Pre-season week 2 instant reaction vs Denver

The Seahawks didn’t outclass the Broncos, but made a series of big plays to deliver a one-side final score. Here’s some instant reaction…

– Benson Mayowa started with the first team defense tonight. Unfortunately, he didn’t have much of an early impact. As soon as Denver brought out the #2 unit on offense, he sacked Brock Osweiler. It’ll be tough to keep Mayowa with the depth at defensive end. You’d keep him if you could, but there’s going to need to be a sacrifice or two. I think he needs two big performances in the next two pre-season games to make it. But credit him for his efforts so far.

– O’Brien Schofield had a nice game and also saw time early. Like Mayowa he didn’t really have much success until Denver’s #1’s left the field. He had a sack fumble on Osweiler and blew up the right tackle on the following drive. He’ll provide nice depth for this team.

– The pass rush on the whole was frustrating against Peyton Manning. So was third down defense. These are the same trends that have dogged Seattle throughout the Pete Carroll era. Everyone plays a basic defense in pre-season to avoid giving much away and the Seahawks were lacking a lot of starting talent. Yet the familiarity with these issues will cause some concern.

– The background guitar chugging on the Seahawks broadcast is very annoying.

– Seattle’s special teams play is not annoying.

– Is Antoine Winfield in trouble? He has to be. Walter Thurmond looked sharper today and made a nice breakup in the slot on third down. Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane will also surely make the team. Unless the Seahawks are going to carry an extra corner, which seems unlikely, I think they might lean towards all the youthful talent they have. Winfield had to stand out in the slot and he couldn’t stop Wes Welker making a routine score in the first half. Not that covering a Manning-to-Welker connection is easy.

– One player who is absolutely safe is Michael Robinson. In fact, I don’t know why it’s even a discussion among some fans that he’s in trouble. There is surely no way they’re cutting an experienced cog like that to trust a rookie like Spencer Ware blocking for Lynch/Wilson. It’s not happening. Forget cap savings, it’s just not that vital that you cut Robinson. For me they’re trying Ware, Derrick Coleman and Phil Bates in multiple roles because they’re fighting for one spot on the roster and it’s about seeing who is the most versatile. Ware wins this battle for me, with Coleman and Bates making the practise squad.

– Coleman had a sloppy game after a good performance last week. He dropped an easy third down completion early in the second half and didn’t get much push as a runner.

– Michael Bennett looked great again. Relentless, intense. He’s going to be an asset.

– Jordan Hill had a really nice game against the run. We already know he can offer a pass rush. For me has a significant edge over the other defensive tackles to start next to Brandon Mebane.

– Heath Farwell, after forcing the fumble that led to Brandon Browner’s 106 yard score, chased down Manning and forced a throw out of bounds on the next defensive snap.

– Russell Wilson over-shot a few passes and didn’t look completely comfortable. The broadcasters mentioned he was trying to fire earlier to the open man. I hope he doesn’t compromise accuracy and try to force things too much as a consequence. Erratic is probably the best description of his display tonight because there was good work too. Wilson is probably working already on improving for next week.

– I want Alan Bradford to make the team because I can’t consider the thought of him playing for a NFC West rival.

– Alvin Bailey played guard. Interesting. Is he a possible starter after taking some educational snaps at left tackle last week? It might be too early.

– I really like Ty Powell’s potential. He had a great sack disengaging twice and keeping his feet moving.

– Michael Brooks had another good game. He’s showing more than Jesse Williams, who hasn’t done anything so far in the two games.

– Stephen Williams and Jermaine Kearse are making this team at receiver.


  1. Colin

    Some of my conclusions:

    I wasn’t particularly happy with our starting LB’s in run support. I thought they did a poor job filling on run plays when the defensive line did a good job creating confusion through their penetration. Too many times they allowed the running back to gain 4 or 5 yards after stopping and shifting/cutting back when tackles were there to be made.

    Earl missed a pivotal chance to force a 3rd and long with a simple tackle. Better now than in September I guess.

