Austin Davis outplayed Trevone Boykin in the Seahawks' win over Kansas City, but Pete Carroll says one game will not be the deciding factor in the Seahawks' backup quarterback competition
In a penalty-marred preseason game on Friday night that saw the two teams combine for nine punts and seven field goal attempts, two lines stood out on the stat sheet of the Seahawks’ 26-13 win over Kansas City.
Austin Davis: 5 for 5 for 64 yards and a touchdown, with a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3
Trevone Boykin: 0 for 6 for 0 yards with an interception and a quarterback rating of 0.0.
Does Seattle once again have a backup quarterback controversy?
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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll downplayed the dichotomy between the two backups’ performances against the Chiefs.
“I really think that we were just out of sync so much for the first 10, 12 plays there that Boykin just couldn’t get rolling,” Carroll said. “It just felt like we were out of whack for a bit. Austin came right in we kind of fit together very nicely.
“Trevone has had a really good preseason so far. I don’t think five to six passes he threw in this game should be in the final decision. I think he’s done very well.”
Through the first two preseason games, Boykin, who’s starting his second season with the Seahawks, appeared to lock up the battle for the backup quarterback job. He was especially good in the first preseason game against the Chargers, when he went 12 of 15 for 189 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Yet, even that day in Carson, Calif., Davis did well with limited playing time, going 7 of 9 for 108 yards. So even though Boykin has the edge because he’s been with Seattle longer, Davis’performance against the Chiefs should at least keep the sixth-year pro in the conversation.
At CenturyLink Field on Friday evening, Boykin took over from Russell Wilson early in the third quarter, but was ineffective in four offensive series. On three of his four offensive series, he failed to even convert a first down, and the Seahawks were forced to punt. His second series ended in an interception when a pass meant for Kasen Williams ended up in the hands of Kansas City cornerback De’Vante Bausby.
“We tried some things, I feel like we did pretty good with our tempo,” Boykin said. “We didn’t execute as well as we wanted to, but that’s what these preseason games are for – for us to get better. So we’ve just got to fix our mistakes and keep moving forward.”
Davis, who signed with Seattle as a free agent in June, did not enter the game until the fourth quarter. But when he did, he outplayed Boykin and galvanized the Seahawks’ offense.
“He’s a very, very smart football player, he’s very savvy,” Carroll said of Davis. “He’s helped us and brought a lot of focus and good stuff to the room. He really is a big step ahead of what’s going on, always. It’s how he’s played. It’s pretty clear.”
Davis completed five-straight passes, finishing with a 28-yard deep touchdown pass to Tanner McEvoy, to ice the game for Seattle.
“That was just a one-on-one match up, and he’s made plays all preseason, so I felt like I had to give him a chance,” Davis said.
The touchdown was the first Davis has thrown since 2015, he said.
“I’ve always wanted to throw one in this stadium. It’s a great fan base, great crowd. I’ve played here a couple times but never thrown a touchdown here, so it was pretty cool,” Davis said.
Davis went undrafted coming out of Southern Mississippi in 2012, but signed with the St. Louis Rams as a free agent, and got thrust into a starting role when Rams starter Sam Bradford, and his backup, Shaun Hill, both went down with injuries in 2013.
Davis started eight games that season and amassed a 3-5 record as a starter, completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 2,001 yards and throwing 12 touchdowns to nine interceptions. He signed with Cleveland in 2015, and played three games there, making two starts for the Browns.
So if he has one advantage over Boykin in the battle for the Seahawks’ backup job, it’s that he has starting experience in the NFL.
“I think at this point in my career, I bring a lot of experience to the table,” Davis said. “I feel like most looks I’ve seen, most pass concepts I’ve had. I’ve been in what seems like a thousand different offenses, so I feel comfortable with everything. It’s just a matter of getting reps and executing.
Carroll did not rule out the possibility of keeping three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.
“It’s a good idea if you can do it,” Carroll said. “They’re so important. It just depends on the rest of the roster.”