For Pete's Sake: Critical observations from the Seahawks preseason Week 1 win

Seattle won its first preseason game of 2023 by defeating the Vikings.
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The Seattle Seahawks started slowly but kept the pressure on the Vikings. Grinding away on defense and hitting big plays on offense, the Hawks made their preseason debut a sweet one for Pete Carroll's 14th year in Seattle. We saw a lot of great play from guys fighting to make the team, exactly what you want in the preseason.

The Seahawks defense looked solid on the first drive with a mix of veterans and rookies. Michael Jackson and Tre Brown made several nice plays early. Boye Mafe and Derick Hall put plenty of pressure on Vikings quarterback Nick Mullins. Coby Bryant came up big at his new position at safety.

Once it was the offense's turn, Zach Charbonnet got into the game, catching a short dump-off pass on third and long, but didn't have much room to operate. He looked good in the few opportunities he had.

After a rough start, the Seahawks turned the game completely around

Overall, the Seahawks' defense was solid in the first quarter, with Boye Mafe and Coby Bryant the standouts. Unfortunately, the offense was a different story. Drew Lock seemed to go through his reads too slowly. He missed a couple of passes in the first quarter as well.

The second quarter got off to a miserable start for the Hawks, as Nick Mullins - no, really, Nick Mullins - drove the Vikings down the field to the Seattle three-yard-line. The Hawks were guilty of a couple of blown coverages en route to the three. There was a brief moment of joy as Devin Bush stuffed the runner for a yard loss. Unfortunately, the Hawks blew coverage again and the Vikes went ahead, 10-0.

After the touchdown, Smith-Njigba ran a sweet route and picked up a first down. Two plays later, JSN pulled off what looked like a triple juke and was wide open over the middle, but Lock's pass sailed, and the rookie could barely get his fingertips on the ball. We didn't see any more of JSN, but we saw enough to know he's the real deal. After that, it looked like we were in for more sadness but happily, the Seahawks had other plans. From this point on, they would execute those plans much better.

The Vikings next drive was shut down courtesy of John Rhattigan who made the first two stops, and Levi Bell who planted Mullins just as he released the ball, forcing an incompletion. The Seahawks got off to a great start, with Tyler Mabry and Charbonnet moving the chains. Then Jake Bobo got open for a stunning 29-yard gain.

Two plays later, Seattle converted on third down for the first time in the game. Drew Lock threaded an exceedingly fine needle to hit Easop Winston Jr. in the end zone. A Minnesota defender was draped over Winston so early he was flagged for PI, but the Hawks came away with the score anyway. It was an absolutely beautiful drive.

The Hawks continued to send a message on the ensuing drive, as Devin Bush made a jarring hit on the kickoff. Rookie Jerrick Reed II delivered a crushing hit as well. The Vikings made a couple of big plays though, and got to their own 49 when the 12s made their second big play of the game, forcing a delay of game for the second time. On third and 12, Mullins was forced to scramble and dropped well short of the first by Rhattigan for his ninth tackle of the night, essentially wrapping the first half.