The Seattle Seahawks laid a big, ugly egg in their first home game of the 2022 campaign. Fortunately it was only an exhibition game. Seattle played host to the Chicago Bears tonight and wound up losing by a score of 27-11.
Here are four takeaways from a sloppy preseason loss to Chicago.
Too many penalties, more missed tackles and drops
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Dysfunction in all three phases was the theme of this game.
While they once again didn’t have Jamal Adams or Quandre Diggs serving as their backbone, Seattle’s defense again struggled to tackle, especially in the early series against Chicago’s offense – leading to an early deficit. Again, this positively has to be cleaned up.
Offensively, rookie left tackle Charles Cross was called for a false start on the team’s first offensive snap and he’d be flagged four more times before it was over. In solidarity, several other Seattle players got flagged for bone-headed violations. The team finished the evening with 13 penalties.
Later, multiple receivers dropped passes, further funking up the rhythm offensively. Neither Geno Smith nor Jacob Eason were able to get a positive streak going until garbage time.
On special teams, Cade Johnson badly muffed a punt return that led to a Bears touchdown, Jason Myers missed a makeable field goal, the coverage teams totally failed and pretty much everything else that could go wrong with this phase did.
Without having to do much on their own, the Bears took a 17-0 lead into halftime and never looked back despite some preseason silliness late in the fourth quarter.
It’s only August but this is the second week in a row the Seahawks have looked unacceptably out of sync in too many areas of the game. They were especially awful on special teams – and bad enough for it to be a game-losing dynamic if it carries over into the regular season.
The offensive line is better than advertised
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In the midst of all that ugliness, one bright spot was the performance of Seattle’s new-look offensive line, which appears to be far better than originally advertised during the offseason.
For one, Pro Football Focus ranked this unit the worst in the NFL a couple months ago. It’s still extremely early but this line appears to be much better than expected. Last week, PFF actually named them the best line in the league for preseason Week 1.
While Cross’ issues with penalties were a downer, overall the blocking up front was once again encouraging. Smith and Eason both had clean, wide, deep and long-lasting pockets to work with on several third down throws. It’s not just one or two linemen who are blocking well, either – for the starting unit it’s been a strong effort across the board so far.
A lot of other things look bad but this is some of the best pass protection we’ve seen in years, which should inspire a lot of hope.
Damien Lewis went down
(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)
Sadly, that seemingly much-improved OL unit also suffered a major blow tonight. Starting left guard Damien Lewis went down with a serious leg injury early in the second quarter and had to be carted off the field. Lewis was quickly ruled out with what the team called an ankle injury.
Phil Haynes will replace Lewis and likely be an upgrade. However, another injury to an interior starter could prove challenging for this group.
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Overall, there wasn’t much to like on the field tonight. However, if you’re looking for a few silver linings, here is a handful of players who stood out in a good way.
RT Abe Lucas had some more pancake blocks against the Bears defenders after dominating the Steelers.
WR Penny Hart had an explosive catch and a nice play on special teams.
DT Myles Adams got consistent pressure this week in the trenches as well as last week.
CB Mike Jackson doesn’t have a high bar to hurdle but has played better coverage than any other Seahawks corner this preseason.
S Josh Jones is flashing consistently and deserves to be the No. 3 guy at safety behind Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs.