The Seattle Seahawks hosted their former AFC West division rival Oakland Raiders last Thursday in their annual preseason meetup. I find it interesting that all of the preseason games this year were against our former AFC West foes. I guess it keeps travel to a minimum for the teams. None of those teams are on the regular season schedule this year, either, so it is good to see teams we won't be seeing later.
With it being the final preseason game, both teams were expected to rest their starters, and for the most part, they did. A lot of concern had been raised by the 12s because the starting offense hadn't scored a touchdown during the regular season.
So the Seahawks did send out their starting offense for the first series, which lasted all of two plays. Russell Wilson hooked up with rookie phenom Tyler Lockett on a 63-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the series, and the work for the majority of the first-teamers was over for the evening. The Seahawks were staked to a 7-0 lead that they never looked back from.
The rest of the game was talent evaluation for the roster trimming that occurred on Saturday. Another rookie continued to make his presence felt. Frank Clark tallied a sack and forced fumble on a play in the end zone that Jordan Hill recovered for a touchdown, staking the hometown twelve to a 17-0 lead.
Backup receiver/quarterback/return man B.J. Daniels showed well running the read-option as quarterback, and secured a spot on the roster with his versatility. He launched a perfectly-placed pass to the corner of the end zone that Kasen Williams made a beautiful catch on, putting the Seahawks back in command 24-14.
Daniels also led a drive late in the game to salt away the victory. Rookie Thomas Rawls finished out the Seahawks scoring with a 6-yard touchdown scamper. Rawls led Seahawks rushers with 87 yards on 11 carries, earning him a roster spot after Saturday's cuts.
But the most impressive showing in the game, at least for me, was the Seahawks defensive line. They hounded Raiders running backs all game. At one point in the third quarter, Oakland had a negative tally for rushing yards (-1). They finished with 27 rushing yards for the game.
The depth along the line this year is amazing, and I can't wait to see what these guys will do when it is for real. The Seahawks finished third in rushing defense last season, and I expect more of the same this year. And with the added speed of Clark mixed into the pass rush, I completely expect the Seahawks to lead the league in fewest yards allowed passing. The line will disrupt the passing game to that extent, and that is what this team's defense is based upon.
The final score of 31-21 really mattered not. It was good to watch the team dominate an opponent like they should, even if it was primarily reserve players in action. That just means this team is deep, as they have been for several years. I expect nothing less. And that isn't because I'm a Seahawks fan, it's because I know what I see in this team, and they are primed for another run.
Of course, things don't always work out the way you want, and the ball takes some funny bounces. But if things stay fairly true to course, I am anticipating another run late into the playoffs, hopefully in the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field. Nothing would make me happier, as a fan.
Next week it's for real. Our boys head off to St. Louis, which hasn't exactly been kind to them the past few seasons. I anticipate head coach Pete Carroll will have them focused and on-task.
It's time for the 2015 regular season! It's time to GO TO THE GAME!
12s returned to CenturyLink Field for the final preseason game before the 2015 regular season and were already in mid-season form.