Even though preseason games are meaningless when it comes to wins and losses, head coach Pete Carroll had to be encouraged by what he saw from both the first-team offense and first-team defense.
Not only did quarterback Russell Wilson and Co. throw up 31 unanswered points, but defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s defense sacked quarterback Jay Cutler twice, intercepted him once and held Chicago’s first-team offense scoreless.
That’s an impressive feat considering the Bears finished the 2013 regular season with the eighth-best offense in the NFL. Yet the Seahawks accumulated the best defense in the league last year, so them shutting out the Bears’ first-team offense should’t be that surprising.
What was surprising was the fact that All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch looked liked he was in midseason form. Despite only carrying the ball on three separate occasions, the 28-year-old showed good vision, a quick first step and sufficient speed around the corner (especially on his seven-yard touchdown run).
As far as the rest of the Seahawks offense goes, Wilson looked to be in midseason form as well. On 20 pass attempts, he tallied 15 completions, two touchdowns, 202 yards through the air and a quarterback rating of 140.0.
However, Wilson couldn’t have put up the numbers he did without a little help from his wide receiving corps. Jermaine Kearse and Percy Harvin both brought their A-games on Friday night. Kearse exited the game with four catches for 63 yards, and Harvin concluded with a 20.3 yards-per-catch average on three receptions.
Seattle’s aerial attack was on fire. Aside from the eye-opening stat lines from Kearse and Harvin, Christine Michael and Doug Baldwin had their fair share of success as pass-catchers too.
Baldwin caught both of his targets, and Michael got loose out of the backfield. Clearly, it’s easy to see why the Seahawks were 10-of-14 on third down and 4-of-5 in the red zone. Really, the only mistake the Seahawks offense made as a whole was quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s fourth-quarter interception.
Defensively, the Seahawks had numerous standout performers, like the offensive side of the ball did. Nevertheless, the defensive MVP of Friday night’s game was cornerback Jeremy Lane.
No, Lane doesn’t get the same kind of notoriety as Richard Sherman or Byron Maxwell. But, he will eventually if he keeps playing like he did against the Bears. By the time the game was all said and done, he had amassed five solo tackles, three passes defended and one interception.
Outside of Lane, linebacker Heath Farwell and defensive end O’Brien Schofield both made a case for Seattle’s most outstanding performer on defense. Farewell was everywhere in the run game and even managed to knock the quarterback around a bit (one sack, one quarterback hit).
Schofield, on the other hand, strictly harassed Chicago’s signal-callers. He recorded a quarterback sack, a tackle for loss and three quarterback hits.
I bet Coach Carroll is glad Schofield failed his physical with the New York Giants this past offseason. If he hadn’t, the Seahawks would have never had the chance to re-sign him.
In all, Seattle looked like the most polished team in the NFL on Friday night. This, in turn, means the Seahawks are easily repeat favorites in 2014 and the league’s ultimate juggernaut.
Shoot, I would even go as far as to say there isn’t a team in Seattle’s class right now. Yes, the Denver Broncos have looked sharp during preseason play as well, but their defense still has a long way to go until it measures up to the one in Seattle.
By Tyson Langland , Aug 23, 2014