Seahawks: 6 takeaways from their preseason loss to Steelers

The Seahawks lost their first preseason game of the year, falling on the road against the Steelers by a score of 32-25.

Here are several takeaways from tonight’s game.

A lot of key starters were missing

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There’s no inactives list during the preseason and the Seahawks didn’t give the courtesy of officially ruling any of their players out before the game started. However, it became clear pretty early that many of their most-important pieces would not be involved. On offense, the team’s top-two wide receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf were among those sitting out. Defensively, star safeties Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs were also on the sidelines, as was linebacker Jordyn Brooks.

Geno Smith played the whole first half

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While the Steelers only allowed starter Mitch Trubisky to play one quarter, the Seahawks gave the ball to Geno Smith for the entire first half. For the most part, Smith’s possessions were unremarkable. It didn’t help him not having Metcalf and Lockett on the field. However, Smith turned it up in the two-minute drill to end the half, throwing some sharp passes and finishing the drive with a scramble for a rushing touchdown. That was it for Smith, who went out with a line of 10/15, 101 yards, no picks and an 85.7 rating.

Drew Lock went the rest of the way

(AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

Seahawks fans were treated to the entire Drew Lock experience in his debut for the team. Lock played the entire second half and was generally more productive than Smith while facing Pittsburgh’s defensive backups. Lock posted a final line of 10/14 for 112 yards, two touchdowns and a 135.4 passer rating. However, he also missed a few big third down throws and took a blindside sack that resulted in a fumble, leading to the Steelers’ game-winning drive.

Seattle's defense was sloppy

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Pittsburgh got the ball first to begin the game and Mitch Trubisky immediately led a quick scoring drive. Most of that was thanks to some obvious rust on the part of Seattle’s defense. The first drive saw several missed tackles and the Steelers scored on a blown coverage against slot receiver Gunner Olszewski.

The missed tackles continued into the next drive for Pittsburgh, and Darrell Taylor allowed Mitch Trubisky to escape what should have been a sack. Not long after, Mason Rudolph threw a touchdown to George Pickens, who straight up beat Coby Bryant in the red zone. That gave the Steelers a 14-0 lead and set the tone for the day.

The Seahawks continued to struggle on this side of the ball throughout the game, giving up another six points to rookie Kenny Pickett on the first drive of his NFL career. Overall, this was a very-forgettable performance from a defense that was admittedly missing some key pieces.

The one exception to the rule was the play of rookie edge rusher Boye Mafe, who notched two sacks, including one in crunch time.

Special teams miscues

(AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

Last year Seattle’s special teams unit was actually one of the strongest units in the NFL. They certainly didn’t look like it early on. First, wide receiver Aaron Fuller muffed the first punt return of the game, then the punt coverage unit allowed a 38-yard return, helping set up Pittsburgh’s second touchdown. Jason Myers also nearly missed his first field goal attempt, getting a friendly doink from the goal post. This was a shaky start to say the least for this phase.

The offensive line held up

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While there’s clearly a lot of work to be done, there were a few positives to take away from this loss for Seattle. At the top of the list should be the stable performance from an offensive line unit that some thought would be the worst in the NFL going into this season. The front five stood up well in pass protection, usually giving both Smith and Lock time to throw. Two of the three sacks allowed were on the quarterbacks.

Meanwhile, their zone rushing attack was also effective no matter who was involved. The trio of Ken Walker, Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas combined for 133 rushing yards on 19 attempts.

Story originally appeared on Seahawks Wire