    Robert Turbin just doesn’t possess the physicality you’d expect from a back like him. He was brought down too easily at times. Perhaps it’s unfair to criticize considering he backs up the hardest back to tackle in the NFL.

    Russell Wilson threw some passes too high, as noted, and it seems he’s had issues with that dating back to Wisconsin (I believe that anyway). Not terribly concerned, but it has happened before and it’s something that needs cleaned up.

    Paul McQuistan is looking like he could easily be replaced by Carpenter if he ever gets healthy. Speaking of which, if he spend another year injury plagued, I think you have to bid farewell. Can’t be spending valuable money on someone who can’t stay on the field.

    The pass rush was, again, non existent, but that can be forgiven. It’s hard enough to get good pass rush on Peyton Manning, and without Clemons, Irvin or Avril that could be a tough challenge. I’m not too concerned. Yet.

    I am concerned about who is going to play next to Brandon Mebane and how they are going to do against the run. This could really be an issue.

    Overall, the team played like they had studs and both sides of the ball, but had some minor issues that continued to plague them.

  2. Bruce M.

    I thought Russell looked out of sorts all night. Missed high and long on a few throws, handed off on a couple read options when it seemed clear as day he should keep (although maybe he was told not to keep, no matter what). Somewhat shaky overall, a little reminiscent of the first quarter of last year.

    Some good plays, too, so not all bad. Just not up to his late season standards from last year.

    We still can’t reliably rush the passer against a number 1 offense, if the first two games are any indication.

    Chancellor is a true physical force back there at SS.

    • Rob Staton

      I suspect Wilson was told not to keep on the read option plays. The fourth down being a key example – it was Wilson’s all the way and he still handed off. Not worth the injury risk.

      • Charlie

        Wilson throws for 67% completion, 127 yds at a 10 YPA and 2 TDs…in one half. And we’re saying he looked out of sorts? Gimme a break.

        • Rob Staton

          I said it was an erratic performance.

          If we want to just look at the box score and discuss the game, then we can also say the pass rush is great because we had a few sacks and Denver only scored 10 points. Nobody is arguing Russell Wilson has a problem. Nobody is making a big drama out of the Denver game. On the night he had a few over-throws and a few good plays. And there’s nothing wrong with pointing that out.

          Let’s not get into a situation where discussing Russell’s display in anything other than the most positive light is considered sacrilege.

          • Charlie

            I don’t disagree with you on the point of heaping praise based purely on stats, but explain how a performance is considered erratic in terms of accuracy when he completes 67% at 10ypa. I watched the game too, and two of the throws he missed could arguably be the receivers fault; If you watch the second willson pass, Willson hesitates when Russell is scrambling and looks like hes gonna run towards the endzone, then changes his mind and runs toward the sideline, Russell throws like he thought Willson was running towards the endzone. If he completes that pass, hes now 9/12. Would that have changed whether it was erratic or not? I don’t really disagree with your statement, but missing 4 passes, and being “out of sorts all night” is completely different, although those weren’t your words so I shouldn’t have responded to your comment.

            • Rob Staton

              Exactly, they weren’t my words. Again we can talk about stats but there will a couple of throws not tallied due to flags against Seattle that were also off-target. If we want to box score scout, then yes the stats look great. But it was an erratic display for me. It doesn’t mean anything in the context of the season, it’s just a review of a one off game.

              • Charlie

                Whether you like it or not stats are a measuring stick for level of play, that being said I’m well aware that context is extremely important in terms of understanding what they mean, and as I stated above I watched the game…not just the stat sheet. You’ve said before you wish for a format that we can all civilally bring our opinions to the table, and ive done so. I asked for a clarification on your statement of erratic, because in my opinion, the two misses on rookie receivers that were called back due to penalties can arguably be considered a wash when you factor in two misses that were arguably the receivers fault; the second miss to Willson, and the one to arceto Clark that was one of the two penalties brought back. If you don’t want to count the arceto Clark one as on the receiver, then I give you 8/13, which would still be 61%, and still in the golden completion percentage range. When you finally factorin the YPA, which is the biggest contextual piece of completion percentage, is argue he had a very good game, especially since from.what I remember, there was very little YAC. The insinuation that I’m box score scouting is a bit insulting. I might as well have said you were twitter scouting and didn’t watch the game either simply because I disagree.

                • Rob Staton

                  Woah, calm down Charlie. I haven’t insinuated that you didn’t watch the game or that you’re ‘box score’ scouting. I’m merely saying that the stats only tell so much in this particular instance. The examples I used were a couple of other throws that were not registered in the stat column due to penalties.

                  I stand by my comment it was an erratic display. I’m not the only one to share that opinion. Nobody is saying it was an awful performance, we’re merely saying that for a guy that has been Mr. Consistency in his career, the number of over throws in this game was surprising. For me that’s stating the obvious. But it’s just how I saw the game.

                  • Charlie

                    Nobody is freaking out here, but responding twice to my points with “box-score scouting” is somewhat of an insinuation.

                    • Rob Staton

                      And in both instances I was referring to the stats only telling us so much about this particular performance. It wasn’t anything personal.

  3. Jeff

    I think they carry 6 CBs, they did last year. Sherman, Browner, Thurmond, Winfield, Lane, and Maxwell all make it with Simon starting the year on the PUP list.

    10 DBs seem like the norm for Seattle.

  4. A. Simmons

    Jermaine Kearse doesn’t need to do much next week to make this team. Stephen Williams will make it, but may be the first guy gone when Percy returns. He isn’t showing up on special teams.

    Spencer Ware runs like a bull. I can see why they like him.

    I’m starting to think that the majority of Russell’s misses are going to be high. It’s a trait and not a negative. Some QBs miss low, some high, some throw behind, some throw too hard. Russell’s off throws are high. His stat line was 127 yards, 2 Tds, and 0 ints in a single half. I’ll take that every single week all year through the playoffs and Super Bowl. Russell played extremely well. Those stats for a full game on a weekly basis would make him a top 5 QB.

    I hope we keep Brandon Browner. I love this guy as a player. He brings such a physicality to the secondary that only Kam comes close to matching. I don’t think a DB in this league can strip a ball as well as Browner. The guy’s strength is incredible for a DB. I’m going to miss this guy on our team if we let him go. I hope Schneider finds a way to keep him. B.B. is a baller. The secondary won’t seem the same without him.

    I hope they get the center of the defensive line stouter. We are getting pushed around. I don’t like the look of that at all.

    I can’t judge the pass rush by this week. Peyton is one of the least sacked QBs in NFL history. No one in the game reads and defeats pressure better than Manning. We held the guy to 7 points. 14 points even if they do score that TD. We won’t be playing Manning every week thankfully. I hate how fast he gets rid of the ball. We have a better chance of sacking Rodgers or Brady than Manning.

    Overall, a fun game to watch. I love that our 3rd and 4th stringers play jacked up to the end of the game.

    I see why Ken Norton Jr loves Allen Bradford. “Allen, bring me his head by any means necessary.” And you can see that Bradford tries to do it.

    • John_s

      Kearse has already made the team IMO. He’s the #4 WR. He can play all three spots, plays the 4 phases of special teams and Caroll loves him.

      What will be interesting is when Harvin comes back which WR does he replace on the 53? I’m assuming Harper makes the team as the 6th WR if they go 6. If they waive Harper I don’t see him getting through waivers.

      • Rob Staton

        For me it’s Stephen Williams who needs to show during the regular season. If he doesn’t, Harvin replaces him and Seattle looks at the draft for a big receiver.

        • SunPathPaul

          If Stephen Williams does produce this season, he seems primed to replace Rice next year due to Rice’s contract. I hope he does very well…

          I wish we could keep Chris Harper, but 53 is 53. It’s a shame that the NFL has a 53 man roster, YET only 45 suit up for games, and they haven’t adapted to the new styles and trends.

          I would like to see the NFL change the rules to allow the roster to be 56 or so, given the nuance of positions now, and let them ALL dress for games. It is absurd to pay players that aren’t allowed to play on game day, even when on the 53 man roster!

          Does anyone know WHY they only let 45 suit up???

