5 big takeaways from Seahawks' loss to Colts in preseason opener
SEATTLE -- The Seahawks dropped their first preseason game Thursday night -- a contest that was a little messy, as you could've imagined for an opener.
The visiting Indianapolis Colts, who welcomed back franchise quarterback Andrew Luck, topped Seattle 19-17 in the exhibition debut for both teams at CenturyLink Field.
Russell Wilson, who played just the first quarter, completed four of five throws for 43 yards and a touchdown (to tight end Nick Vannett) in the loss. Chris Carson led Seattle's running backs with 26 yards on four rushes. For the Colts, Luck went six of nine for 64 yards.
The craziest play (this is what I mean when I say messy) occurred late in the fourth quarter. The Colts' Mark Glowinski, a former Seahawk, launched a bad snap that was muffed about 30 yards backward into the end zone and Seahawks defensive tackle Joey Ivie recovered for the TD, cutting Seattle's deficit to 19-17.
On top of a fair share of penalties for the team, Seahawks wide receiver David Moore was also rocked on a hard hit by cornerback Shamarko Thomas late in the game (Thomas was ejected for unneccessary roughness).
1. SHAQUEM GRIFFIN LOOKS AS GOOD AS ADVERTISED
The first-year linebacker was one of the stars of Seattle’s defense in his preseason debut.
Griffin led the team Thursday with six solo tackles and nine total against the Colts.
"I think he was running and hitting just like he's been looking in practice," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. "Very encouraged. He is a wonderful kid, he's been really busting his tail to figure it out, and how to play in our scheme and all that."
Added Griffin: "The main focus was to run around and make hits, and hit as hard as you can, and just fly around the ball. But I hold myself to a higher standard. I do a lot of studying and I make sure I study the plays as much as possible."
2. D.J. FLUKER MAY BE THE ANSWER ON THE O-LINE
The offensive line has been one of the Seahawks’ biggest concerns in training camp. The team didn’t make any significant changes during the offseason.
But the acquisition of D.J. Fluker looks like it may have slid under the radar.
The right guard, who signed a one-year deal with Seattle in March, had a strong performance Thursday in run blocking. His efforts created wide-open lanes for tailback Chris Carson in the first quarter, who finished with 26 yards on four rushes (Including a 12-yard pick up late in the opening period).
Outside of health for the tailbacks, Fluker's efforts or going to be critical to Seattle establishing an effective run game for the first time in years.
3. RASHEEM GREEN = PASS RUSH HELP
Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Sheldon Richardson are gone. Frank Clark has been limited in training camp and Dion Jordan hasn’t participated at all thus far, so neither can participate in games. So where will the pass rush come from, at least in the short term?
Cue defensive end Rasheem Green. The rookie out of USC had 1.5 sacks Thursday for 10.5 yards for loss to lead the team against the Colts.
The big one -- his first -- came in the first quarter. On 2nd and 5 with 2:20 left at the Colts 30, Green brought down Andrew Luck for a seven-yard loss.
He later shared a sack with fellow rookie Jacob Martin on backup Jacoby Brissett.
"Everybody who pass rushes feels a lot better after they get that first sack," Green said. "Once you get that first sack, you just feel more relaxed and comfortable. You know that it's possible -- you go out there and do it, you just gotta do it, ya know?
It’s still early -- the new D-line guys are still being integrated and not everyone is healthy -- but Green made a strong first impression in game action.
4. PLAY OF THE DAY GOES TOO …. ALEX MCGOUGH
The seventh-round pick out of Florida International University has clearly been spending time around Russell Wilson.
On 3rd and 5 late in the fourth, McGough scrambled (sound familiar?) -- hitting two or three spins to evade the pass rush in the process -- and launched a prayer, falling back, to wideout Damore’ea Stringfelow down the right sideline for 21 yards. There was an offensive pass interference on the play, and the Seahawks were penalized 10 yards as a result, but the play gets A-plus for effort.
McGough saw the most snaps out Seattle’s quarterbacks Thursday, completing 10 of 13 throws for 48 yards.
5. C.J. PROSISE IS INJURED -- AGAIN
Seahawks general manager John Schneider revealed to 710 ESPN Seattle before kickoff that third-year running back C.J. Prosise has a “little hip injury.” He didn’t play Thursday.
This obviously doesn’t look good for Prosise considering his injury history. He’s played in just 11 of 32 possible regular-season games in two years. The injury might also explain why the team decided to sign undrafted rookie Gerald Holmes on Wednesday.
With that said, the Seahawks’ tailback competition appears to be between four guys at the moment: Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Mike Davis and J.D. McKissic.