What We Saw: Preseason Week 1

Catch everything you missed from a weekend chock full of football

Vikings @ Seahawks

Final Score: Seahawks 24, Vikings 10

Senior Writer: Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1)


Two teams who unceremoniously made the playoffs last year before making a swift exit in disappointing fashion met in their first preseason action of the 2023 season. Neither team chose to roll out any starters despite a few offensive linemen on the first few drives. We did see both first round rookie wide receivers – Jordan Addison for Minnesota and Jaxon Smith-Njigba for Seattle, and both flashed what they could do with a couple of smart catches.

The first half saw the Vikings backups get the better of a Seahawks outfit that failed to get anything going on offense early. As the second half went along we saw a lot of guys from way down the depth charts, and most will not make either team. The Seahawks did score a couple of nice touchdowns late to make the score look more commanding than it actually was.

The broadcast was super fun with the presence of Michael Bennett in the booth!


Minnesota Vikings




Nick Mullens: 14/20, 139 yards, TD; 2 carries, 9 yards


A rough first drive for backup Nick Mullens, in which he nearly got sacked in the end zone for a safety, was an ominous sign for the Vikings, who battled penalties on the offensive line and indecisive quarterback decision-making all of last season. Mullens settled in and leaned heavily on the run, allowing him to make throws without pressure at will in the first half on two scoring drives. Mullens capped a faultless 12-play, 80 yard touchdown drive with a clinical high pass to second-year tight end Nick Muse at the back of the end zone. Mullens is locked in as a plus backup at the position.




  • Excellent sideline throws – one that was called a no-catch out of bounds to Jordan Addison that was actually a catch
  • Mostly threw on play action, moving well in the pocket
  • Stood strong in the pocket and took a couple of front on hits
  • Converted on fourth down with a short-of-the-sticks check down to tight end Johnny Mundt

Missed Opportunities

  • Missed on a third down throw inside the red zone on the second drive of the game on a designed roll to the left
  • Bad delay of game on third down on the final drive of the first half in a promising position before the half


Jaren Hall: 6/14, 37 yards, 2 sacks


The rookie out of BYU was taken in the fifth round of the draft as a project quarterback and the Vikings saw just how big a project they have as the diminutive signal caller struggled mightily behind a porous offensive line. He struggled when progressing through reads and did not use his athleticism to escape pressure.

He did have a couple of nice moments including a brilliant first-read throw to the sideline to N’Keal Harry on third and long.



Running Back


Ty Chandler: 11 carries, 41 yards; 4 targets, 4 receptions, 29 yards


The promising all-purpose back looked every bit the NFL-style running back that has flourished in the league over the past few seasons. Chandler led the backfield in the first half and hit his holes with pace and balance. He showed quick feet and an ability to burst into contact at the second level. His pass protection also showed signs of improvement. He has the advantage in terms of the the backup role behind starter Alexander Mattison.



  • Shifty runner who sees gaps and hits holes with pace
  • Comfortable pass catching and excels in short pass situations
  • Fits the system and stays relevant in play action
  • Tough for a small back, really drove into contact


Abram Smith: 7 carries, 28 yards; 1 target


Rookie fullback who was heavily involved in the run game after the half. CJ Ham is slated to reprise his role as one of the most effective fullbacks in the game so hard to see Smith making this team right now.


DeWayne McBride: 6 carries, 15 yards


It was disappointing to see the exciting rookie not used more as the talk in camp has been very positive. As a seventh round selection, McBride has to be outstanding to make this team. His best chance may be as a kick off returner and that is where he excelled in this game – his three kickoff returns for 50 yards was promising. In the absence of the electric Kene Nwangu, McBride will continue to get a chance to show what he can go.

McBride was stuffed on 4th and 1 for a turnover on downs with little room to run.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Jordan Addison: 3 targets, 1 reception, 22 yards


The most exciting element to this Vikings offense on the day, the former USC wideout showed excellent route running ability and made the Seahawks secondary look completely ordinary. Despite not being called a catch, this sensational sideline grab with toe drag swag made the entire fantasy world look up and watch. Everything you want in a rookie, and more!



Jalen Reagor: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 55 yards


One of two failed former first round picks now in the Vikings ranks, the former Philadelphia Eagles wideout has found a role in Minnesota over the past year. The Vikings declined his fifth year option, however, so he is playing for a spot on this roster. He did his chances no harm with a couple of excellent routes and two catches to setup his team in the red zone.