          • Rob Staton

            I think there’s room for 6 receivers and that should allow them to red shirt Harper. Then when Percy returns (or if, he’s no lock to play this year) it’s decision time on who to cut. But I suspect Williams is the one in that scenario who would have to prove his worth in the games.

      • A. Simmons

        Harper is passing through the preseason without notice. That is not a good thing for a WR. If he wants a roster spot, he needs to step up. This team doesn’t care if someone picks up one of their draft picks on waivers. If they let Harper go, it means they have someone better at the position. As far as I’m concerned Harper needs to step up if he wants an NFL career. At the moment he is showing nothing worthy of keeping him on Seattle’s roster.

        • Rob Staton

          Again, the notion that Harper must step up right away I think is misleading. Not every rookie is going to blow it up. And sometimes you do need to plan ahead, not just judge the rookies who make an immediate impact. Jaye Howard was inactive most weeks last year and they didn’t cut him for a guy who was on the field. They were prepared to have patience with him. Harper is learning a very difficult position and might have little impact in year one. But just because a rookie doesn’t hit the ground running, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be cut.

  5. Unitas77

    What happens with Chris Harper?

    • Rob Staton

      I suspect they’ll find a way to keep him on the roster. Red shirt.

      • Coug1990

        If the Seahawks waive Harper, i do not think he gets picked up by another team. I think he ends up on the Seahawks practice squad.

        • Rob Staton

          There’s a lot of bad teams out there (eg Oakland) that could stash a guy like that. Remember, he’s a fourth round pick drafted by one of the most fashionable front offices in the NFL. They’re not going to be able to sneak Harper onto the PS. If Seattle keeps 6 wide receivers, and they almost certainly will, Harper makes it.

  6. SES

    R Sherman is certainty one of the best corners in the NFL. However, B Browner is an amazing play maker. We’ve seen it for three years now. Pete’s mantra of “It’s all about the ball”, well Browner gets it. How much would Da Bears love to have him in their secondary!

    Only two preseason games, both w/o Clem, Avril & Irvin, but third down drives me nuts. Welker had 10 for 130+. Winfield can’t feel safe, can he? (Not all his fault,, of course.)

    Would like to see S Williams against the Ones the next couple of weeks. He’s going to have to be a special receiver to make the 53, because he doesn’t offer much on ST.

    The Hawks have to find a way to keep Ware. I remember seeing him at LSU. My kind of RB.

    There seems to be some trade possibilities at RB & DB, maybe to bring in another TE. Any thoughts?

    • SunPathPaul

      We certainly have lots of depth at DB & RB – wonder if they can find a trade partner?

  7. MJ

    I think Turbin, over time, finds himself as the 4th option at RB. The guy cannot break a tackle and consistently trips over his own feet. Great tools, but it simply doesn’t translate. I’ve thought this for awhile (not a reaction to last night), but Ware will eventually become the RB in the 4th Quarter who kills the clock. The guy is so underrated, it’s not even funny. He’s not fast, but he is very quick, decisive, and probably even more violent than Lynch. Lynch is a rare animal who can get out of a log jam, but I don’t think he can deliver the head on blow that Ware does. Ware’s pad level is simply text book. Such a fun runner to watch and fits the Seahawk profile like a glove. No way he is not on the 53.

    Sorry for the novel, but I have been wanting Ware to be a Hawk since his freshman year at LSU.

    • JW

      I tend to agree with this. In fact, when I was looking at RBs in the draft, I saw Knile Davis and thought Robert Turbin. Big, fast, muscular…but no balance after contact. And not real shifty, either. Could be off, but that’s what I see

    • A. Simmons

      I do like how Ware runs. He is a fearless, physical runner that punishes opponents. I think he needs to learn to read the zone system better, but once he can read it he is going to batter defenses.

