The Seahawks did not score an offensive touchdown in a 25-19 preseason loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night.
However, the first-team offense was promising, the starting run defense looked strong and the special teams units were solid. But a handful of injuries - including to two key rookies - put a damper on the performance.
Safety DeShawn Shead delivered the only touchdown of the night for Seattle on an 88-yard interception return score. Shead hauled in an errant pass from Sean Mannion intended for receiver Chad Beebe and outraced everyone for the score.
But of course, the results of preseason games don't really matter. The evaluation opportunities for players fighting to make the roster are perhaps the most important aspect. So with that in mind, here are some of the key takeaways from Sunday night's game.
Poona Ford was everywhere.
Second-year defensive tackle Poona Ford was the star of the show Sunday night.
Ford made just three tackles but was constantly wrecking things at the line of scrimmage for the Vikings' first-team offense. He blew up a run in the backfield from Alexander Mattison that resulted in a fumble. However, the referees called the play dead for forward progress and Minnesota maintained possession.
Ford did not play in the team's first preseason game against Denver last week. However, he will be an important part of Seattle's defensive front with Jarran Reed out six games due to suspension.
First-team offense looked very encouraging.
It lasted all of two series but there was plenty of encouraging signs for the starting offense in their first action of the preseason.
Chris Carson gained 25 yards on five carries and the offensive line did a great job of protecting Russell Wilson in the pocket. On both roll outs and straight drop backs, Wilson had plenty of time to throw the football downfield.
"I thought the first unit did a nice job," Carroll said. "We did a nice job with tempo. I thought Russell was moving the club pretty well. We missed a couple third down throws that would have made a big difference in their outing but they did move the football well. The first line protected well, did all the things we hoped to do. Just getting started. This was the first outing for those guys and that was a positive."
Wilson finished with 82 yards on 6 of 9 passing before exiting the game in the second quarter. If anything, it was a couple minor misfires from Wilson that ultimately derailed possible touchdown opportunities. Wilson sailed a pass just high to Jaron Brown on a third down, skipped one just low to Carson on another third down, and missed Tyler Lockett coming wide open in the end zone before throwing a checkdown instead.
But that's not completely unexpected in the first game action of the year. All in all, it was a really strong first outing from the group.
Seahawks top three draft picks all dealing with injuries.
The top three draft picks for the Seahawks are now all dealing with injuries.
Wide receiver DK Metcalf did not play Sunday night due to a knee injury that will require surgery early this week. Additionally, safety Marquise Blair left the game after experiencing back spams in the second half. They join defensive end L.J. Collier on the injured list, who has been sidelined the last two weeks with a sprained ankle.
Blair appeared to make a bust in coverage on the Vikings' first touchdown, eschewing cover duties on tight end Irv Smith Jr. when he seemingly should have been in man coverage against him. Blair was ultimately carted into the locker room from the sidelines in the second half.
"He had back spasms in the second half so I don't know what that means yet. He hadn't played, his back got tight a little bit and it kept getting tighter and he couldn't go back," Carroll said.
Metcalf will miss some time as he recovers from the upcoming knee surgery. However, Carroll was optimistic he could still be ready for the starto fhte season.
"DK's got an injury to his knee that we found after a couple days. It happened a few days back," he said. There's something we're going to do some work on probably Tuesday and get him back in a hurry. Disappointed for him because he was off to a fantastic start but I don't think this is going to derail him for long. He does have to have some work done and we'll know more about that once we get back into town.
“The docs really have a clear look at it already on the MRI what it is and they think it’s a really quick recovery, likely, that still all has to happen. I think we're going to keep him in town and get the work done right away and be very optimistic about the way he can get back.”
Reserve guard Demetrius Knox also had to be carted off the field after grabbing for his right knee area in the fourth quarter.
"It looks like he's got a quad injury involved with the knee area. It was a nasty injury for him," Carroll said.
Second-team offensive line was a disaster.
While the first-team offense had plenty of bright spots, the second-team offense could barely snap the ball without issues.
Paxton Lynch was under duress from the moment he replaced Wilson at quarterback in the second quarter. Elijah Nkansah struggled at left tackle with holding penalties on both Nkansah and Marcus Martin setting the team back. Rashaad Penny had very little running room to work with and wasn't able to overcome it on his own, losing two yards on six total carries with the reserve line in front of him.
"He just couldn't get going. It's not... It had nothing to do with it. There were just plays where we had leakage and he couldn't get started. He needs to get rolling. ... Rashaad looked good on the screen. He just needs some space. We've got to block for him better than that. He didn't have a chance."
"We kind of got thin on our numbers in the offensive line here in the second grouping. Those guys had to play a lot of plays tonight. You could see we weren't quite as tight as we need to be and we didn't execute as well as we'd like to so I'm anxious to see how that looked on film."
Seattle's offense sputtered heavily once the starters left the game. The unit managed just 50 yards of total offense over the second and third quarters before finding some move room to move the ball in the final quarter of the game. Lynch played until taking a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit from Vikings cornerback Holton Hill in the fourth quarter. He completed 6 of 15 passes for 67 yards while under constant duress. He is undergoing concussion evaluations following the hit from Hill, which resulted in Hill's ejection.
Special teams seems to be in a good place.
Seeing that the offense didn't reach the end zone, Jason Myers had ample opportunity to get work in Sunday night.
Myers was 4 for 4 on field goal attempts from 20, 27, 33 and 52 yards. Additionally, Michael Dickson averaged 46.0 yards on three punts on the night, which included a big hit by rookie cornerback Ugo Amadi on returner Bisi Johnson.
Myers perfectly delivered each kickoff to the Vikings goal line to allow return opportunities to assess the team's coverage units as well.
It was a very solid performance for the special teams unit.
Photo Credit: MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 18: Ifeadi Odenigbo #95 and Armon Watts #96 of the Minnesota Vikings sack Paxton Lynch #2 of the Seattle Seahawks during the pre-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium on August 18, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)