While Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was midly disappointed that his team lost its second preseason game, feelings of improvement and progress put positive Pete in his usual optimistic mood after Friday nights 21 to 20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
“This was a night where there were a lot of really good things we saw happen,” Carroll said. “It’s really with the thought of how good Minnesota is, and the matchup we had coming in. we think the highest of them, both sides of the football, the kicking game, all the way across the board, so to match up and have kind of a duke out in the first half with the starters from both side, it was really good.
I thought we played with good juice tonight, liked the way we were running and hitting. We did a marvelous job with our kickers, I was so fired up for Seabass to hit a bomb, hit another one, and Michael Dickson, he couldn’t have been more effective with the punts for his first time out when he was really the guy. So I’m really fired up about that.”
Three reasons why Carroll is optimistic.
OFFENSE CAN MOVE THE BALL
After the defense surrendered a 97-yard touchdown that spotted the Vikings a 6-0 lead to start the second quarter, the Seattle offense scored a touchdown and a field on its next two possessions to take a 10-6 lead. The fact that Chris Carson scored on a six yard run for the Seahawks gave Carroll, Offensive Coordinator Brian Schocottenhemier and Russell Wilson reason to believe that the Seattle offense can run the ball when needed.
“I thought it was a great night tonight,” Wilson said after the game. “Come on the road in a tough, tough environment, it’s loud out there and it’s a really good defense, one of the top defenses in the National Football League. I thought we moved the ball really well up and down the field, made some plays, it was nice to see Chris Carson get in the end zone. That was exciting. I thought we did a really good job. We made some key plays on third down too. ”
Carson finished the game with 26 yards rushing on seven carries while Mike Davis lead all Seahawks in rushing with 31 yards on eight carries. The Seahawks finished the game with 102 rushing yards. Wilson finished the day 11 of 21 for 118 yards. Wilson and the rest of the starting offense p was relieved half way thru third quarte while holding a 13-6 lead.
SPECIAL TEAMS HAVE A CHANCE TO BE SPECIAL
After literaly kicking 10 year veteran Punter John Ryan and rookie field goal kicker Jason Myers on Monday the Seahawks head coaches looked like they had their mojo back regarding player evalution after Fridays game. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski booted a 35 yard field to give the Seahawks a ten point lead and bring confidence to the kicking game. Confidence turned to utter joy for positive Pete in the third quarter when Janokowski made good on a 55 yarder to give the Seahawks the 13-6 lead. Like Janikowski, rookie punter Michael Dickson brought joy and reassurance to Carroll and the rest of the Seahawks coaching staff by placing two of his five punts inside the twenty yardline, averaging 53.6 yards per kick and blasting a 61 yard punt late in the fourth quarter.
After giving up the the secod quarter 97 yard touchdown run, the Seahawks first team defense shut down the potent Vikings offense led by Kirk Cousins who was 17 of 28 for 182 yards. Seattle showed that despite the offseason personal changes, the defense will play with tenacity and swagger. The Seahawks stopped the Vikings offense twice at the Seattle 24 yardline resulting in two missed field goals by Vikings placekicker Daniel Carlson.
“It felt like we had a lot more energy,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said after teh game . “It felt a lot more like Seahawks football. We’ve still got to do a better job getting off the field—they had a long 97-yard drive—but I felt like we were out there hitting, we were out there communicating, we were having fun. Up until the end of the game, they only 6 points, so it felt better… I just loved the energy tonight.”