Seattle Seahawks

 

Takeaways from Seahawks-Chargers preseason game - Aug. 16, 2014

Quarterback Kellen Clemens #10 of the San Diego Chargers is hit by defensive end O'Brien Schofield #93 of the Seattle Seahawks as he passes the ball during the second quarter of the game at CenturyLink Field on August 15, 2014 in Seattle,Wa. (Photo by Otto Gruele/Getty Images)

by Curtis Crabtree
KJR reporter
Twitter: @Curtis_Crabtree

The Seattle Seahawks looked like a team coming off a Super Bowl victory Friday night.

Seattle demolished the San Diego Chargers in a 41-14 victory in which the offense scored on every possession expect the drives that ended each half.

Yes, the Chargers had quarterback Philip Rivers play just one series. Yes, running back Ryan Mathews, defensive end Dwight Freeney, defensive tackle Jarrett Johnson and cornerback Jason Verrett didn't play.

However, Seattle held out many starters of their own.

Safety Kam Chancellor, linebackers Bruce Irvin, Malcolm Smith and Bobby Wagner, center Max Unger, left tackle Russell Okung and defensive end Michael Bennett all did not play the Seahawks.

Nevertheless, Seattle looked to be in a completely different class than the Chargers by comparison.

Here are a few takeaways from how Seattle performed against the Chargers:

1.) Is it possible Seattle could be better than last year's team?

The Seahawks have lost a handful of key contributors from the team that took home the Lombardi Trophy in February. However, there are signs Seattle could possibly be an even better team this season.

Seattle's offense looked potentially explosive against the Chargers.

Receiver Percy Harvin brings an entirely different element to the offense and has the ability to affect coverages. James Carpenter looked like a possible force at left guard and quarterback Russell Wilson was in complete control.

"I definitely believe we can be that explosive," Wilson said. "...I think we want to be explosive, we also want to run the football extremely well, and still be explosive in the running game, but also the passing game."

The defense has lost some of its depth and whether they can reach last year's dominant levels remains to be seen, but if the offense can take big strides forward Seattle looks to be as dangerous as ever.

2.) Robert Turbin looks to be the clear No.2 running back option.

Marshawn Lynch is the unquestioned starter but the battle for the backup job has been an open battle between Robert Turbin and Christine Michael.

However, Michael has fumbled in each of the Seahawks first two preseason games.

Turbin had a very strong game with 81 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries for Seattle.

Turbin has proven to be strong in pass protection as well and offseason knee surgery has appeared to give him an extra level of performance.

With a head coach like Pete Carroll who likes to preach a philosophy of "it's all about the ball," if Michael can't secure the football he won't be playing.

3.) Terrelle Pryor can run around 2nd, 3rd-string defenders. We knew that already.

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor rushed for 59 yards on three carries, including a 44-yard touchdown run against the Chargers in the second half.

However, that doesn't tell us anything new about Terrelle Pryor.

Pryor is a ridiculous athlete and to see him running around second-, and third-team defenders, many of which won't be on NFL rosters in two weeks, isn't particularly surprising. It's what he does best.

But Pryor plays the quarterback position, which means he has to be able to throw the ball as well, something that up until this point he hasn't proven to be very proficient at.

Pryor was just 1 for 4 passing for 10 yards against San Diego. One of those incompletions was a drop from tight end Cooper Helfet.

Pryor is clearly the worst thrower of a football of any of the four quarterbacks on Seattle's roster. His athletic ability may still earn him a roster spot and he could be a terrific guy to have give scout team looks in preparation for games against Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III.

Is that enough to earn a 53-man roster spot? Only time will tell.

4.) O'Brien Schofield is playing with a massive chip on his shoulder.

Seattle defensive end O'Brien Schofield had agreed to terms on a two-year, $8 million deal with the New York Giants this offseason before concerns over his knee led to Giants voiding the deal with a failed physical.

After the way he played Friday night, the Giants may have made a serious mistake.

Schofield ultimately re-signed with Seattle and put together a terrific performance against the Chargers. He finished the night with three tackles, four quarterback hits and a sack and appears to have clearly surpassed Benson Mayowa on Seattle's depth chart.

"I just came out and played as hard as I could, just showed my teammates that whatever game it is – anytime I’m out there on the field – I’m going to give 100 percent effort," Schofield said. "I love the game so much, so it’s the least that I could do"

5.) James Carpenter is a completely different player.

Left guard James Carpenter saw his first game action of the season after missing the preseason opener with a calf strain, but boy did he look like a different player than he has the past few seasons.

Carpenter is in the best shape of his NFL career and may be primed for a big season. While he did have an apparent blown assignment that led to the only sack of the game for Seattle, Carpenter frequently caved in the left side of the offensive line in the running game.

Carpenter has always been a guy that could bury a defensive lineman when he got his hands on them. The problem has been he hasn't been able to move well enough to adequately engage defenders at times or stay in front of rushers in the passing game.

That seems to have changed for the better this season.

I had a member of the Seahawks offensive line tell me last night he believes Carpenter will be the best left guard in the league this season. If he can even come close to reaching that plateau, it should bode well for Seattle's offense.

 

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