For the eighth straight preseason game, the Seattle Seahawks conquered their opponent. Their preseason win streak is extraordinary considering how many different moving parts there are inside of an organization this time of the year.
Yet, it’s easy to see why Seattle has had such great success in the preseason. Since coming to the Pacific Northwest, head coach Pete Carroll and Co. have put an emphasis on the importance of quality football being played during the month of August.
Here’s what Carroll told John Boyle of the Everett Herald:
Preseason is really important to us. I do not blow off these games like it's just another game and we're looking at the young guys. It's way more than that for us, and we're trying to build a mentality around here of winning, and to understand how you win and the lessons that it takes and the discipline that it takes to always show your best every time you go.
The 61-year-old leader has been around the game long enough to know what works and what doesn’t. Even though his approach goes against the norm, one has to think it truly has a lasting effect on the players in terms of preparation and the amount of effort they put forth.
Friday night’s prime-time game against the Green Bay Packers was a prime example. Despite the fact the contest won’t count when it's all said and done, Darrell Bevell’s offense and Dan Quinn’s defense showed competitive toughness for 60 minutes. Both sides of the ball followed Carroll’s “always compete” mantra.
The defensive side of the ball was led by the secondary and rookie pass-rusher Benson Mayowa. Prior to the Hawks' third preseason game, the undrafted free agent out of Idaho garnered three quarterback sacks, two quarterback hits, three quarterback hurries and six tackles.
Versus Green Bay, Mayowa added four tackles and one quarterback hit to his preseason stat line. Without question, he has been the top performer along the defensive line through three games. General manager John Schneider would be called crazy if he left him off the 53-man roster.
On the offensive side of the ball, rookie running back Christine Michael made a strong case for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart as he carried the team on his back in the second half. After being held out of last week’s game, he posted eye-popping numbers during the second unofficial game of his young career.
The 221-pound bruiser found the end zone once and amassed 97 yards on 11 carries. Moreover, Michael’s skill set as a runner was on full display. He demonstrated electrifying cutting ability, he played with a low pad level, and he showcased remarkable speed.
It appears as if he is the favorite to take carries away from Marshawn Lynch instead of Robert Turbin.
Unfortunately for Seattle, its 17-10 victory wasn’t free of error. The Seahawks tortured themselves by accumulating 14 yellow flags for a loss of 182 yards. Additionally, the offensive line looked out of sync in pass protection. It surrendered four quarterback sacks and six quarterback hits.
Poor protection coupled with too many penalties made for an average night. If offensive line coach Tom Cable’s bunch wouldn’t have redeemed their poor play in the running game, they would have earned a failing grade. As a whole, the hog mollies up front know they need to improve their play sooner rather than later.
With just two weeks to go before the regular season begins, the Seahawks look focused and ready to make a run at their first Lombardi Trophy. As long as signal-caller Russell Wilson is taking all the snaps under center, Seattle’s preseason odds are better than they have ever been.