A quick recap of the Seahawks’ 20-18 victory over the Tennessee Titans at Qwest Field on Saturday night:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Charlie Whitehurst. So that’s why the Seahawks’ made the offseason trade to acquire the little-used quarterback from the San Diego Chargers.
After taking over for starter Matt Hasselbeck in the second quarter, Whitehurst rallied the offense by completing 14 of 22 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. He checked to the pass that resulted in a 51-yard touchdown play to wide receiver Mike Williams. He later passed to rookie tight end Anthony McCoy for a 4-yard TD.
“Give John the credit,” coach Pete Carroll said of general manager John Schneider, who orchestrated the deal that brought Whitehurst to the Seahawks. “John saw this thing from way back – really, when he saw Charlie as a junior workout out of Clemson with a senior (before) the draft.
“He caught his eye then, and he was right about him. He’s a really good football player and Charlie is really going to help us.”
Peephole perspective: The Titans got close with a field goal, a touchdown and a two-point conversion, but the Seahawks held on to win 20-18.
Player of the quarter: Alterraun Verner. The Titans’ cornerback made a diving interception on third down to give his team the ball at the Seahawks’ 28 with 7:20 to play.
Play of the quarter: The Titans had one last chance to drive to a game-winning field goal, but rookie safety Kam Chancellor intercepted a Rusty Smith pass and returned it 37 yards in the closing seconds.
Line of the quarter: Newcomer Alvin Bowen and rookie Walter Thurmond each had 4 tackles, tied for a game high. Read more »
Peephole perspective: Another long Olindo Mare field goal. Another Charlie Whitehurst TD pass, but this time a short one. Seahawks 20-7.
Player of the quarter: Whitehurst. When the Seahawks needed a big play, he delivered. On the drive to Mare’s field goal, he hit two third-down passes to tight end Cameron Morrah for 13 and 14 yards. On the drive to his TD pass, Whitehurst hit a 36-yarder on fourth down and then passed for the TD on third down.
Play of the quarter: With the Seahawks facing a fourth-and-2 from midfield, offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates went for it – and Whitehurst went to Deon Butler for a 36-yard pass play to the Titans’ 9. Read more »
Peephole perspective: Seahawks 10-7 at the half, thanks to a long field goal by Olindo Mare and an even longer TD pass from Charlie Whitehurst to Mike Williams.
Player of the quarter: Kevin Vickerson. The former Titans defensive tackle got after his ex-teammates to spark the Seahawks’ defensive effort. He was credited with only an assisted tackle in the quarter, but Vickerson had two solo stops in the first quarter and was disruptive on almost every snap he was on the field.
Play of the quarter: The 6-yard pass from Whitehurst to Williams that turned into a 51-yard TD, as Williams spun around cornerback Ryan Mouton at the Titans’ 44-yard line and was gone.
Line of the quarter: 4 of 10 for 25 yards. That was the Titans’ passing performance in the quarter, as the Seahawks pass rush turned up the heat on Simms. Sixteen of those yards came on a completion by the punter. Read more »
Peephole perspective: Titans 7-0, as they took the opening kickoff and drove 79 yards in 10 plays to a 1-yard touchdown run by Chris Johnson.
Player of the quarter: Vince Young. The Titans’ QB was 4 of 4 on the opening drive, and three of the completions went for 10-plus yards. Young was 5 of 6 in the quarter, with the one incompletion an interception by Josh Wilson.
Play of the quarter: A 28-yard gain on a screen pass from Young to fullback Ahmard Hall, giving the Titans a first down at the Seattle 18 on the opening drive.
Line of the quarter: 5 of 6 for 78 yards. Those were Young’s totals in the first two series before Simms took over.
The bigger picture: That opening drive by the Titans included three double-digit pass plays, as Young went to Nate Washington for 16 yards, got 28 on a screen pass to Hall and then hit Justin Gage for 17 yards to the 1. The Seahawks stopped Johnson on first and second downs, but he got in on a third-down run.
Wilson started at right cornerback for the Seahawks.
The Seahawks introduced tight ends John Carlson and Chris Baker, as well as running back Justin Forsett. But on their first play, Julius Jones was the running back and fullback Owen Schmitt also was in the lineup instead of Baker. The Seahawks picked up one first down, on Matt Hasselbeck’s 10-yard pass to Deion Branch on third-and-6. But Jones was then stopped for no gain and Hasselbeck threw two incompletions to end the possession.
Wilson came up with a third-down interception on the Titans’ next possession, after defensive end Chris Clemons flushed Young from the pocket. Young’s pass to Justin Gage was on target, but Wilson stepped in front of him to make the pick. The Seahawks could not capitalize, however, as Hasselbeck was sacked on first down when former Seahawks Jason Babin beat right tackle Sean Locklear and Jones dropped a third-down pass.
The Seahawks got a sack of their own on the next series, as Clemons beat Leroy Harris to drop Chris Simms for a 13-yard loss on third down. On the second-down play, defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson dropped Javon Ringer for a 2-yard loss.
They don’t name inactive players for preseason games, but the following Seahawks will not play tonight:
- MLB Lofa Tatupu
- LB Leroy Hill
- DE Lawrence Jackson
- OG Chester Pitts
- CB Josh Pinkard
- LB Joe Pawelek
Greetings from Qwest Field, where some players already are out and preparing for the Seahawks’ preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans on a hot – but gorgeous – afternoon.
This isn’t just another preseason game, it’s the first for Pete Carroll as coach of the Seahawks and he is amped to get things rolling in the right direction as he returns to the NFL after a nine-year stint at USC.
Two things to remember, however:
- One, the Seahawks went undefeated in the preseason last year, and then won only five games during the regular season;
- Two, they went 2-2 in the 2005 preseason, only to win a franchise-best 13 games during the regular season – including a club-record 11 in a row – on their run to the Super Bowl.
So much has changed from the preseason opener last year – and the regular-season finale, for that matter. How much? We dealt with that in a story that ran Friday.
Some of the primary questions entering tonight’s game are the same that we’ve been pondered the entire offseason:
How will the Seahawks generate a better pass rush, after registering 28 last season?
Who will emerge as the feature back in the new offense that has been installed by coordinator Jeremy Bates, and the zone-blocking scheme used by line coach Alex Gibbs?
Will the rebuilt left side of the line – with first-round draft choice Russell Okung at tackle and veteran free-agent addition Ben Hamilton at guard – do a better job of protecting Matt Hasselbeck?
How long will it take all the new parts to mesh into a team that has to be more competitive than the Seahawks were last season?
As good as things have looked on the practice field at training camp, tonight will provide a better gauge because, well, the Seahawks will be going against a real opponent.
Enjoy the game. We’ll be back later with quarter summaries, and complete coverage after the game.