PITTSBURGH--The Seattle Seahawks kicked off the 2022 NFL Preseason on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers, falling 32-25 on a go-ahead Steelers touchdown with just seconds to play. Here are six rapid reactions to the first preseason matchup for Seattle.
1. No Stopping Poona Ford
Seahawks defensive tackle Poona Ford was all over the field Saturday, playing a majority of snaps for Seattle in the first half on defense as well as special teams. Last March, Seattle extended Ford, and over the course of the last two seasons he's combined for 93 tackles and 4 sacks.
Ford was the Seahawks best interior defender Saturday, making several plays in run support and pressuring Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph several times. In Seattle's new 3-4 base defensive look, Ford showcased his versatility as a run-stopper and pass-rusher.
2. Ladies and Gents, Travis Homer
Fourth-year Seahawks running back Travis Homer made the most of his opportunities today, putting on a balanced offensive display for Seattle. In the first half, Homer led Seattle in both rushing and receiving yards. On the ground, Homer averaged 10 yards per carry, with 4 carries for 41 yards in the first half. As a receiving back, Homer caught two receptions for 33 yards.
As Homer looks to earn more of a workload this season, a strong preseason opener is promising as Seattle looks forward to Preseason Week 2 against the Chicago Bears at Lumen Field.
3. Go DeeJay, That's My DeeJay
Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas was the workhorse back for Seattle against the Steelers, leading the team in carries on the ground. Dallas averaged over 6 yards per carry for Seattle, bouldering through Pittsburgh's defense up the gut. With his bruising style, Dallas wasted very little movement trying to shake defenders, opting to barrel through the gaps, forcing several broken tackles. Dallas led the way early in the fourth, catching a receiving touchdown to put Seattle in position to tie at 25 with a successful 2-point conversion completion to running back Travis Homer. Dallas is known for providing a spark for Seattle with his explosive running style, and he didn't disappoint Saturday. On the day, Dallas finished with 10 carries for 73 yards on the ground, and 1 reception for 17 yards and a touchdown.
Dallas has been lined up at kick returner this summer, splitting reps with rookie running back Kenneth Walker III. Dallas returned two kicks for Seattle, averaging over 20 yards per return.
4. Michael Dickson: Mr. Reliable
With several starters out for Seattle in the preseason opener, the offense showed spurts of promise throughout. But Seahawks punter Michael Dickson managed to flip the field for Seattle several times with multiple booming punts. Dickson averaged more than 47 yards per punt, with a high for the night of 61-yards.
Of Dickson's five punts, two were downed inside-the-20, as Dickson did his best to help the young Seahawks defense.
5. Vi Jones: Leading The Way
With Seahawks star linebacker Jordyn Brooks sitting out today's contest, the depth of Seattle's linebacker corps was asked to step up in his absence. Rookie linebacker Vi Jones made the most of his chances, tying for first in solo tackles (5), along with a sack and tackle for loss. The former North Carolina State Wolfpack star brought down Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett for a big sack late in the contest, nearly causing a safety.
Jones showcased his speed and athleticism, taking good angles to fly downhill in run support, and chasing around backs in the passing game. With a solid performance in his first preseason contest, Jones could be a player to keep an eye on next week against the Chicago Bears.
6. Oh Boye: Promising performance for Boye Mafe
Seahawks rookie edge rusher Boye Mafe showed out in his first preseason performance, racking up two sacks, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.
Mafe gave the Steelers offensive line problems for the majority of the night, with several pressures on Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett. Mafe also recorded a special teams tackle.
The Seahawks have taken the field in Pittsburgh to play their first game of the preseason vs. the Steelers.