On a night of preseason auditions, the Seattle Seahwawks were doing more than auditioning young players for a spot on their team, they were in fact auditioning to the NFL. The statement was obvious: We are here, We are relentless, We play to win. Seconds remaining after an interception. Take a knee and run out the half? Throw a hail Mary? Or give the kicker a chance to end the half? Pete Carroll sent out the kicker.
It made sense. The Seattle Seahawks defense was swarming like angry hornets. The San Diego Chargers were just outclassed.
The game opened with a nice drive by the Chargers, culminating with a 28 yard field goal by Nick Novak. From that point, Seattle took over. The defense surrendered very little, while the offense took advantage of field position to set the lead. With each score of San Diego, the Seahawks rose up to answer with a score of their own.
There are many things to point to for the Seahawks: 2 interceptions that snuffed San Diego offensive drives, and setting up their own offense despite nearly 6 mins less in time of possession, the Seahawks had over 75 more offensive yards.
But the play that defined this game was the play that immediately ended the first half. San Diego was driving for a score when Charlie Whitehurst threw a deep pass, which was intercepted by Chris Maragos at the Seattle 29, and returned it for 28 yards to the San Diego 43. With seconds remaining, Pete Carroll sent the field goal team onto the field for an attempt at a 61 yard field goal (ESPN stats tracks this attempt at 59 yards)
While it seems like a decision that carried little meaning, it was a statement that Pete Carroll has been emphasizing all training camp – “We want to HAMMER it.”
While the field goal was missed, the second half was all Seattle defense. The final score was an anti-climatic 31-10. All the drama was in the first half.
Not every game will be this obvious, nor will every opponent be overwhelmed, but the first shot has been fired. Seattle is playing to win.
The NFL is on notice.
Written by: @milroyigglesfan