August 24, 2018
The NFL’s third week of the preseason is underway as the Seattle Seahawks travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. We get another live-action look at a new offensive scheme, a revamped defense, an intriguing group of rookies and multiple position battles on both sides of the ball for the Seahawks.
After having only one possession in the first quarter (a three and out) Seattle’s first-team offense moved the ball well both on the ground and through the air. Russell Wilson went 11-21 for 118 yards and led the Seahawks to 13 points in his two and a half quarters of play. On a night where he was solid but not spectacular, Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota offense managed only six first half points after two missed field goals and a failed two-point conversion.
A Kyle Sloter one-yard touchdown pass for the Vikings to Jake Wieneke with 9:13 remaining tied the game up at 13. On the ensuing drive, Seahawks’ rookie QB Alex McGough threw a beautiful back shoulder fade to David Moore at the Vikings’ 16. Moore corralled the pass, spun out of a tackle and ran it the rest of the way to the endzone for the 36-yard score, putting Seattle up 20-13.
With the ball back and just over two minutes left to go, Minnesota marched down the field before Erik Walden sacked Sloter on a third down at Seattle’s 25. One play later, Sloter found Chad Beebe slicing through the endzone for the score, bringing Minnesota within one. On the ensuing two-point attempt, Sloter hit Wieneke in the right flat, where he muscled through a couple of Seahawks to get the ball just inside the right pylon, putting the Vikings up 21-20 with 47 seconds left in the game.
Following the kickoff, Seattle drove down to their own 43 with two seconds left on the clock. The Seahawks almost pulled it off, as a McGough hail-Mary pass was caught by Caleb Scott at Minnesota’s two-yard line as time expired.
Russell Wilson and the first-team offense:
The starting offense had the ball for only a minute and a half in the first quarter as they went three and out on their opening drive. When they next got the ball (in the second quarter), Wilson and co. came back strong. On a 12-play, 75-yard drive, Seattle answered Minnesota’s first touchdown with a Chris Carson scoring run from six yards out. The ‘Hawks starting o-line held up strong, opening up several big running lanes and keeping Wilson clean. Seattle’s running backs averaged 4.9 yards per carry in the first half. The majority of the Seahawks’ number one offense played into the third quarter.
CHRIS CARSON HYPE HYPE HYPE pic.twitter.com/4m5a1GZDAN
— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) August 25, 2018
In what is becoming a recurring theme this preseason, the Seahawks’ starting defense struggled to get off the field in the early going. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings’ offense converted three of four third-downs on their 15-play opening drive before having to settle for a missed 42-yard field goal attempt. Cousins sliced up the Seahawks defense again on their second drive, leading the Vikes 97 yards on a 13-play drive before Latavius Murray punched it in from the one. Seattle’s D finally stiffened up on Minnesota’s third possession, forcing a three-and-out and a punt. Two missed Viking field goal attempts led to just six first-half points for Minnesota. All things considered, a good bend-but-don’t-break effort by the Seahawks defense in the first half.
WR Keenan Reynolds: Filling in for the injured Doug Baldwin, the former Navy quarterback made the most of his opportunities on the night. Had two receptions for first downs out of the slot and a 32-yard kick return.
— NFL (@SEA_NFL) August 25, 2018
T Germain Ifedi: After struggling mightily last week, Ifedi looked much better tonight. Had a key seal-block on Carson’s second-quarter TD run.
WR Brandon Marshall: The veteran free-agent addition made his first reception of the preseason in the second quarter. Used his size to his advantage as he made three grabs for 34 yards.
LB Barkevious Mingo: The Seahawks’ starting strong-side linebacker picked up an early QB-pressure, was strong in pass-coverage and delivered a monster hit on a second-quarter kickoff.
— NFL (@SEA_NFL) August 25, 2018
WR Amara Darboh: The 2017 third-round draft pick missed his second straight preseason game with an injury. With Marcus Johnson, David Moore, Keenan Reynolds and Brandon Marshall all playing well on the night, Darboh’s chances of sticking on the roster are fading fast.
TE Nick Vannett: After an impressive showing in Seattle’s first preseason game, Vannett was practically invisible tonight, finishing without a reception on one target.
QB Austin Davis: This was the third straight game Davis has struggled to move the offense. Completed two of three passes for -1 yards.
Other news and notes:
Vikings’ RB Dalvin Cook returned to game action for the first time since tearing his ACL last season, played one series…Seahawks’ safety Tedric Thompson left the field early in the first quarter with what appears to be a shoulder injury…Newly signed Seattle DE/LB Erik Walden picked up two sacks…Seahawks’ rookie punter Michael Dickson averaged 53.6 yards on five punts, with two downed inside the Vikings five-yard line…Seattle WR David Moore had a 75-yard punt return called back by a holding call on Jarran Reed
The Seahawks seemingly out-played the Vikings for the majority of the game, but the cards just didn’t fall their way. Despite the loss, there’s still plenty of reason for optimism in Seattle. The starting offensive line and the run game were impressive against a Vikings’ defensive unit that played 10 of their 11 starters into the second half. The Seahawks’ defense was able to get pressure on Cousins, delivered some big hits and held Minnesota to just 27 yards on 13 carries. Overall, Seattle played with a lot of energy on the night and there were several standout performances from some young players and veterans alike.