Seahawks vs. Titans: the opener of the fake season

Tennessee won the toss and elected to receive, so we’ll get a look at the Seahawks defense first. Olindo Mare is kicking off, so it appears his sore calf, which kept him out of practice for a couple of days last week, is fine.

Back in a few.

Tennessee 7, Seattle 0, 7:11 left in first quarter

So the Seahawks gave up a long touchdown drive to start the game, allowed a couple descent-size plays along the way, then managed just one first down on offense before punting. Hmmmm… I know it’s a preseason game, but that has to be a little unsettling for Seahawks fans, no?

One interesting thing about that first Seahawks series, the first three plays were all passes to Deion Branch, two of which were completed. A lot of people had written him off after last year, but it looks like, if healthy, Branch will be a big part of this offense.

Josh Wilson turnover wasted

Just when it looked like the Seahawks had something going—Josh Wilson intercepted a Vince Young pass on third down—Matt Hasselbeck was sacked and the Sehawks had a three-and-out.

New-look D-line comes up big

Another good series for the defense, forcing a three-and-out thanks to a tackle for loss from Kevin Vickerson and Red Bryant. On the next play, New DE Chris Clemons came up with a sack. Looks like Matt Hasselbeck and the No. 1 offense will get at least one more series here.

Seahawks lead 10-7

How about that for a Seattle debut for Mike Williams. On a third-and-1 play, Charlie Whitehurst hit Williams in the flat, and CB Ryan Mouton flat whiffed on the tackle attempt, allowing Williams to go untouched 51 yards to the end zone. And even though it may not count, I got a hunch that meant a lot to Williams, who has been out of football for two years. He did keep the ball and take it with him to the sideline.

Seahawks still up 10-7 at halftime

Charlie Whitehurst had a solid first half, completing 6 of 10 passes for 121 yards. He was intercepted once, but it’s hard to tell without a replay if that was on him or Mike Williams, the intended receiver. Either way it was a decent start for the likely backup.

Justin Forsett had a couple of nice runs, and also had a 30-yard reception. Julius Jones got most of the first-team work, but Forsett has looked better even though he’s running behind the No. 2 line.

Perhaps most impressive in the first half for Seattle is the fact that the defensive line has actually gotten some pressure, sacking Chris Simms once and knocking him down a few more times. That is a huge area of concern for this team, so any progress, even in the preseason, is a good thing.

For the most part all of the starters were out of the game by early in the second quarter, though it seems Pete Carroll wants to get a long look at his first-round picks, because both Russell Okung and Early Thomas played almost the entire half.

And just an early warning, the updates will slow way down in the second half because I have to get cracking on my story for tomorrow’s paper.

Seahawks lead now 13-7

Olindo Mare was good from 48 yards to extend Seattle’s lead, but it appears his sore calf is still not 100 percent. His first couple of kickoffs were a little shorter than the big ones he hit last year, and after making that last field goal, P Jon Ryan took the next kickoff.

Still no sign of JP Losman at QB, though I’m guessing we’ll see him soon. Whitehurst, if you care, is now 9 for 16 for 151 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.

Thurmond on the mend

A rather surprising sight at this point of the season is that of CB Walter Thurmond returning punts. Thurmond is less than a year removed from tearing his ACL, PCL and MCL, an injury that caused him to slip to the fourth round. The fact that he is playing tonight is one thing, but to see as a punt returner, one of the most vulnerable players in football, is rather amazing.

Seahawks lead now 20-7

Now let’s not get carried away and say there’s a quarterback controversy in Seattle, but backup Charlie Whitehurst has had a pretty strong debut. He just led the Seahawks to another scoring drive, which ended with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Anthony McCoy. The drive was kept alive when Seattle went for it on fourth-and-2 and connected on a 36-yard pass to Deon Butler.

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