Well, it’s only the preseason, right?
That, frankly, is about the best thing we can say about the Seahawks’ 27-11 loss to the Chicago Bears in a preseason game Thursday night at Lumen Field.
There are very few bright spots in this one. That was about as bad as the Seahawks have looked — preseason or otherwise — in any game in the Pete Carroll era.
The Seahawks were outplayed in every way, they lost a starting lineman to what appears to be a significant injury … and they have just 25 days to figure it all out before their Sept. 12 season opener against Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos.
Three quick impressions from the game:
Damien Lewis carted off
The most devastating development of a miserable first half for the Seahawks was an injury to starting left guard Damien Lewis.
Lewis was carted off the field early in the second quarter after his right ankle was rolled over from behind during a run play. Trainers placed an air cast around his right leg before he was carted off.
It’s the one thing NFL teams want to avoid during the preseason — injuries of any kind, but especially to key players — and losing a cornerstone piece on the interior of the offensive line is a significant blow for the Seahawks, who already are breaking in a new-look line with rookie tackles Charles Cross and Abe Lucas, along with second-year player Jake Curhan.
Phil Haynes took over at left guard and veteran Gabe Jackson was inserted at right guard after Lewis’ injury.
What to make of the QB competition now?
Geno Smith didn’t necessarily play poorly. But he didn’t exactly play well, either.
With Drew Lock’s positive COVID-19 test on Tuesday, Smith had the stage to himself Thursday night, with a prime opportunity to state his case in front of a prime-time audience on ESPN.
He didn’t do much to convince you he won the job, did he?
Smith was 10 for 18 for 112 yards during his one half of work against the Bears. He was sacked twice and was hurt by three drops from his receivers, plus five first-half penalties on the offensive line.
Again, it wasn’t a bad performance from Smith. But he certainly didn’t do anything to separate himself in the QB competition.
Question now is, presuming Lock returns healthy by early next week, will he be given a runway to win the starting job? Or is it too late?
Coming out of the Seahawks’ first preseason game over the weekend in Pittsburgh, one thing coach Pete Carroll wanted to address was tackling. There were far too many missed tackles against the Steelers.
And, welp, there were still far too many Thursday night against the Bears.
Notably, safety Marquise Blair had several missed tackles in the first half as the Bears built a 17-0 halftime lead. This is where it’s only fair to note that, yes, the Seahawks were playing without many of their regular starters on defense — safeties Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams, plus leading tackler Jordyn Brooks — but this still had to be disappointing for Carroll to see two games in a row.
And you can add another major sticking point — special teams.
Jason Myers missed a first-half field goal from 47 yards. The Seahawks allowed a punt return of 48 yards in the first half and a kickoff return of 58 yards in the second half.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, Cade Johnson gifted the Bears a touchdown in the closing seconds of the second quarter when he fumbled a punt inside the 5-yard line.