. Running back Chris Carson had 11 yards on three rushes, while Lockett hauled in three receptions for 37 yards.

The Seahawks were driving in their own territory at the end of the quarter.

MIN – Dan Bailey 24 FG, 2:07 (3-0 MIN)

Second quarter

Seahawks 10, Vikings 10

The Seahawks nearly had a big takeaway on defense in the first quarter. In the second they had an even bigger takeaway, and this time it counted.

Shead, a former member of the Seahawks’ vaunted Legion of Boom secondary who found his way back to Seattle this offseason in a spot similar to his old role as the team’s Swiss Army Knife for the defensive backfield, picked off Mannion and ran 88 yards to the house.

It was the second scoring play this preseason for Shead, who was playing at strong safety. In Seattle’s opener against Denver, he was responsible for a safety.

That pick-six gave the Seahawks a 10-3 lead, as kicker Jason Myers had hit a 33-yard field goal to cap off a 12-play, 60-yard drive on Seattle’s previous possession. That was Wilson’s final series of the night, as he gave way to Lynch at quarterback late in the first half. Wilson finished the game 6 for 9 passing for 82 yards and a 95.6 rating, including a 33-yard strike to Jaron Brown that was Seattle’s longest of the half.

The Seahawks were forced to punt out of their own end zone on the first possession with Lynch under center, but there was a big boom on each end of that play. Punter Michael Dickson kicked it 53 yards, and rookie defensive back Ugo Amadi was all over Vikings punt returner Olabisi Johnson for a thunderous hit.

Minnesota made things square again shortly before the half on a 3-yard pass from Mannion to Irv Smith Jr. that ended a relatively easy seven-play, 63-yard drive. The big play for the Vikings on the possession was a short pass to Mike Boone that ended up going 45 yards.

SEA – Jason Myers 33 FG, 11:37 (3-3)
SEA – DeShawn Shead 88 interception return, 5:48 (Myers kick, 10-7 SEA)
MIN – Irv Smith Jr. 3 pass from Sean Mannion, 1:05 (Dan Bailey kick, 10-10)

Third quarter

Vikings 17, Seahawks 13

One thing the Seahawks are learning this preseason is that they can feel good about the call they made to hopefully solve their kicking problem that dates all the way back to 2016.

Myers, who Seattle had on its roster prior to the 2018 season only to cut him and see him become a Pro Bowler with the New York Jets, returned to the Hawks on a four-year deal this offseason. And while he missed his first kick in the Seahawks’ preseason opener, he’s been perfect ever since.

Myers hit a 52-yard field goal to put Seattle back in the lead with 9 minutes left in the third quarter, his second 3-pointer of the game. It was also Myers’ second of 50 yards of more and fourth field goal overall of the preseason.

There wasn’t much else to write home about for the Seahawks in the third, though, as Minnesota moved into a 17-13 advantage with an 11-play, 73-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 4-yard pass to Brandon Zylstra from Kyle Sloter.

Lynch remained in at quarterback for Seattle, where he was having a hard time following up his strong showing against his former team, the Denver Broncos, in the Hawks’ preseason opener. His biggest play of the quarter was the last play of the quarter – a 12-yard pass to Jazz Ferguson, the other star of the first preseason game. Ferguson actually fumbled following the reception, but Seattle was lucky to recover with some extra yardage tacked on in Minnesota territory.

SEA – Jason Myers 52 FG, 9:00 (13-10 SEA)
MIN – Brandon Zylstra 4 pass from Kyle Sloter, 2:29 (Kaare Vedvik kick, 17-13 MIN)

Fourth quarter

Vikings 25, Seahawks 19

Seventh-round draft pick John Ursua had an impressive 25-yard reception and Myers tacked on another pair of field goals, but the highlights were otherwise hard to find for the Seahawks in the final quarter.

With Seattle having to settle for two field goals and recent QB signing J.T. Barrett throwing an interception on the offense’s last play, the Vikings pulled away on Khari Balsingame’s 1-yard touchdown run with 5:10 to go.

SEA – Jason Myers 27 FG, 12:20 (17-16 MIN)
MIN – Khari Blasingame 1 run, 5:10 (Matt Boone run, 25-16 MIN)
SEA – Jason Myers 20 FG, 3:14 (25-19 MIN)

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