Vikings vs. Seahawks score, takeaways: Seattle rallies in second half to win preseason opener vs. Minnesota
Seattle begins its preseason with a 'W'
Two NFC foes wrapped up our Thursday-night Week 1 preseason doubleheader, as the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Minnesota Vikings at Lumen Field, 24-13. It was a tale of two halves for Seattle, but a 14-point run by the home team in the second half sealed the deal for head coach Pete Carroll.
Quarterback Nick Mullens got the start for the Vikings, and he helped Minnesota score the first 10 points of the game. In two quarters of play, he completed 14 of 20 passes for 139 yards and one touchdown. Second-year running back Ty Chandler was the workhorse for the Vikings on Thursday evening. He carried the ball 11 times for 41 yards, and caught four passes for 29 yards.
The Seahawks answered the 10-point deficit with a 10-0 run of their own, and on the final play from scrimmage of the third quarter, Drew Lock hit Jake Bobo for a 19-yard touchdown that gave Seattle its first lead of the game. Lock played three full quarters, and completed 17 of 24 passes for 191 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Rookie signal-caller Holton Ahlers replaced Lock in the final quarter, and he led quite the wild six-play, 64-yard drive where he threw his body around in the run game, and capped the possession with an ill-advised, free-for-all ball that somehow ended up in the hands of wide receiver Matt Landers for a touchdown. That score sealed the game for Seattle.
There's plenty of storylines from this game to discuss, including some first-round rookie wide receivers everyone is interested in.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Jordan Addison
Two of the first four wide receivers selected in the 2023 NFL Draft got their first NFL action on Thursday night: Seattle's Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Minnesota's Jordan Addison.
Smith-Njigba caught 3 of 4 targets for 25 yards. He had a nice catch across the middle on a slant route that went for a gain of 15 yards. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are still the headliners at wide receiver for Seattle, but JSN has enough talent to make this passing attack a three-headed monster that keeps the league on edge. He's certainly someone to watch moving forward.
As for Addison, he caught just 1 of 3 targets for 22 yards. However, that stat line isn't exactly truthful. The No. 23 overall pick made a fantastic toe-tapping grab early in the first quarter, but the refs apparently thought it was too good to be true. The officials ruled it incomplete, but judge for yourself.
In 2021 with quarterback Kenny Pickett at Pitt, Addison caught 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns in 14 games played. Could he and Justin Jefferson become a dynamic duo?
Ty Chandler & Jalen Reagor shine
With Dalvin Cook gone, Alexander Mattison is expected to take over at running back for the Vikings. But who will get touches with him? Minnesota has Kene Nwangwu (out tonight with injury), Ty Chandler, rookie DeWayne McBride and Abram Smith. It was Chandler who was the lead back on Thursday night.
He racked up a total of 70 yards from scrimmage on 15 touches, and noticeably ran hard looking for that extra yardage. He caught all four of his targets for 29 yards, and even got involved in pass protection. Chandler was one of the highlights for the Vikings. Even without Cook, this Minnesota backfield has some depth.
As for the wide receivers, it was the wideout selected over Justin Jefferson in 2020 that led Minnesota in receiving with four catches for 55 yards. Check out this throw and catch from Mullens to Reagor.
'He's gotta be down there somewhere'
Holton Ahlers' first drive as an NFL quarterback was a fever dream young Seahawks fans will tell their children about one day. On his first play, Ahlers fumbled the snap -- but recovered the ball for a loss of 1 yard. Hot start, right? Well that scare likely caused a spike in adrenaline that would serve him well minutes later.
Two plays later on third-and-9, Ahlers executed the QB sneak perfectly for a monster gain of 22 yards
Just three plays later, and after another physical 7-yard run, Ahlers threw up a very ill-advised pass that ended up in the hands of teammate Matt Landers! You'll have to see it to believe it.
Credit Landers for the remarkable adjustment, but with how this drive began with the muffed snap, it felt a little magical.
Drew Lock strike
The Vikings offense dominated early, but Lock finally got things in gear late in the second quarter. To cap a six-play, 59-yard drive, he delivered a big-time throw to Easop Winston Jr. for a 12-yard touchdown.
Lock's NFL career has been up-and-down, of course. After showing flashes of franchise-quarterback potential with the Denver Broncos, he was traded to Seattle as a part of the Russell Wilson deal. He lost the quarterback battle to Geno Smith in 2022 and signed a new deal to remain the No. 2 in Seattle this offseason, but he's still capable of making some big throws. He had another pretty nice touchdown toss at the end of the third quarter as well.
Nick Muse TD and griddy
Vikings tight end Nick Muse flew over his defender for the first touchdown of the game, and hit the griddy for good measure.
Coby Bryant hit stick
Many are expecting this Seahawks defense to be much-improved in 2023, and a big reason why is their young secondary. Tariq Woolen and Devon Witherspoon are the big names, but don't forget about Coby Bryant. He's going to make an impact in his second season, too.
Check out this monster hit on Jalen Reagor in the first quarter. The refs threw a flag for illegal contact, but ultimately picked it up.
The Vikings will return to Minnesota for Week 2 of the preseason, and host Will Levis and the Tennessee Titans. As for the Seahawks, they will stay at home and host the Dallas Cowboys.
Ahlers threw up a very ill-advised toss, and Matt Landers somehow came down with it down the right sideline. Breaks a couple tackles and he's in the end zone. Unreal.
Ahlers looks all of 6-3, and he's putting his body on the line. Another first-down run. Seahawks close to the red zone.
Ahlers takes a QB draw for 22 yards right up the middle on a third-and-9. Defense was nowhere to be found in the middle of the field.
Ahlers in the game for Seattle at QB. First snap he fumbles, but recovers.
Vikings go for it on fourth-and-1 and Seattle stands up on defense. McBride couldn't get the one yard up the left guard.
Seahawks take over around their own 35-yard line.
10:55 remaining in the game.
Jaren Hall hits the big target N'Keal Harry for a 19-yard gain on third-and-4. Not the best throw, but it all worked out. Drive stays alive.
A nice rebound from Drew Lock! Five plays, 32 yards and a very accurate pass to Jake Bobo. Played wideout at Duke and UCLA. He now has three catches for 55 yards and the touchdown.
Seahawks on top for the very first time tonight as we enter the final quarter. 17-13 SEA.
Head's up play on special teams by the Seahawks. Vikings rookie Thayer Thomas muffed the punt after the ball bounced off him. Recovered by Seattle. Now, the Seahawks get possession at the Vikings' 32-yard line.
Very weird play, but huge turnover.
Seahawks defense has Lock's back after the turnover. Three plays, two yards for the Vikings offense, but Greg Joseph nails a 54-yard field goal. Vikings back in the lead. 13-10 with 3:24 left in the third quarter.
Wonder if that was Lock's last series?
Lock's ball is intercepted by rookie CB Jaylin Williams. I don't know if that was tipped or just a terrible decision. Either way, Minnesota's ball with 5:06 remaining in the third quarter.
I love seeing the read option. I know it's more of a college thing, but every now and again you're going to get that mismatch against the big defensive end that can't help but overcommit. Lock just picked up an easy 5 yards.
Lock still out there on the field. Wondering when Holton Ahlers comes in. Rookie from ECU.
Jaren Hall really showing off some athleticism getting outside the pocket. Don't know how important that is but he looks relatively elusive.
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