Six key takeaways from the first half of play in the Seahawks' preseason finale that has Seattle up 17-7 over the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field.
1. The Offense
- The Seahawks No. 1 offense hadn't scored a touchdown heading into tonight's game, but it only took two plays to break that drought. On Seattle's second play from scrimmage quarterback Russell Wilson hit rookie wideout Tyler Lockett in stride for a 63-yard score, with Lockett blowing by Raiders cornerback Keith McGill to make the grab and out-racing Raiders safety Larry Asante to the end zone. The first-quarter touchdown was Lockett's third 60-plus yard score of the preseason, having returned a kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown in the preseason opener against the Denver Broncos and brought back a punt 67 yards for a score this past Saturday against the San Diego Chargers.
- Wilson, right guard J.R. Sweezy, and left tackle Russell Okung were subbed out after the offense's first series, with R.J. Archer, Mark Glowinski, and Alvin Bailey taking their place. Archer finished the half 5-of-9 for 43 yards. KeaVon Milton (left tackle), Patrick Lewis (center), and Kristjan Sokoli (right tackle) also saw playing time in the first half.
- Christine Michael got the start at running back with Marshawn Lynch resting until the regular season and Robert Turbin nursing a high-ankle sprain. Michael finished the half with eight carries for a team-high 39 yards. Thomas Rawls was the first to see work behind Michael, finishing the half with two totes for 18 yards.
- Super Bowl XLIX standout wide receiver Chris Matthews got his first snaps since the preseason opener, returning from an AC strain to his shoulder that had kept him out the past two games.
2. The Defense
- He was going up against mostly second- and third-stringers, but rookie defensive end Frank Clark made football look easy in the first half. With the Raiders backed up near their own end zone in the second quarter, Clark sacked and forced a fumble of quarterback Matt McGloin and Seattle defensive tackle Jordan Hill pounced on the loose ball for a touchdown, giving the Seahawks a 17-0 lead. Clark was active in the first quarter, too, recording a 5-yard tackle for loss as he exploded by Oakland offensive tackle Anthony Morris to meet running back Roy Helu in the backfield. Clark consistently found ways to pressure the quarterback throughout the half.
- There was no 'Not Expected to Play' list distributed by either team prior to tonight's game, but almost the entire No. 1 defense was on the sideline to start, giving way to plenty of snaps for Seattle's second-string. Dion Bailey, who started games at strong safety the past couple weeks for the yet-to-report Kam Chancellor, was in the starting lineup again against the Raiders.
3. The Special Teams
- Less than a week after nailing a 60-yard game-winning field goal against the Chargers in San Diego, Hauschka hit a 55-yard field goal in the first quarter, giving the Seahawks a 10-0 lead.
- Lockett was rested in both the kick- and punt-return game, giving opportunities to fellow wideouts B.J. Daniels first, and Kevin Smith, second.
- The Seahawks special teams unit was introduced over the loud speakers at CenturyLink Field, the first time I've seen that in my years around the team. During the regular season, it's the offense and defense that traditionally get the pregame love.
4. Familiar Faces
Ken Norton Jr., Seattle's linebackers coach from 2010-14, took the Raiders' defensive coordinator job this past offseason. He took time to visit with several Seahawks coaches, players, and staff before the game, posing for a photo with the Seahawks linebackers, Marshawn Lynch, and former Seahawk and Super Bowl XLVIII MVP Malcolm Smith, who signed with the Raiders in free agency this offseason. Norton Jr. got his start in coaching under Pete Carroll at the University of Southern California in 2004 after a standout career as an NFL linebacker that saw him voted to the Pro Bowl three times, named first-team All-Pro once, and win three Super Bowl titles.
5. Seahawks Host Honorary Captain
Trey Junkin, who played tight end and long snapper for the Seahawks from 1990-95, joined Oakland natives Marshawn Lynch and Ryan Murphy, as well as linebackers Bobby Wagner and Brock Coyle at midfield as an honorary captain ahead of kickoff. Junkin joined the Seahawks at the 50-yard-line as part of the team's 40th anniversary celebration, an exercise that will continue with other Seahawks alumni during home games throughout the regular season.
6. The 12 Flag Raiser
Norm Evans, Seattle's original starter at right tackle and the very first Seahawks "Man of the Year," raised the 12 Flag in the south end zone prior to kickoff. Evans, a two-time Pro Bowler who played in three Super Bowls over his 14-year career, was a Seahawks' offensive captain through the first three years of the franchise's existence (1976-78).