Trevone Boykin Hail Mary on final play of gamepic.twitter.com/TlzyJoHUyH
— Football Is Life (@FB1SLIFE) August 13, 2016
This was most Seahawky pre-season game you’re ever going to see.
A slow start, falling behind, dead and buried. Then winners, 17-16.
Trevone Boykin’s Hail Mary connection to Tanner McEvoy provided an unlikely victory. The celebrations told you everything you need to know about this team.
Earl Thomas lived every tackle during the fourth quarter of what looked to be a 16-6 pre-season game. Pete Carroll celebrated a late third down stop by Steve Longa like this was the 2014 NFC Championship game all over again.
When Troymaine Pope converted the two-point conversion after McEvoy’s dramatic TD, the entire roster rushed the field.
It’d be foolish to say none of this actually matters. It does. It reinforces one of Carroll’s more famous mantra’s.
‘It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish’
The Seahawks were able to turn a tepid, lifeless pre-season game into an exciting thriller. And while this victory won’t count directly towards any possible Super Bowl run — Carroll will use this to further emphasise his memorable saying.
This is who they are. This is their identity. They finish.
And after all the drama of last summer with holdouts, finger pointing and Super Bowl hangovers — this group were a picture of togetherness when they collectively stormed the field to celebrate this win.
So who impressed?
Arguably the star turn came from Cassius Marsh. He shone playing as an edge rusher on a day when Seattle’s pressure was middling overall. He had a nice rush in the second quarter to impact the quarterback for a splash play. In the second half he showed well on a RB pursuit from the backside.
Marsh smashed Kevin Hogan after disengaging from a blocking TE with 10:03 left in the game. On the very next play, Hogan forced a pass that was picked off. Even on that play Marsh was in the QB’s line of vision rushing the interior.
Late in the third quarter he worked a nice move across from Frank Clark (both pressured the QB). Marsh is quietly a brilliant, twitchy athlete. His short shuttle (4.25) and three cone (7.08) were superb for his size at the 2014 combine and he ran a nice split. He’s always had the athletic quality to be an impact player in the NFL.
Tyvis Powell will get a lot of attention after a solid special teams display and the pick in the second half. It was a major shock that he went undrafted. His ability to contribute on special teams is the key but he was used all over the field too — lining up at corner at one point. He has a good chance to make the final roster.
Another rookie DB — DeAndre Elliott — had a sound tackling performance and is worth persevering with (probably on the practise squad this year).
Boykin looked really sharp playing with a quicker tempo at the end of each half. That’s what he’s used to at TCU. That said, he looks like a natural thrower and made some nice catchable passes downfield. He needs to avoid throwing off the back foot when pressed. As a developmental backup QB — Boykin has a lot of potential.
McEvoy might struggle to make the final roster — but the two big catches he made on the key final drive were impressive. Especially considering he’s learning yet another new role.
The starting offensive line was impressive — and the second group faired pretty well too. Justin Britt looks really comfortable at center which is great news. On one standout play he pulled from center and levelled a rusher from the left side. Bradley Sowell and Garry Gilliam played well at tackle against a good group of DE’s/OLB’s. This was refreshing to see and that line-up arguably warrants another viewing next week whether J’Marcus Webb is healthy or not.
Christine Michael has played well in pre-season before and not taken steps forward when it matters — but he looked superb here. He’s such a sudden, explosive running back. His vision will probably never get to a level where he can deliver on his massive potential — but on this evidence he needs to be getting some touches as the #2.
On the negative side — the starting defense struggled to make an impact in two series. That’s not a major concern in week one of the pre-season against an opponent that has troubled Seattle in the past.
Eric Pinkins had a big opportunity to impress at linebacker but sadly looked like a DB playing out of position — and not in a Deone Bucannon kind of way. On one good example he was a bit aggressive setting the edge and lost contain, meaning the gap discipline on the right side was totally out of whack and led to a big run. With Marsh playing predominantly the edge, this looks like Mike Morgan’s job to lose.
Jahri Evans will need time to get into shape but he didn’t look anywhere near his best today. With Mark Glowinski and Germain Ifedi looking so comfortable — he’s basically competing to be a competent backup.