Assessing Morris, Jones for Seattle

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Seahawks have yet to declare a starter at running back. The stats favor Maurice Morris tonight. He was the first halfback in the game against Minnesota and he has six carries for 62 yards, running with confidence and purpose. Julius Jones has four carries for 15 yards to this point, but his value extends beyond rushing stats.

I've been watching Jones in pass protection. He is not Shaun Alexander in that department, a good thing for Seattle's passing game. Jones cut down a blitzing linebacker at the ankles to facilitate Seneca Wallace's 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeb Putzier.

A couple of other things I've noticed in this game recently:

  • Lawrence Jackson, the Seahawks' first-round choice this year, beat Vikings backup left tackle Chase Johnson around the outside. Jackson hit Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte on the play.

  • Howard Green's sack late in the first half came on a stunt. The Vikings appeared unprepared for it, no surprise in the exhibition season. This wasn't a case of Green beating his man one-on-one.

  • Vikings receiver Aundrae Allison beat Seahawks cornerback Josh Wilson in man coverage for a 25-yard gain down the middle. Wilson missed in coverage and missed the tackle, turning a short pass into a long gain on third-and-8.

  • David Hawthorne, trying to earn a roster spot at linebacker, put a crushing hit on Vikings running back Albert Young. The ball came out and cornerback Kevin Hobbs recovered. Big play for Hawthorne. He has a shot.

We're at halftime. Seahawks 17, Vikings 17. Matt Hasselbeck completed 7 of 8 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. Wallace has completed 5 of 7 for 44 yards and a touchdown. The Vikings' Tarvaris Jackson and Frerotte have completed 12 of 18 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown.