A 20-14 win is hardly what you would call dominating, but the Seattle Seahawks' methodical dissection of the Chargers on Saturday night should give Seahawk fans plenty to smile about. Here's a re-cap:
The game started off at a snail's pace, with both first-team offenses failing to put something on the scoreboard. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed 3 of his 5 passes for 27 yards, while the smash and dash combo of Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett combined for 33 yards on 10 carries.
The action would pick up in the second quarter when Chargers backup quarterback Billy Volek picked apart Seattle's second-team D through the air, going 4 for 4 for 54 yards, which led to a Michael Bennett two-yard touchdown run for the game's first score. Seahawks backup Seneca Wallace used his arm and quick feet to answer back with equally impressive scoring drive capped off by Wallace finding tight end Chris Owens in the back of the end zone.
On defense, coach Mora admitted to being somewhat “vanilla” with his play-calling in the opener, but the D still managed to hold the tag team of LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles to just 21 yards on 8 carries. In fact, the Chargers were only able to grab 55 yards on the ground for the entire game. The Seahawks much-maligned pass defense showed some life as new defensive end Cory Redding was able to take down Pro Bowl quarterback Phillip Rivers for the sack, something that was few and far between last season.
Rookie Watch: 4th overall pick Aaron Curry was a wee bit overanxious in his NFL debut, as he over-pursued on some plays and was caught out of position on some others. “I have to work on my patience. My patience is going to be key,” said the former Demon Deacon. “There were some plays today where I was just running around not in the place where I should have been. I have to let things slow down.” Curry finished with two tackles in nearly three quarters of play. Second-round guard/center Max Unger started the game at right guard and then came back in the second half and played some center. Potential No. 3 QB Mike Teel, a 6th round pick out of Rutgers, was a bit up and down in commandeering the offense to start the second half. On the bright side, he led all Seattle quarterbacks with 75 yards on 7 out of 14 attempts and zipped a pretty 18 yard pass to receiver Mike Hass for the go-ahead touchdown. However, he made some poor decisions and, while his one interception was a result of a tipped pass by Ben Obamanu, he's going to have to show a bit more control if he hopes on making the 53-man roster. The player of the game was 7th round defensive end Nick Reed, out of Oregon. Reed beat left tackle L.J. Shelton for a sack on 3rd string QB Charlie Whitehurst. Reed would then pick off Whitehurst in the 4th to set up a Brandon Coutu field goal that made the game 17-7. It was a forgettable night for Whitehurst, who lost a fumble and was intercepted by cornerback Kelly Jennings on the two previous drives prior to Reed's pick.
All in all, it was an impressive, albeit uneventful, win for coach Jim Mora's squad. “I thought it was a good start for our football team — a lot of good things and a lot of things that we can build upon.” said Mora after the game. The strong performance of the Seahawks' second and third units will make things tough for the coaching staff as we near closer to cutting down rosters to 53. Receivers Mike Hass and Ben Obamanu made plays in the second half but still find themselves in an uphill battle on a depth chart that already features T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Nate Burleson, Deion Branch and Deon Butler in the top four spots and promising wide-outs Courtney Taylor and Jordan Kent also fighting to make the team. Fullback David Kirtman showed good hands in taking in a pass from Teel, but currently sits behind Justin Griffith and Owen Schmitt on a team that will probably carry only two fullbacks. Even Teel, despite his performance, is going to have to make longer strides to fight off former Nevada QB Jeff Rowe for the #3 job. For now, however, they're all Seattle Seahawks and they're 1-0 in the preseason.
About the Author
Written by Dave Leonardis
Born and raised in New Jersey, I've been writing since I was 10 and blogging since I was 18. I'm a huge sports nerd, following football, baseball and basketball in particular in close detail. My style is very upfront. I don't pull punches and I'm not shy about criticizing anything I feel deserves a proper tongue-lashing. If you're looking for someone who says what he wants, when he wants, then look no further than this guy right here.