Russell Wilson declared the Seattle Seahawks offense to be in mid-season form after last night’s 26-13 win over Kansas City. But it was far from a perfect exhibition on the part of the defending NFC West champions.
Seattle’s starters took advantage of four defensive penalties and a dropped interception by the Chiefs to punch in their sole touchdown. Otherwise, they were held to field goals until Austin Davis tacked on a last quarter score against the third-team unit.
Kansas City had some success breaking through the Seahawks offensive line as Seattle tries to figure out how to handle things after a season-ending injury to left tackle George Fant. The line held up enough to allow the rushers over four yards per carry.
Wilson looked completely healthy. His mobility is what limited Kansas City to only one sack and a QB hit. He also connected on passes of over 25 yards to four different receivers before yielding control to the second string early in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, a kickoff return provided the only touchdown for the Chiefs as Seattle’s defense looks to be in top form.
What did we learn
Seattle’s receivers looked completely in sync with their star passer. Routes were crisp, anticipation was accurate, and when Wilson had to scramble, someone always worked their way into a position to bail him out.
Doug Baldwin, Kearse, and Jimmy Graham were supplemented by Paul Richardson and a bevy of good-looking, young receivers. Rookie running backs Chris Carson and J.D. McKissic showed they can catch the ball as well, offering a full arsenal of targets to Wilson and that is before wide receiver Tyler Lockett returns to the team.
Wilson looked like vintage Wilson, with no signs of any of last season’s injuries affecting him. On one play, he broke out of the pocket, almost crossed the line of scrimmage before breaking back and to the outside where he launched a perfect 44-yard strike to Carson. Later, he completed a pass across his body to Jerome Kearse.
Thomas Rawls missed his second game, as did C. J. Prosise. Rawls is nursing an ankle injury while Prosise has a groin issue. Their absence was barely noticed as Eddy Lacy ran over a couple of defenders on an 11-yard run, finishing the night with 4 carries for 21 yards.
Chris Carson alternated first team snaps with Lacy and accounted 90 yards on 9 touches. Besides the 44-yard reception from Wilson, Carson averaged 5.7 yards-per-carry on eight rushes (46 yards). Fellow rookie McKissic matched Carson’s 46 yards on nine carries to go with his 21 yards receiving.
Seattle does not seem too concerned about Rawls’ return, but they do want to see more of C. J. Prosise before the regular season. His performance last season makes him unlikely to be cut, but he has to realize there are two new backs able to handle his potential third-down role.
Wilson looks determined to put any memory of his injury-hampered 2016 performance out of everyone’s mind. His fantasy league ADP has been slowly on the rise. He is currently going in the sixth round as the QB6. I would not be surprised if he passes Derek Carr and Matt Ryan into the QB4 slot before long.
Coach Pete Carroll insists Eddy Lacy is fine and ready to carry a full load. Thomas Rawls should be fine for opening day as well, but Seattle is not tipping their hand as to how they plan to share carries. The questions are holding both of their ADPs down, with Lacy going in the 7th round (RB32) and Rawls following in the 8th round (RB39). Those are safe positions to pick at. If I was going to reach for either, it would be Lacy at this point.
C. J. Prosise’s ADP is holding steady at WR51 despite not seeing the field in two weeks. Chris Carson has started getting some attention at RB64. Attention has to be paid to Prosise’s injury situation as Carson and possibly McKissic could move ahead of him on the Seattle depth chart.
A healthy Russell Wilson makes Doug Baldwin a potential top-ten wide receiver. His ADP has appropriately crawled up to its current WR11. Tyler Lockett returned to practice this week after breaking his leg. Reports are that he looks fast and wants to play, but the Seahawks may hold him out until the regular season opener. Lockett is being drafted late on reputation and hopes that he returns to full speed.
The receiver I think is worth a mid-round pick is Jerome Kearse. Wilson is obviously comfortable with him on big downs. At worst, he is a good handcuff for Baldwin and Lockett.
The other fantasy guys
Jimmy Graham is drafting as a top-five option (number 2 on my board) as he gets more comfortable with Wilson and the Seattle playbook. He looks as healthy and fast as ever in his age-30 season.
Kicker Blair Walsh is a nice story in Seattle. After a rough start in camp, he is perfect on extra points and missed only one (out of eight) field goal attempts. His miss was a 50+ yarder off the upright. I still don’t know if I trust him on my fantasy team.
The Seattle defense, however, I do trust. It is a top-five caliber unit with no glaring weakness.
So, that’s that!
Seattle seems primed to make a successful defense of their NFC West title and make a run in the playoffs. But who cares as long as they create lots of fantasy points. I am betting they will as the blue, silver and whatever-they-call-that-shade-of-green makes a solid appearance on my roster.
Of course, injuries and surprises happen, so check back with us often at RealSport for fantasy updates all season long.
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