What we learned from Seahawks' win over Vikings

The absence of Thomas Rawls, due to a minor ankle sprain suffered in camp, presented new acquisition Eddie Lacy with a golden opportunity to prove to coaches he could split snaps with the starting incumbent.

Instead, it was rookie back Chris Carson who earned more time with the starters on Friday night. Carson alternated first-team snaps with Lacy on Seattle's opening three drives and showed better speed and hole-hitting ability on his six carries for 27 yards. The rookie also was effective out of the backfield, taking one Russell Wilson pass for 17 yards.

Carson also showed up on film when the ball wasn't in his hands. His pickup of Pro Bowl defensive end Everson Griffen sprung a first-quarter deep ball, and as a special teamer, he forced a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half.

Lacy, meanwhile, struggled to pick up gains in short-yardage situations, tallying just two yards on three down-and-one situations, a problem that carried over from Seattle's preseason opener. The former Packers star ran for 20 yards on six carries, barreling through tacklers for nine yards on his opening rush, but otherwise making little impact on the ground.

Pete Carroll's backfield is the most crowded it has been since Beast Mode's exodus, with Rawls, Lacy, Carson, C.J. Prosise, Mike Davis and Alex Collins all worthy of targets and capable of catching out of the backfield. So just because Seattle brought in the former Pro Bowler Lacy this offseason, paid him a starter's salary and made him publicly monitor his fluctuating weight in front of a sneering internet doesn't mean he is guaranteed starting snaps in the regular season.

In other words, the RB depth chart in SEA is TBD.

Here's what else we learned from Seattle's 20-13 victory over Minnesota in the CLASH AT THE CLINK:

  1. Dalvin Cook is one slippery beast. The Vikings rookie tailback impressed once again with the first-teamers, bursting into the second level on nearly every one of his seven gallops Friday evening. Minnesota trusts Cook to carry the load, as the Vikings opened their second drive of the game with four straight handoffs to their first-year runner, who gained 40 yards on the night. The rookie was subbed out after just two drives, but had done more than enough to secure his status in this offense. If Latavius Murray wants starting carries in Minnesota, he better rehab as quickly as possible. If not, he'll get Wally Pipped before even taking the field.
  1. Seattle suffered a serious blow to its offensive line when starting left tackle George Fant had his right leg rolled up in the second quarter and was carted off the field with his leg in an air cast. The second-year undrafted tackle was immediately replaced by guard Rees Odhiambo, who played there for the remainder of the game. Carroll said after the game Fant would need knee surgery -- a major setback for the converted basketball player, who gained nearly 20 pounds and has impressed coaches this offseason. With Fant out for the season, Seattle could keep 2016 third-round pick Odhiambo at left tackle or swap him inside with former Jaguars left tackle and current starting left guard Luke Joeckel
  1. Meet Kasen Williams, Seattle's newest big-play receiving threat. The third-year receiver has only one career reception to his name, but through two preseason games, has exploded onto the scene in Seattle with Paul Richardson and Tyler Lockett sidelined. After a four-catch, 119-yard showing against the Chargers in Week 1, the receiver made two stellar catches on Seattle's opening drive, including a one-handed snag surely to get some traffic on the dark web. If he can continue to earn his coach's praises and keep up the acrobatics in the coming weeks, Williams won't just secure a roster spot behind the likes of Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse; he'll be playing alongside them by Week 1.
  1. Remember when Blair Walsh, then a member of the Vikings, missed a would-be game-winning 27-yard field goal in a 2015 wild-card loss to the Seahawks and subsequently lost his job? Well, now the exorcised kicker is Seattle's starting booter, and Friday night was his revenge game. Walsh went 2 for 3 on field-goal attempts, knocking in two 52-yard field goals in the third quarter. The kicker celebrated by mean-mugging the Minnesota sideline in what will go down as the best -- and only -- preseason kicker taunt in NFL history. Whatever helps you heal.
  1. Football-as-prop celebrations are back, baby. They're back! Somewhere Chad Ochocinco weeps.
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