SEA-KC recap: Mixed debut for Seahawks rookies Germain Ifedi, Trevone Boykin
Here are the top takeaways and analysis from the Seattle Seahawks’ 17-16 preseason win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday:
Kansas City Chiefs
Quarterbacks: Alex Smith saw only one drive, but he was able to lead the team down the field for the opening touchdown. His one real play of note was a 20-yard pass on the run that set up the touchdown. After Smith called it a day, Nick Foles made his first appearance as a Chief, and while the stat line doesn’t wow, he did earn the highest grade among the team’s quarterbacks.
Offense: Tackle Jah Reid and guard Garrick Mayweather played well, earning positive grades in the run game. Reid saw extensive action, logging 31 snaps as the Chiefs gave their second-string line a good workout. Rookie Parker Ehinger (University of Cincinnati), a fourth-round selection, started at left guard and held his own, with just one QB hurry marring his scorecard. Running back Spencer Ware didn’t see much action, but he did make an impression, forcing two missed tackles from just five carries. Among the wide receivers, De’Anthony Thomas forced two missed tackles from three receptions, and Rod Streater had a nice sideline catch for a 21-yard gain.
Defense: All eyes were on the Chief’s top selection from the 2016 NFL draft, second-round pick Chris Jones (Mississippi State), and he didn’t disappoint. Jones racked up three QB hurries for an impressive 13.2 pass-rushing productivity mark, a measure of per-snap productivity as a pass-rusher. Outside linebackers Dezman Moses and Jonathan Massaquoi enjoyed considerable success against the Seahawks’ backup offensive linemen, recording three QB hits and eight total pressures between them. Corner D.J. White earned a team-high coverage grade, with two passes defensed from the six thrown into his coverage. Rookie corner KeiVarae Russell (Notre Dame) fared less fortunate, allowing all three passes into his coverage to be completed.
Quarterbacks: Russell Wilson wasn’t in the game for long, and didn’t have a lot to do prior to throwing the interception that ended the Seahawks’ opening drive; a better-placed ball might have resulted in a touchdown. Rookie QB Trevone Boykin (TCU) took over for Wilson and got an extended look, playing 42 snaps. He had a mixed outing, with a few errant throws bringing his grade down. However, he saved the best for last, making his best throw of the night in the game-winning drive. He also showcased his impressive athleticism late in the fourth quarter, when he evaded a pass-rusher and then took off for a 15-yard gain, dancing past two Kansas City defenders in the open field.
Offense: Center Justin Britt and right guard Germain Ifedi (Texas A&M) had positive outings in the run game. However, Ifedi, a first-round rookie, had some rough moments in pass protection, though his struggles paled in comparison to those of George Fant and Rees Odhiambo, who were given a torrid time by the Chiefs’ pass-rushers. Rookie wide receiver Tanner McEvoy (Wisconsin), the former safety and converted quarterback, had a good outing, despite recording a drop.
Defense: Just as he did last offseason, defensive end Frank Clark made a positive impression, with a pair of pressures and the highest run-defense grade on the team. Defensive tackle Jarran Reed, a second-round rookie out of Alabama, also had a solid game, grading positively as a run-defender and a pass-rusher, as well as snuffing out a screen pass. A pair of undrafted rookie linebackers, Kache Palacio and Steve Longa, made notable cameos late in the game, with each recording two defensive stops in limited action. Star free safety Earl Thomas also made his presence felt when he rocked Chiefs tight end Demetrius Harris with a drive-ending hit.