Takeaways from Seahawks 24-14 preseason loss to Chargers

Seattle Seahawks v Los Angeles Chargers

1. Chris Carson, David Moore leave the biggest offensive impressions.

Running back Chris Carson and wide receiver David Moore were both seventh-round picks of the Seahawks in 2017. While Carson cracked the starting lineup as a rookie, Moore was a bit player during his first season in Seattle.

But both have made plays this preseason to suggest they could be real contributors in their second seasons with the Seahawks.

Carson flashed some powerful runs and a mix of agility on his nine carries for 34 yards before deferring to backups. Carson also had a 23-yard touchdown run called back due to a penalty on rookie tight end Will Dissly. 

The only negative for Carson was getting stopped twice at the goal line and losing a fumble when he was blasted by Melvin Ingram and Corey Liuget.

"A horrible thing to do," Carroll said of the fumble. "Chris ran the ball really well but it gets clouded because he gave the ball up inside the 1."

Moore made a pair of tough contested catches on back-to-back throws from Wilson, picking up 52 yards and 19 yards down to the Chargers' 1-yard line before Carson's fumble squandered a scoring chance.

"A couple of unbelievable plays," Carroll sad of Moore's catches.

Moore has shown a knack for catching the ball at its peak and has strong leaping ability that makes him play taller than his 6-foot size would suggest.

An honorable mention goes for former Arizona Cardinals receiver Jaron Brown, who had two catches for 74 yards and continues to show a nice rapport with Russell Wilson.

2. Defense experiencing growing pains without former stars.

While there was some good individual performances - we'll get to one of those in a moment - the Seahawks defense as a whole has had its issues.

Chargers quarterbacks combined to complete 15 of 19 passes for 174 yards against the various Seattle defenses faced on the night. Additionally, the Seahawks allowed 176 yards rushing with explosive runs coming from each of L.A.'s top three running backs.

While the unit may get a bit of a pass for Saturday night considering the Chargers play against the same defense in practice every day with Gus Bradley as the team's defensive coordinator, it's not difficult to fathom why a team that no longer has Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman or Kam Chancellor, and has Earl Thomas not with the team do to a hold out, would have some struggles. Byron Maxwell also didn't play, leaving rookie Tre Flowers as the starting right cornerback with Dontae Johnson getting his first game action as well with the second-team unit.

That being said, the defense itself only allowed 17 points. It was a punt return touchdown by J.J. Jones that was the biggest breakdown of the night and gave the Chargers their 24-point total. Additionally, the Seahawks had a chance to get the ball back in the closing minutes with a chance to go for the victory over to have Detrez Newsome break free, untouched, for a 31-yard gain on third-and-3 near midfield.

Next week's test against the Minnesota Vikings will be a strong barometer for where the team can be with their starters as they prepare for the start of the regular season.

3. Rasheem Green with another strong showing.

With the need for pass rushing so high, getting three sacks from your second-round pick in two games in a good sign.

Green had another 1.5 sacks on Saturday night to pair with the 1.5 sacks he had last week against the Indianapolis Colts. Additionally, he led the team in tackles with six and had a team-high four quarterbacks hits as well.

“That really jumps out at you,” Carroll said. “He looks really aggressive and very skilled in his pass rush again.”

With Dion Jordan's status still up in the air and the team releasing Marcus Smith this week due to a personal matter, Green could become an important cog of Seattle's defensive front. He's shown the versatility to rush from both the interior and edge with effectiveness and is the youngest player on Seattle's roster at just 21 years of age.

4. Michael Dickson put on a punting show.

If there can be such a thing as a punter putting on a show, fifth-round pick Michael Dickson came close on Saturday night.

Dickson had three punts and averaged 53 yards a punt against the Chargers. The hang-time on his kicks and the ball placement down field negated any ability for the Chargers to mount a return. 

His first kick in the second quarter traveled 55 yards with placement toward the sideline and a swarm of Seattle defenders ready to meet returner J.J. Jones immediately upon catching the ball. He'd later punt a ball 57 yards to the sideline with the Chargers returner catching the ball going out of bounds at the 10-yard line.

His worst punt of the night was a 48-yarder to the Chargers 20 that resulted in a 14-yard return that was called back due to a holding penalty.

While Jon Ryan had a decent night in his own right, Dickson has been the favorite to win the job since draft day and Saturday's showing won't do anything to change that seeming inevitability.

5. Germain Ifedi's struggles continued.

If you're looking for a concern from the first-team offense, the play at right tackle continues to be an issue.

Ifedi has looked as though he's made improvements throughout camp this offseason. However, Chargers pass rusher Melvin Ingram gave him all kinds of trouble Saturday night.

Ingram didn't pick up any sacks himself, but his influence led to a pair of sacks of Russell Wilson by Ingram's teammates. Ingram put Ifedi on his backside on a rush in the red zone when Ifedi got leaning too far upfield and Ingram quickly shifted direction and caught him off-balance. Wilson managed to escape the pocket and make a throw anyway, but it wasn't a good look for the former first-round pick.

Ifedi's struggles seemed to be exacerbated by D.J. Fluker's absence at right guard. Fluker left the game early on after sustaining a dislocated finger on his right hand.

The problem for Seattle is they don't have any other options right now. Jamarco Jones sustained a bad ankle sprain last week and G.M. John Schneider said on his pregame show that Jones had surgery this week in Green Bay. Isaiah Battle has missed the last week as well after injuring his knee last week against the Colts. And George Fant is just working back in on the left side after missing all of last year due to an ACL tear.


Photo Credit: CARSON, CA - AUGUST 18: Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers breaks through a hole in the Seattle Seahawks defense during a presseason game at StubHub Center on August 18, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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