The Seahawks came into Saturday's game against the NFL's biggest punching bag, the Kansas City Chiefs, looking to accomplish three objectives: establish a pass rush, get better production from the running game, and for God's sake, don't get hurt. They were mostly successful on all three fronts. Here's a look back:
With new acquisition, running back Edgerrin James, watching from the sidelines, the Seahawks' first team offense picked apart a suspect Chiefs defense with surgical precision. The star of the show was QB Matt Hasselbeck. After his first pass was deflected and picked off by Brandon Flowers for a 28-yard touchdown, Hasselbeck orchestrated the next two scoring drives which were capped off by touchdown passes to T.J. Houshmanzadeh and John Carlson. Hasselbeck finished the game with 216 yards on 19 of 25 attempts, the most impressive which came on a botched hand-off that turned into an NBA chest pass from Hasselbeck to Houshmanzadeh to convert on third down.
The running game turned its best performance of the '09 season(which, granted, isn't saying much), despite not having James in uniform. Starter Julius Jones notched 57 yards on 15 carries and Justin Forsett added 45 yards on 12 carries. Both men suffered minor injuries, however, with Jones bruising his shin and Forsett twisting an ankle.
Those injuries were nothing compared to the world of hurt the Seahawk defense put on Chiefs QB Matt Cassel. On the third play from scrimmage, Cassel was pounded by defensive tackle Brandon Mebane and was down on the field clutching his left leg. Sunday's MRI showed that Cassell has a sprained ankle and sprained MCL and is likely to miss 2-4 weeks. That wouldn't the only shining moment for this defense. Preseason star Nick Reed notched another sack, this time getting ahold of backup Matt Gutierrez. The Seahawks would pick off Gutierrez twice, as the defense as a whole only allowed a field goal after Flowers' opening pick-6.
The team finishes the preseason at home against Oakland on Thursday and the starters aren't expected to see much, if any, action against the Raiders as they rest up for the opener on September 13th against St. Louis. That could open up an opportunity for sixth-round pick, quarterback Mike Teel. Backup Seneca Wallace suffered a groin injury in the fourth quarter against the Chiefs and with him down and Hasselbeck not expected to see much time, that could open the door for a showdown between Teel and fellow QB Jeff Rowe for the third QB spot. The team could also use Thursday's finale to give Edge some work as they try to bolster a lackluster running game. One man who really needs a big day will be wideout Deion Branch, who managed to finally get his name on the stat sheet with a ho-hum two catches for 13 yards.
We'll have more on Branch in the coming days, but for now, the Seahawks are 3-0 and look to clean up the rest of the AFC West this Thursday.
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.