RENTON – The goals for the NFL exhibition season aren’t quite the same as the regular season, when nothing really matters aside from winning.
Those goals also change a little bit with each week.
In the exhibition-season opener last week at San Diego, the Seahawks wanted their starters to work up just a little bit of a sweat and begin learning a lot more about some of the younger players. That mission was accomplished with a 31-10 win.
The Seahawks play game two of the exhibition season Saturday night when they face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos at 7 p.m. at CenturyLink Field, and the objectives have shifted slightly.
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Here are a few items on the to-do list Saturday, besides the obvious of staying healthy:
• See a little more consistency out of the No. 1 offense and defense.
This probably applies more to the offense, which didn’t score and got just three first downs and 47 net yards in two series consisting of 12 plays against the Chargers.
Seattle played essentially without four starters in that game, however, and three of them — running back Marshawn Lynch, receiver Sidney Rice and center Max Unger — figure to play this week (Lynch had a couple of plays last week but did not have a carry).
“Obviously I’d like our ones to do a little bit better,’’ said offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. “The problem is that you don’t have them out there for a long time. They’re going to get to stay out there a little bit more, so we want to see the ones go down and score some points.”
Coach Pete Carroll said a specific problem with the offense against the Chargers was the ability of receivers (including tight ends) to get open. So consider improving that aspect as an objective-within-an-objective against the Broncos.
The defense was on the field for two series and 19 plays against the Chargers and gave up three points.
The Seahawks, though, will get a good test tonight from Manning (who may play at least a half) and will look to be just a little sharper than a week ago, when San Diego starter Philip Rivers completed 5 of 6 passes.
Denver also employs a no-huddle offense, and Carroll called it a “very important opportunity for us to work on no-huddle defense and see how that goes.”
• Continue refining the defensive front.
This is the area of the team that remains the most uncertain, in large part due to injuries to key players such as end Cliff Avril and tackle Tony McDaniel. It’s unclear whether either will play on Saturday, which could again give lots of work at end to the likes of O’Brien Schofield and Mike Morgan, and at tackle to rookies Jesse Williams and Jordan Hill.
Hill, a third-round pick out of Penn State, was one of the revelations from the win in San Diego with his ability to not only play well in passing situations but also in early-down run defense.
• See if the young standouts of the Chargers game can do it again.
Last week’s game was won with a big second half fueled by a number of good performances from some younger players angling for roster spots, such as defensive end Benson Mayowa (1.5 sacks), receiver Stephen Williams (two catches for 83 yards), running back Derrick Coleman (touchdown catch and two special-teams tackles) and offensive linemen Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey.
But, as Carroll said Friday, “anybody can do something good once. Can you come back and do it again?
“The young guys all have to come back and prove it, and they are going to have to do it for four weeks in a row to make the team. … All the guys that showed good sparks the first time out, you want to see them come back (and do it again).’’
One of those who may not get a chance is running back Christine Michael, who had 89 yards against the Chargers but has been dealing with back spasms this week.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org