N’Keal Harry: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 24 yards


The former Patriots first-round pick only joined the Vikings last week but he flashed his quality with two nice grabs, one from rookie quarterback Hall on a key third and long. Still, Harry faces stiff competition to make the roster as he isn’t really known for his special teams contributions.


Brandon Powell: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 22 yards

Nick Muse: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 10 yards, TD

Thayer Thomas: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards, fumble (lost)

Johnny Mundt: 2 targets, 1 reception, 3 yards

Blake Proehl: 2 targets, 1 reception, 2 yards


Seattle Seahawks




Drew Lock: 17/24, 191 yards, 2 TD, INT, sack; 3 carries, 14 yards


All the many angles of Drew Lock were on show in this all-encompassing performance filled with moments of brilliance, moments of stupidity and plenty of frustration in between. The former Denver signal caller looked pedestrian in the first quarter before he exploded in the second with a couple of competent drives. Lock excelled when he had a clean pocket and could pick and fire to his first read – the touchdown pass to Easop Winston Jr. was a dart into a tight window.



Yet, the old deficiencies reared their ugly heads quickly and this terrible throw over the middle was easily picked off by rookie slot corner Jaylin Williams. It is this kind of throw that makes everyone not believe in Drew Lock.



Holton Ahlers: 4/4, 43 yards, TD; 6 carries, 26 yards


As rookie debut’s go, Holton Ahlers showed it all. The rookie quarterback threw for a touchdown and looked every part the dynamic backup quarterback option that the Seahawks could turn to if they decide to give up on Drew Lock. Ahlers was prolific in college through the air and on the ground and I am excited to see more in the upcoming weeks. A player to watch out for. He could even make the team in a number of roles.



Running Back


Bryant Koback: 6 carries, 32 yards; 3 targets, 3 receptions, 43 yards


Ironically, Bryant Koback led the Seattle backfield against the team he spent all season with on the practice squad in 2022, the Vikings. Koback ran hard and also made things happen through the air in the second half but his road to playing time is littered with barriers.


SaRoderick Thompson Jr.: 3 carries, 14 yards

Zach Charbonnet: 4 carries, 14 yards; 2 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards


Rookie running back Zach Charbonnet, taken in the second round by the Seahawks, has a bright future if his NFL debut is anything to go by. Charbonnet looked explosive in his handful of carries and totally demolished safety Lewis Cine twice with mean, angry runs. This was wonderful to watch. Let’s hope he shows more int he coming games. He is immediately the clear favorite in this backfield behind Kenneth Walker.



Wayne Taulapapa: 1 carry, 3 yards; 2 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards

Deejay Dallas: 2 carries, 1 yard


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Jaxon Smith-Njigba: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 25 yards


After battling with a hamstring injury in preseason, the first round selection got plenty of work in the first half and nabbed a couple of excellent grabs from Lock to get him into the contest. Smith-Njigba mainly worked over the middle and projects to start as the Seahawks’ primary slot receiver. He took two contested catches in that route tree and showed steady hands and toughness.

He also got roughed up by former first round Vikings safety Lewis Cine near the sideline but bounced straight back up.



Jake Bobo: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 55 yards, TD


Introductions to the NFL don’t come better than this for Jake Bobo. Bobo is an undrafted prospect out of UCLA and ran a nice outside route here before hauling in the touchdown pass from Lock. He also made two other tidy grabs and did enough to show Pete Carroll that he will be a competitor in the preseason. Seattle makes a habit of giving guys like Bobo a roster spot. Watch this space.



Matt Landers: 3 targets, 1 reception, 30 yards, TD


The most bizarre touchdown of the first week of preseason belongs to Matt Landers, who took a lofted throw-it-up-for-grabs ball all the way to the end zone for an unlikely score. Landers is a long shot to make the roster but the way he finished this play will give him a few more looks in the coming weeks.



Easop Winston Jr.: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 29 yards, TD


The journeyman free agent hasn’t managed to stick anywhere since going undrafted in 2020, however he is staying with the Seahawks for another shot at the roster. Winston Jr. made a nice grab for the touchdown in the second quarter and will look to build on that in future weeks. Winston projects as a slot receiver, a tough ask with new first round selection Smith-Njigba on the scene.


Tyler Mabry: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards

Colby Parkinson: 1 target, 1 reception, 10 yards

Tyjon Lindsey: 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards

Cade Johnson: 2 targets; 1 carry, 2 yards

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