The Seattle Seahawks (2-1) toppled the Los Angeles Chargers (0-3), 23-15, on Saturday night in Week 3 of the preseason. Seattle played its starters on both sides of the ball for most of the first half while Los Angeles opted to sit all of their superstars.
Saturday night was the last you’ll see from Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and Co. until Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Here’s what you should take away from the Seahawks performance against the Chargers.
1. Vintage Seattle offense
I’d imagine Brian Schottenheimer is feeling awfully good about what he saw from the starting offense. Seattle racked up 225 yards of offense in the first half – 100 passing and 125 rushing. Seattle averaged six yards per carry, and C.J. Prosise and Rashaad Penny each scored a rushing touchdown. Wilson was 6-of-9 passing for 73 yards with much of the damage coming off play action. (Geno Smith stepped in for the final two minutes and added the final 27 yards through the air before halftime.)
That’s the kind of effort Seattle will try to replicate in the regular season. The group was run-first, physical at the point of attack and efficient in the passing game. Between the last two preseason games, the Seahawks offense appears to have all the momentum it needs heading into Week 1.
2. “Winners” of the night
It was a fantastic evening for Seahawks running backs. Penny, who entered the game with just 13 yards on 12 carries in the preseason, found a little more room to work on Saturday with 22 yards on eight carries. That included a hard-earned 3-yard touchdown run. He added three receptions for 15 yards. Most importantly, Penny made a few defenders miss, something he hadn’t done in the first two exhibition contests.
Prosise’s preseason debut was noteworthy. He ran the ball just five times but was able to rack up 32 yards and a score. He also caught one pass for 15 yards. Prosise’s burst offered a reminder that he’s a capable NFL running back. He still has a shot at a roster spot if Seattle believes his injury woes are behind him.
John Ursua caught both of his targets for 52 yards. He now has four receptions for 100 yards in the preseason for a healthy 25-yard average. Ursua has shown his ability to get open and make guys miss in the open field. He may be the biggest benefactor of David Moore’s shoulder injury.
Geno Smith completed 11-of-18 pass attempts for 117 yards. He added 26 rushing yards, including an 8-yard touchdown run. I was of the belief that Smith had the opportunity to lock up the backup job against the Chargers, and I think that’s exactly what he did. Smith looked comfortable and in total control of the offense. Assuming Paxton Lynch clears the concussion protocol before next Thursday, it will be interesting to see how the reps at QB are split up in the preseason finale.
3. “Losers” of the night
Barkevious Mingo (one tackle), Gary Jennings (one reception for 12 yards on three targets) and Jazz Ferguson (not targeted) were all very quiet. If any of the three make the roster, it won’t have been due to what they accomplished against the Chargers.
Jennings in particular had a costly personal foul for a crackback block. It was a pretty brutal hit and an obvious penalty. The NFL has made it clear that removing such blocks is a point of emphasis this season.