It is in the third preseason game that fans like us generally get to see the starters get the most reps of the preseason.
That said, Friday’s game against the Chicago Bears should be quite telling, especially given that we will see quite a few Seattle Seahawks starters on the field for the first time this preseason.
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The Seahawks’ first two preseason games proved to be very contrasting, which isn’t really that much of a surprise, given the difference in strength between the two opponents (Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers).
The Broncos, coming off an AFC Championship, appear to have improved significantly during the offseason and, accordingly, are a Super Bowl favorite, while the Chargers appear to be a playoff-bubble team once again.
The Hawks performance in the Broncos game apparently led to a lot of concern on behalf of many of the 12th Man. Though they did lose their first preseason game in three years, I do want to remind you that the Hawks were up 10-7 when the starters sat down.
Not to mention, the Hawks played far fewer projected regular season starters than the Broncos did, and the Broncos roster is loaded.
Subsequently, there has been a lot of anticipation about the potential explosiveness of the offense after the Seahawks dominated the Chargers in the second game. However, it is worth mentioning that the Seahawks starting offense played a lot longer than that of the Chargers.
Regardless, the Seattle offense looked just about as explosive as it did in the Super Bowl blowout over the Broncos, so it is only natural to be giddy in anticipation of what’s to come.
The contrast really came down to how the Hawks performed in the trenches. In the Denver game, both the offensive and defensive lines were ineffective at times, especially the second units. However, in the Chargers game, both lines dominated, even when the second units were in.
That all being said, the forthcoming Bears match-up should give the Hawks faithful a better gauge of where the Seahawks really are right now. Not only are both teams likely to play their starters for extended periods of time, but the Bears are expected to be a contender in the NFC.
Further, the Seahawks are expected to field starting teams that very closely resemble that of which is projected for the regular season.
There may even be a Beast Mode sighting, as Marshawn Lynch should get a few carries.
That being the case, we should see the offense move the ball effectively, as the Bears no longer have the stout defense they did for so many years.
Though they will still be without their top linebacker, Bobby Wagner, and end rusher, Bruce Irvin, we should get a good feel for how the Hawks defense will compare to last year’s historic unit, as the Bears do bring a solid offensive arsenal in QB Jay Cutler, RB Matt Forte, and premier wideouts Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
Ultimately, I think this game will provide far more foresight as to what we can expect this coming season from our champion Seattle Seahawks.