Yes, it's only a preseason game.
No, we shouldn't make too much out of what happens tonight when Seattle plays at Minnesota (kick off is 5 p.m.).
For kicks, though, let's pretend for a moment that the Seahawks (0-2 preseason) could very well transform the offensive line into a viable group, generate a strong running game and find some gems on defense to contend in the NFC.
For that to be considered remotely viable, we should see some evidence tonight. Seattle is facing by far the toughest team on its preseason schedule in the Vikings (1-1), went 13-3 to reach the NFC Championship mostly on the strength of the league's top-ranked defense (15.8 points per game allowed).
“(Minnesota has a) really good run defense," Seattle offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said. "They’re going to have a heavy box, but we want to see us run the ball really well."
Minnesota is all about disrupting the run and forcing negative plays. Sometimes simply getting three yards on a rushing play against the Vikings is a major victory because it's better than losing yards. They allowed just 3.7 yards per carry last season.
"They’re going to have some negative plays that they create but we expect that we’re going to churn out some good yards as well," Schottenheimer said. "Again, run-pass balance depends on a lot of things. It depends on – you stay ahead of the sticks by throwing completions. Do you shoot yourselves in the foot with some penalties? But we’d like to see us run the football well against these guys and mix up the type of runs that we have, not just be a wide zone team. You’ll see us attacking with some different run types.”
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said that the starters would play into the third quarter to get the feel of going in at halftime, making adjustments and then implementing those changes in the second half. In the end, closing drives with touchdowns rather than repeatedly settling for field goals will spell success.
"We've got to get down and get in the end zone, that's real clear," Carroll said. "We're kicking the ball fine but that's not what we want to do down there."
Note: Right guard D.J. Fluker will play tonight, according to Carroll. He dislocated a finger last week against the Los Angeles Chargers. "We'll see how long he lasts. He just wants to play so bad, he's playing. A lot of guys wouldn't play...He'll get some play time. We'll see how much."... Cornerback Byron Maxwell remains out with a groin injury.