  8. Brandon

    Man, Wilson ends up a 141 rating, which admittedly is not the best metric to use concerning quarterbacks, but reading through Seahawk nation you would have thought he barely completed a pass. I understand we have higher expectations for the young man, but nit-picking his good performance against what was one of the better defenses in the league last year leaves me scratching me scratching my head in confusion. The guy was playing light out’s, than was on the bench for another 45 minutes while the kick return TD and Browner fumble scoop occurred. He came back in, looked a little cold, but his decision making was still sharp, and he still ended up throwing another touchdown after that fact. There were certainly aspects of the Hawks game we should be rightly be concerned with from last night – run defense, pass rush, and penalties. Wilson, to me, didn’t seem like one of our problem spots.

    • Colin

      There’s a difference between saying it could be better and it’s a problem. Russell Wilson is not a problem, it’s just that there were plays to be made out there that should be made on a regular basis. His throwing high repeatedly falls in the “could do better” box.

    • A. Simmons

      I think the perception may develop because he throws so little as well. He only threw 12 times. He connected on 8 of them. Folks seem to be remembering the four he missed on. Since he throws so little, it seems like a lot. That is how he is going to play most of the time. Given how little he throws, when the team has a bad series people will remember.

  9. Brandon

    Understood and I do agree, Colin. It’s worth noting, I’m just perplexed is to why it’s one of the number one “issues” fans are taking away from the game in light of their being so other pressing issues to take away from the game. The man went 8 of 12. That’s a 67% percentage. Is our expectation level that he should be in the 80-100% zone?
    Last week there were two plays that fans highlighted as discouraging high throws by Russell Wilson. One was his first throw to the TE Willson. On the telecast Russell looked like he threw the ball way over Willson head. A couple of days later, when there was the All-22 film available you could see that the TE ran an awful route, got zero separation, and Wilson was under pressure. He tried to throw Willson open, which was nearly impossible because of how bad a route the TE ran. Fans were quick after the game to point to that being an example of Wilson’s inaccuracy, but it was more about nobody getting open and the TE running a horrible route.
    Another overthrow in that game was a second quarter throw to Baldwin where Wilson threw it over his head. Again, Baldwin was being covered well, no separation, and pressure was bearing down on Russell. To me the toss was a throwaway, seeing as even if completed it wasn’t going to get a first down. It’s my opinion both of these passes were throwaways from the pocket, but they come off looking like bad throws at first blush.

    • Barry

      First let me just say man I miss all the great football talk I don’t get when its summer.

      I think Wilson’s struggles if you want to call them that is simply rust. New receivers and TE’s players going down with injury ect. It takes time and familiarity to get up to speed. Personally I think most of the “kinks” will be worked out buy week one.

    • A. Simmons

      We also don’t know if the receiver ran the route wrong and was in the wrong spot or Russell made a bad throw. We won’t know unless we know how the play is run in practice.

  10. Darnell

    Russell’s throwing high is definitely interesting. It could be related to having to adjust from playing against the LOB in practice and then playing against significantly less talented DBs on the opposition yet he still tries to be exact and high when he doesn’t need to be. It’s like playing hoops against 7 footers for two months and then you play against 6 footers but you’re now accustomed to shooting high arching floaters.

    Nice to have a QB who can be “slightly off” and still put up a 140qbr with 2tds and no interceptions.

  11. Carl Shinyama

    Re: Wilson’s misfires: I saw those, and the first thing I noticed is that he threw to where nobody but his receiver could get it, so if those passes were off, it seemed that it was supposed to be that way.

    More important than the misfires is that there were no interceptions, and Wilson was his usual efficient self.

    • James

      Good observation. A misfire is an off target pass that has interception written all over it. The key incompletions that everyone seems to be talking about were the passes to Willson down the sideline, and the in-route to Baldwin. Both passes found the grass, so RW was either being cautious, or the receiver missed the anticipated toute by a step. No worries.

      • James

        * route.

    • A. Simmons

      I’m beginning to think he throws high to avoid ints. They’re not so high that the DB behind has a chance to get them. They’re slightly overthrown. Still in a spot where only the receiver can get to them. Even when he misses, there’s very little chance of a pick.

  12. SunPathPaul

    I know it is the preseason, but didn’t it feel GREAT to watch our team at home flying all over the place?

    The played hard, fast, and I feel our Defense will out perform last years effort…just too much talent!

    Russell Wilson will solidify and put his best foot forward in the regular season.

