Friday, August 29, 2008
Qwest Field, Seattle, Washington
Play Of The Day: With 11 minutes remaining in the 1st quarter, Seahawks running back T.J. Duckett took a draw play, got some good downfield blocks from Courtney Taylor and Jeb Putzier, and ran 24-yards for a touchdown to give the Seahawks a 7-0 lead.
Handouts to the Standouts
T.J. Duckett was on the roster bubble and responded with 11 carries for 71 yards. Duckett also had a pair of touchdowns, one from 24 yards and one from a yard out, which is closer to the yardage the Seahawks will ask Duckett to gain the most of in 2008.
Seneca Wallace went 21-of-30 for 255 yards, hitting 12 different receivers while guiding the Seahawks on scoring drives of 66 and 63 yards. The only negative for Wallace last night was his fumble on a 1st-and-Goal from the Raiders’ 1-yard line that thwarted a 10-play, 77-yard drive. That’s a drive that should’ve ended with a Duckett one-yard plunge, but for some reason, Wallace was asked to throw a pass. Wallace was sacked, fumbled and Oakland recovered. Other than that, Wallace reassured the Seahawks that they are one of the few teams in the NFL who can boast of having a quality backup quarterback.
Jason Babin is in a fight for the 4th defensive end spot with Baraka Atkins. Babin had 5 tackles and a sack against Oakland, but it’s his fine consistently disruptive play throughout the preseason that could have him sticking on the active roster.
To the 12th Man, for helping induce 4 false start penalties in a meaningless preseason game. They also deserve credit for the warm welcome showed to Raiders quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo, who led the University of Washington to their last Rose Bowl win. Very classy showing tonight.
Things That Made Me Go “Blech”
Ben Obomanu, Seattle’s second most experienced healthy wide receiver heading into tonight’s game, suffered a broken clavicle that could end his 2008 season. His injury could open up a spot on the active roster for Logan Payne or Michael Bumpus.
Overall, Justin Forsett didn’t have a bad night. He carried the ball 14 times for 45 yards and added 17 yards on a pair of receptions. However, if he’s going to make the roster, and have an impact, it’s going to be on special teams and muffing the first punt isn’t going to help his cause.
Seahawks guard Pat Murray is going to hear the voice of Mike Carey calling his number when he tries to sleep tonight. Murray was flagged for a false start penalty and two accepted holding penalties. A third holding flag was declined. Murray could land on Seattle’s practice squad.
I know it’s only the preseason, but Brandon Coutu should never lead the team in special teams tackles in any game.
We are going to paint those end zones, right?
Offense: Wallace’s 21-30, 255-yard night was good for a 95.8 passer rating. Seattle’s running game produced 130 yards, including 71 from Duckett. Twelve different receivers had receptions, with bubble players Michael Bumpus and Logan Payne leading the way with three receptions apiece.
Courtney Taylor and Jordan Kent looked good in their limited playing time. Obomanu had a very nice 33-yard reception down the right seam, which is the play he was injured on. Tight end Jeb Putzier chipped in with two receptions for 34 yards, including a nice 24-yard grab in the second quarter.
Aside from taking four penalties (four more than Mike Holmgren normally tolerates), the Walter Jones, Sean Locklear and Mike Wahle-less offensive line played pretty well. Seneca Wallace took one shot from Raiders defensive end Trevor Scott, who was offsides on the play, but he was otherwise kept clean throughout the night.
Defense: Rookie Lawrence Jackson was the only starter from Monday night’s game to play against Oakland. The rest of the lineup was comprised of backups, who adhered to Seattle’s “bend but don’t break” philosophy.
The defense allowed 338 total yards (181 passing, 157 rushing), but limited Oakland’s second-team offense to 2-for-11 (18%) on 3rd downs, 0-for-2 (0%) on 4th downs, and 0-for-3 (0%) inside the red-zone. Seahawks defensive ends Lawrence Jackson and Jason Babin each got a sack on Raiders quarterback Andrew Walter.
Special Teams: It was a mixed bag for the Seahawks’ special teams. Forsett’s muffed punt, the kick coverage unit allowing returns of 43 and 58 yards, and Ryan Plackemeier’s 16-yard shank of a punt in the 4th quarter were the lowlights. Coutu and Olindo Mare combined to go 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, averaged 67.3 yards per kickoff (Mare averaged 69.3 yards, Coutu 65.3 yards), and safety C.J. Wallace intercepted an ill-advised pass by Shane Lechler, who had fumbled the snap on a field goal attempt, and returned it 41 yards which would set-up Mare’s first field goal.
Veteran long-snapper Jeff Robinson was his reliable self in his 2008 debut.
The Golden Microphone Award
Last night may have been the last time Verne Lundquist calls a Seattle Seahawks preseason game. His contract is up after this year and the Seahawks may turn the microphone over to Kevin Calabro, the longtime voice of the Seattle SuperSonics and the new voice of the Seattle Sounders FC, the new MLS that begins play in Qwest Field in 2009.
Random Notes: Chris Spencer made his preseason debut tonight, starting with the first-team offensive line...The Seahawks have finished 3-1 for the second consecutive preseason…J.P. Patches, a legendary Seattle-area clown, raised the 12th Man flag before the game…Seattle finished the preseason #1 in the NFL in scoring and total offense.
Summary: Even in the preseason, beating the Raiders feels good. Now that the preseason games are in the books, it’s time for the front office and coaching staff to get to work and settle on a 53-man roster. They have until 6pm ET on Saturday to get their cuts in, so it’ll be a sleepless night for them. And even more so for the 22 players whose football careers hang in the balance.
Next Week: The regular season gets underway in western New York.