MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Thursday 7 p.m., CenturyLink Field
TV: Ch. 13 Radio: 710-AM, 97.3-FM.
The series: This is the first preseason meeting since 2011. They played six times in eight summers from 2004-11. It’s the 15th exhibition game between the teams overall. Seattle is 8-6 in the preseason series. As my TNT colleague Dave Boling pointed out:
That last meeting, of course, was Seattle win in the NFC’s wild-card playoff round in January, when the temperature with wind chill was 25 below zero in Minneapolis.
Find the best five guys: That’s on the offensive line. It appears the Seahawks have settled on three interior blockers: new center Justin Britt, their former right tackle in 2014 and left guard last season, plus second-year left guard Mark Glowinski and rookie right guard Germain Ifedi. But the tackles remain issues. Garry Gilliam had been the No. 1 left tackle from May until last week. He will start his second straight preseason game at right tackle, where he started all last season. Former Arizona backup Bradley Sowell will start again at left tackle. They are likely to play more than the 23 snaps they had last week at Kansas City, perhaps the entire first half, and they again may be the last starters for either team to leave. The longer right tackle J’Marcus Webb remains out with a right knee injury, the less likely he will be the starter this season, as once expected. Plenty of work to be done and decisions to be made here still.
In today’s News Tribune, Boling says the line isn’t as bad as feared. At least not so far.
Is Trevone Boykin really going to be Wilson’s backup?: He pulled off the 88-yard rally with 1:07 left to win last week on the final play. But the undrafted rookie quarterback also messed up multiple play calls in the huddle; he had the offense in the wrong formation on his jump-ball touchdown pass to Tanner McEvoy on the final play. Coaches want to see that cleaned up, pronto. If he can master those fundamentals, the No. 2 job is waiting for him. If not, Tarvaris Jackson, for one, is still available as a free agent.
Who’s strongest on the strongside?: Veteran Mike Morgan has been in Pete Carroll’s defense for a decade, counting when he played for Carroll at USC. Morgan went to Philadelphia for a couple days this week to see a specialist about a groin issue, to the same clinic Marshawn Lynch visited last season. Morgan says he’s fine and will play. Cassius Marsh is pushing him for the job of replacing departed Bruce Irvin. Marsh has also been playing rush end in nickel defense on a line with Cliff Avril outside plus Michael Bennett and Frank Clark inside. Eric Pinkins, a former safety, got some first-team reps at strongside linebacker, too. Defensive coordinator Kris Richard says this competition will last until the opening game. And maybe beyond.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year
78 Bradley Sowell LT 6-7 309 fifth
If he can block Vikings rush end Everson Griffen, he could win the LT job
27 Tharold Simon CB 6-3 202 fourth
Last year of his contract. He must make plays, and not penalties like another last week, to get a job
40 Tyvis Powell S 6-3 211 rookie
If undrafted former Ohio State Buckeye performs close to last week’s splash, he could steal a spot
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year
97 Everson Griffen DE 6-3 273 seventh
22 ½ sacks last two seasons. We’ll see if SEA’s Bradley Sowell can block a premier edge rusher
98 Linval Joseph NT 6-4 328 seventh
Pro Football Focus named him an All-Pro last season. Relentless. A challenge for SEA’s Britt, Ifedi
11 Laquan Treadwell WR 6-2 221 rookie
First-round pick from Mississippi is huge, and usually fun to watch