SEATTLE — Injury after injury in the Seattle Seahawks‘ backfield contributed to nine tailbacks carrying the ball for the team last season.
Carson continued his exceptional summer with 90 yards on 10 touches Friday night, including eight carries for 46 yards. The Seahawks rode his hard running and another strong performance from Russell Wilson to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 26-13 at CenturyLink Field in the third preseason game for both teams.
QB depth chart: Wilson played through the opening series of the third quarter and completed 13 of 19 attempts for 200 yards and a touchdown. He made a pair of exceptional plays while rolling to his left and throwing back across his body for long gains, first to Carson and then to Jermaine Kearse. His rapport with top targets Doug Baldwin (two receptions, 45 yards) and Jimmy Graham (two receptions, 34 yards) appeared close to midseason form. Wilson’s only real mistake didn’t hurt when the Chiefs dropped an interception chance on an underthrown fade. It was a study in contrast once Wilson left the game. Trevone Boykin failed to complete any of his six passes and was intercepted. Austin Davis completed all five attempts for 64 yards and a score.
When it was starters vs. starters, the Seahawks looked …: pretty good on offense, but not great. Seattle kicked two field goals and a drove for touchdown on its first three possessions, but leaky pass protection at times forced Wilson to scramble and kept the passing game out of rhythm until a sharp two-minute drive before the half. Lacy and Carson shared time as Seattle’s starting offense played early into the third quarter. While Carson had the more productive night, Lacy showed the physical style he’s known for when he bounced off two tackles to gain 11 yards on his first carry. The ex-Packer rushed four times for 21 yards. Seattle’s starting defense also played into the third quarter and held Kansas City to 102 yards in the first half. The only points that group surrendered came after officials flagged Bobby Wagner for roughing the passer on fourth down, extending a drive that resulted in a Chiefs field goal. Kansas City’s only touchdown of the first half came on a 95-yard kickoff return by De’Anthony Thomas.
One reason to be concerned: Seattle’s offensive line remains a work in progress, especially with left tackle unsettled following George Fant‘s season-ending knee injury. Second-year pro Rees Odhiambo is getting the first crack there. He started Friday night and showed progress at times, but he also whiffed on a few blocks, including one that resulted in Wilson taking a hard hit. Whether the starter is Odhiambo or Matt Tobin, who was recently acquired in a trade, the Seahawks are going to have to live with inconsistent play at that spot. Fortunately for them, Wilson is better equipped to mitigate that issue this season than he was last while playing through two leg injuries that limited his mobility.
That guy could start: Veteran Jeremy Lane and rookie Shaquill Griffin are competing to start at right cornerback. Lane looked as though he had that job locked up at the start of training camp, but an injury that sidelined him for a week opened the door for Griffin. Lane started Friday night and had a nice tackle on special teams. Griffin was again Seattle’s third cornerback. He broke up a deep ball and made a pair of tackles on special teams.
Rookie watch: Carson has locked up a spot on Seattle’s roster. The question now is whether he can carve out any immediate role behind Seattle’s primary backfield options. That might be tough as long as Lacy, Rawls and Prosise stay healthy, but Carson looks to have the potential to become a starter down the road.
Wright stuff: Starting weakside linebacker K.J. Wright returned this week after missing Seattle’s second preseason game to receive treatment on a bothersome knee, and said ahead of Friday’s game that he feels fine. It looked like it on the game’s opening drive when he shot through the line and made a tackle for a 4-yard loss, forcing a Chiefs field goal attempt. Wright finished with four tackles. He was also flagged for holding.
Clark makes impression: Third-year defensive end Frank Clark looks as if he’ll again be a major factor in Seattle’s pass rush. On consecutive plays in the first half, he made an explosive move to sack Alex Smith in the open field then applied pressure up the middle for a QB hit. Medical personnel checked him out on the sideline after Clark appeared to be shaken up.
Walsh perfect: Blair Walsh connected on all four of his field goal attempts, hitting from 41, 36, 21 and 47 yards out. He has been better following an inconsistent offseason and a shaky start to training camp.