Philip Rivers and Melvin Ingram gave the Seahawks a great test in Game 2 of the preseason, a 24-14 win by the Chargers, and we can only hope young guys such as Tedric Thompson, Tre Flowers and Germain Ifedi will learn from it.
Meanwhile, Chris Carson again showed why he is the No. 1 tailback (unless he keeps fumbling), Jaron Brown entrenched himself as the No. 3 receiver, David Moore secured a roster spot with a couple of stellar plays, and Maurice Alexander, Dontae Johnson and Poona Ford all gave the coaches something to think about as we head into the final two weeks.
Here’s our roster projection after two games:
Keep: Russell Wilson, Austin Davis
Why: Wilson came out throwing deep and hit Brown and Moore several times (4-145). Alex McGough also looked better, hitting 9 of 12 and finishing off a drive with a TD pass. The backups haven’t been that impressive, but we’re not believing the report that Seattle offered a second-round pick to Indy for Jacoby Brissett. The Hawks traded their 2019 No. 2 for Duane Brown last year, so this would have to be a 2020 pick — and it’s doubtful John Schneider is interested in dealing a No. 2 for a backup QB (or to leverage against Wilson’s next contract).
Keep: Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Mike Davis, J.D. McKissic, Tre Madden
Why: Carson ran well, although he fumbled inside the 1-yard line, costing Seattle a TD. He’ll need to hold on to the ball if he wants to keep his grip on the starting gig. C.J. Prosise actually played, though he didn’t do anything impressive enough to vault past the more reliable Davis or McKissic. Only if he makes it to the end of preseason without getting hurt again — and makes some plays — will Prosise be worth considering for a roster spot.
Prosise said: “I just wanted to go out there and play fast, do my job and complete my assignments, just get the feel back in the game. And that’s what I did. I will say missing time got me falling back a little bit, but I definitely feel like today was a step in the right direction.”
Keep: Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Jaron Brown, Brandon Marshall, David Moore, Amara Darboh
Why: While Brown showed he will be at least as good as Paul Richardson as the No. 3 receiver, Moore made two spectacular plays, locking himself onto the roster. Marshall didn’t do anything — he dropped a third-down pass — but he still seems like a safe bet to make the roster. Darboh didn’t play again and remains firmly on the bubble; he will make it only if they keep six receivers and he actually gets into the last couple of games. Fortunately for Darboh, no other receiver has stepped up behind Moore. Even though nearly every receiver got to play with Wilson, Cyril Grayson was the only other guy who really showed much (39-yard catch). So Darboh has time to make it if he gets on the field.
Wilson said: “Obviously David Moore was exceptional tonight. The way that he went up and got that football on the third-and-long. I tried to give him a chance to make a play, and sure enough, he did. When you have guys who can make great plays like that, that’s what you get excited about. That fired me up big time.”
Keep: Nick Vannett, Ed Dickson, Will Dissly
Why: The most notable play by this unit against the Chargers was Dissly’s block in the back that nullified Carson’s TD run on the first drive. If Dickson doesn’t return before the season starts, it will open the door for Tyrone Swoopes, who caught one ball vs. Los Angeles.
Keep: Duane Brown, Ethan Pocic, Justin Britt, D.J. Fluker, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Jordan Roos, Isaiah Battle, Rees Odhiambo, Jamarco Jones (IR)
Why: It wasn’t a great night for the line. Melvin Ingram was a one-man wrecking crew, beating Brown, Fluker and Ifedi and helping save the Chargers eight points. Fluker got hurt (just a finger) and Ifedi had a rough time against Ingram, getting bulldozed on one play that turned a TD drive into a field goal and then getting beaten off the edge by Ingram for a sack of Wilson. Those plays have a lot of people calling for Ifedi to be replaced, but Seattle has no options until Battle returns from a sprained knee (Jamarco Jones had ankle surgery the other day). Coaches will hope Ifedi learns from his losses against Ingram. Jordan Roos played pretty well in place of Fluker; if J.R. Sweezy doesn’t return soon, Roos could snag the backup guard spot. Odhiambo’s versatility keeps him on the roster — although the Hawks could keep both Roos and Sweezy since they have Fant and Battle.
Ifedi said: “I thought there were a couple I wanted back, but I thought, for the most part, it was a good battle, and I thought we made each other better today.”
Keep: Frank Clark, Jarran Reed, Nazair Jones, Rasheem Green, Tim Johnson, Branden Jackson, Shamar Stephen, Quinton Jefferson, Poona Ford, Dion Jordan (PUP)
Why: The front seven had a tough time stopping the Chargers early on. But Clark was very active in his debut, hassling Rivers on several plays. Green notched 1.5 sacks for the second straight week. Johnson and Jefferson teamed up for a sack — Jefferson continues to look good. Jones also finally got some action, tallying a couple of tackles and knocking down a pass. Ford has played well and the team might not want to risk losing him to another team; but, he could get bumped if the team keeps seven linebackers for outside rush depth.
Carroll on Green: “That (three sacks) really jumps out at you. He looks really aggressive and very skilled in his pass rush again.”
Keep: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Barkevious Mingo, Shaquem Griffin, Jake Martin, Austin Calitro
Why: Wagner had a rough first drive against Russell Okung, who knocked him out of plays twice, and the Hawks gave up a lot of rushing yards. But Mingo and Griffin looked pretty good again. Martin and Calitro have been the best players for the final couple of spots, but D.J. Alexander and Erik Walden could make runs at spots in the final two weeks.
Carroll on Walden: “He has been an outside ‘backer and a nickel rush guy, been real physical and tough, and we’ll see how he fits into the competition.”
Keep: Shaquill Griffin, Bradley McDougald, Justin Coleman, Tedric Thompson, Delano Hill, Maurice Alexander, Tre Flowers, Byron Maxwell, Dontae Johnson, Akeem King
Why: The Chargers’ good receivers — Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams, Keenan Allen — made some great catches against good coverage. Even though King gave up a TD pass, he looked good again and seems worthy of a spot. Alexander could be ready to push Thompson over the final two weeks, and Johnson might give Maxwell a run for the other starting spot. Healthiest man might win.
Keep: Sebastian Janikowski, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott
Why: Jon Ryan received his requested release Monday, meaning Dickson officially has earned the punting job — not that there was any question, as he netted 53 yards on three punts vs. the Chargers after a big debut vs. the Colts. The Hawks also cut Myers, meaning the three-man kicking battery is set. The Seahawks gave up a 72-yard punt return for a TD, so they need to shore up their coverage squad a bit.