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Vikings shut down Seahawks 20-7

Posted By Erik Olsoy On Aug 21 2011 @ 4:31 pm In Seattle Seahawks | No Comments

Despite running 81 plays on offense to the Vikings’ 56, the Seahawks couldn’t find a way to score many points against the Vikings, in what was a frustrating second game of the preseason for Seattle.  Donovan McNabb was 6-8 for 81 yards to lead the Vikings, who didn’t have the best offensive performance themselves.

The first points of the game came when Seahawks QB Tarvaris  Jackson’s pass was tipped, intercepted, and returned for a touchdown.  The Vikings hit two field goals in the second quarter to stretch the lead to 13-0, which was how the score would stay until the fourth quarter. Charlie Whitehurst finally got the Seahawks on the board with a pass to Anthony McCoy in the back corner of the end zone, but 13-7 was as close as the Hawks would get. Tristan Davis broke a 35 yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the Vikings.

Before the game, I wanted to focus on the performance of several starting offense players for Seattle.  My analysis: same as last week.   Jackson had no time to throw again, and was constantly running, dodging, or getting crushed.  It’s unrealistic to expect much of him when he gets hit every play.  He didn’t look great, but he did complete over half his passes despite the pass rush, and made some nice runs again this week.  I don’t know if he’s the answer at quarterback – this is just preseason – but I still haven’t seen enough to make my own personal judgment.  Seahawk quarterbacks were hit ten times by the Vikings and had eight passes deflected, while the Vikings quarterbacks were only hit three times and only had three passes deflected.  That disparity is what won them the game, in my opinion.

I also wanted to see more action from Marshawn Lynch this week.  He had 3 carries for 2 yards, but did have a couple of catches.  He, like Jackson, suffered from the Vikings’ ability to overwhelm the Seahawks’ young offensive line.  The Seahawks’ running game accounted for 150 yards in total, and the backups were able to get the ball moving a bit better, but it was a little frustrating to see Lynch, Jackson, and the starters unable to do much on offense again.

Charlie Whitehurst lead the team on their only scoring drive this week, after leading the team for two last week.   Whitehurst moving the team is a good sign, though he was playing against backups.  He might end up being the starter at some point this year.  The quarterback job appears to be Jackson’s to lose, but if he keeps attempting 21 passes and only throwing for 75 yards on those passes, he will lose the job, and Whitehurst needs to be ready to step in.

Surprising rookie quarterback Josh Portis was not as accurate this week as he was last week, only hitting on 2 of 9 passes for 14 yards.  However, he ran for 46 yards on 4 carries, and has shown amazing athleticism for a quarterback.  He looks like he could have a nice NFL career.  He needs more time to learn how to make the proper reads in an NFL passing game and to adjust to the speed of NFL defenses, but with a few years to develop, he might be a starting quarterback.

One thing that I did not particularly like was the look of the passing game.  Yesterday, of 27 passes the Seahawks completed, 12 were to tight ends and fullbacks.  Yes, it’s the preseason.  Yes, the team is still trying to figure out who to cut.  Still, I’m not a fan of the passing game that averaged 3.7 yards per passing attempt yesterday.  Last season, 17 NFL teams had quarterbacks that averaged more than 7 yards per attempt.  I hope the Hawks improve their passing game, but have doubts that they will unless their offensive line can slow down opposing pass-rushes.

The defense looked alright yesterday.  McNabb did go 6-8 for 81 yards against them, which is not a great sign, but they held the Vikings to just 13 points on offense after holding the Chargers to 17 points last week.  Adrian Peterson had six carries for just 16 yards, and with the exception of a couple of fairly long runs, the Vikings running attack was not impressive. Despite looking leaky in the secondary, I think it’s safe to say the Seahawk defense is closer to being regular-season ready than the Seahawk offense.

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Earl Thomas bringing down Adrian Peterson.

A 20-7 loss at home to a team that probably won’t make the playoffs was a disappointing result for the Hawks and their fans.  The good news is this is just the preseason and doesn’t count for anything.  The Hawks still have two more preseason games to get things figured out.  The only thing that’s left to do is move on to preparing for the Broncos next week.  Hopefully our offense gets on track and we start putting up some points.

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