Saturday, August 28, 2010
First impressions: Seahawks at Vikings
By Mike Sando
Five things I've noticed about the Seattle Seahawks during the nearly completed first quarter of their exhibition game at Minnesota on Saturday night:
- Lawyer Milloy is still the toughest player on this defense. He was extremely active early in this game. Milloy blitzed. He shed a block from Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian, taking down Percy Harvin near the line of scrimmage. Then, on fourth-and-goal, Milloy knifed into the backfield and shocked Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson, who was pulling to his left. Milloy squared up on Hutchinson, caught him just right and put him on his back.
- Matt Hasselbeck's comfort level with T.J. Houshmandzadeh remains apparent. Hasselbeck throws decisively to him. That is not the case when Hasselbeck looks for Mike Williams. Hasselbeck threw away the ball on one third-down play when he and Williams appeared to be on separate pages. Trust is important for Hasselbeck. Brett Favre, meanwhile, seemed to have no qualms throwing to newly signed Vikings receiver Greg Camarillo.
- Seattle linebacker Aaron Curry is still finding his way. He appears strong when engaging blockers, but made little impact early -- other than getting caught jumping offside. I didn't notice him much as a pass-rusher early.
- Pass-rusher Chris Clemons is looking good again. Vikings right tackle Phil Loadholt got away with holding Clemons on the Vikings' first play. Clemons beat left tackle Bryant McKinnie inside for a sack and forced a fumble later. Favre appeared to hurt his hand on the play and his ball security suffered. Clemons was also active in coverage. Officials probably could have flagged him for a late hit after one incomplete pass. Clemons also brought down Adrian Peterson near the line of scrimmage.
- Having Lofa Tatupu back at middle linebacker helps the defense in obvious ways. Tatupu's feel for the game was evident as he sat on a pass route and nearly picked off a pass. Tatupu had a fumble-forcing sack on Favre negated by an illegal-contact penalty downfield.
The Seahawks have to be happy, in general, with how they have started this game. They are tied 7-7 in the second quarter. This could have been the Favre show early, but the Seahawks have made a few key plays on defense -- a goal-line stand, the fumble-forcing sack and the interception return for a score -- to offset some breakdowns (including Peterson's touchdown run following a long kickoff return).