Seattle Starts Preseason with Win in San Diego

Last night Seattle was able to understand what it feels like to win, even if it was only a preseason game.

Seattle’s defense set the tone early for the team, sacking Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers on the first play of the game.

What followed though offensively was a back and forth of stalled drives to round out the first quarter.

After falling behind early in the second quarter on a two-yard Michael Bennett touchdown run up the middle, Seattle worked its way onto the scoreboard late in the second quarter with John Owens falling out of the back of the end zone while holding onto a three-yard touchdown pass from Seneca Wallace.

From there, the Seahawks never looked back.

Mike Teel connected with Mike Haas for an 18-yarder touchdown strike with 4:21 left in the third quarter and Brandon Coutu sealed the Seattle victory with two field goals in the fourth quarter.

San Diego did try to make a game of it late, as Legedu Naanee hauled in Charlie Whitehurst’s five-yard pass to bring the Chargers within a touchdown of taking the lead at 20-14.

In the game preview, I gave three things Seahawks fans should keep an eye on in the game that would be important during the regular season if Seattle wants to regain its winning ways. Here are my takes on what happened.

The ground game.

Julius Jones looked good. The zone blocking and one-cut style running schemes, thus far, let him find an open hole, hit it, and get downfield.

Jones carried the football four times for 15 yards. I’ll take that from the guy whose name fell out of the team’s play calling late last season. I’m not anointing him as a Pro Bowler or anything, but, if he can keep this up into the regular season, Seattle could have a decent and productive ground attack to compliment its vertical threat.

T.J. Duckett and Justin Forsett didn’t fare as well. Duckett averaged three yards a carry, picking up 18 yards on six opportunities. Forsett picked up 27 yards, but only did so on 12 carries.

The re-emergence of Hass.

Matt Hasselbeck attempted five passes, connecting with his targets on three of them. One went to tight end John Carlson, the other two to wideouts Nate Burleson and TJ Houshmandzadeh.

His two incompletions came on a miscommunication between himself and Carlson and on a ball thrown away while he was being flushed out of the pocket.

On the flush out, not showing any signs of the back pain that cut his season short last year, Hasselbeck had good mobility and control of his upper body.

What to make of the wide receivers.

Overall, the jury’s still out on this subject.

Hasselbeck and the first team offense only played two series, meaning not much was able to happen for the passing game.

From what did happen though, I can tell you this much, Burleson looks good. He ran his route well and made his catch look pretty easy. Burleson missed all but mere minutes of last season with an ACL injury in Seattle’s opening game loss at Buffalo.

Houshmandzadeh looks good as well, but I didn’t get to see enough of him to really get that good of a reading on him.

Looking ahead.

Seattle’s next game is Saturday, August 22 against Denver at Qwest Field. The two teams are tied at the hip this season because Denver traded their first round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft to Seattle for the Seahawks’ second round selection in the 2009 Draft.

Kickoff is scheduled for 10:30 PM Eastern.

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