    EXCITED for the real season to start! We are doing good even without KEY players…


  13. James

    I agree that we are being to see the movements in prep for the 53 man roster. I believe they will keep Ware and release Coleman. Anticipating that Coleman will be picked up by another team, they are prepping Bates to be the FB on the practice squad (nice move). Bailey and Bowie are being prepped to be the swing guys so they could go with a 9 man O line. Sure hope Carpenter finally gets healthy, but if he can’t play game one, they may have to put him on the PUP. Harper will probably get spot #53, and will never be active, but it means they lose Blackmon, Guy, Farwell, McDonald or someone else really good. The talk of Real Rob being at risk is crazy and absolutely will not happen. Third down completions to the underneath guys (TEs, etc) are the achilles heel for this team, so I can’t see them releasing Winfield, since that is his specialty. Thurmond is too much of a health risk to count on for 16 games at nickel. Maybe Jesse Williams would do well on the PUP? His knee could heal up, and since he isn’t really producing right now, it would open a spot on the roster.

  14. Bjammin

    You can’t add players to the pup list now who have already practiced/played not counting Ota’s. Considering both o and d were scheming vanilla, they looked better than last year. The defense plays so physically and aggressive with speed everywhere. The offense will be dangeruss. Teams that fall behind this year will all be in danger of a blow out. As the pass rushers come back, this team will be damn scary.

  15. Stuart

    I don’t know how it will go down, but Harper will make the final 53. Then “redshirt” as Rob suggest. When Harvin comes back, they wont cut Harper. Likely he will “develop” and injury and be protected from other teams having a chance to pick him up. Is that called PUP? It might be called something different once the season starts?

  16. Bjammin

    Injured reserve. I think Harper has a good chance of getting cut ala legree. Just because he’s a draft pick. This team gets players from everywhere not just the draft. If they can’t hang, they’re gone.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s not as simple as that. Jaye Howard didn’t hang last year, he was inactive most weeks. And was not cut.

  17. Belgaron

    I’d be very surprised if Mayowa doesn’t make the team. A young guy with his natural talent is usually only found in the high end of the draft. You can’t expect him to have instant success against a first team offense like Denver but it gave him a learning experience that he can build on. This team loves guys that come out of no where and play like every down is their last, he’ll stick.

    • Rob Staton

      If he wants to make the team I think he has to flash a little more against #1’s when he gets that chance. I suspect he’ll get another chance on Friday.

  18. Belgaron

    Winfield, Robinson, Farwell, McDonald, and Quinn are all on the bubble. Unfortunately, so is Chris Harper.

    • Rob Staton

      I disagree strongly Belgaron. Winfield, Robinson, Farwell and Harper are all nailed on locks for me. They can carry enough DB’s to keep Winfield and the younger guys. Robinson is about as likely to be cut as Marshawn Lynch IMO. Farwell is a key special teamer and did enough against Denver to prove his worth. And the talk of Harper being on the bubble is, for me, just impatience and thinking every player on this roster has to blow up pre-season. Some of these rooks are going to be given time (eg Jaye Howard last year).

      • Belgaron

        I don’t think Harper has looked bad this camp/pre-season, the problem is he is #6 (at very best) on the depth chart now and #7 when Harvin gets back. On the other hand, Tate and Baldwin are in contract years and they will probably require new contract for Rice as well. If it were up to me, I’d find a way to keep him longer but he is clearly on the bubble and if Tate and Baldwin were signed longer, who knows?

        Robinson lost a step a few years back when SF cut him. He’s been a fine addition while here but I just don’t see Seahawks keeping him over a high upside younger player like Ware. They could only keep 4 RBs and they could stick with Coleman. It’s clear over at Field Gulls that they think he’s gone. I was thinking that even before I saw their posts.

        I know they’ve loved Farwell’s game. I just wonder if they love Lotuleile more?

        • Turp

          I’d love to see your 53 man roster Rob. I agree on those 4, except for Farwell, as he is a little expensive for his role.

    • Belgaron

      =P I forgot how much I nailed this. Guess I missed on Farwell.

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