SEATTLE -- The weather was ugly and the football was downright putrid at times, but Tyler Lockett's NFL debut was a thing of beauty.
Lockett, the Seattle Seahawks' rookie third-round pick, announced his presence with a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and added a 46-yard return.
The Seahawks' preseason opener against Denver was mostly a forgettable mess of fumbles -- a combined seven -- penalties and dropped passes. But Lockett's debut showed that he could be the return threat the Seahawks have been missing the last two seasons.
Here are some quick thoughts on the Seahawks' 22-20 loss to the Broncos.
QB Depth Chart: Starter Russell Wilson played only two series, an unsurprisingly light workload for the first preseason game. And that was plenty considering the constant durress he found himself under. Wilson completed his only official attempt, a 12-yarder to tight end Jimmy Graham on a play-action pass (another completion was wiped out by a penalty). Backup Tarvaris Jackson played the remainder of the first half and into the third quarter before leaving with an ankle injury. He completed only 1 of 6 attempts for 8 yards, but two of those incompletions were drops. Assuming Jackson's injury isn't serious, his job as Wilson's backup is secure.
Maybe That Dude Could Start: Lemuel Jeanpierre and Alvin Bailey were the starters at center and left guard, the two spots along Seattle's offensive line that are yet to be determined. Jeanpierre is battling Drew Nowak at center while Keavon Milton is the other player vying to start at left guard. It will take at least another preseason game or two to determine the winners at those spots, but Friday night's starters were likely an indication that Jeanpierre and Bailey are in the lead.
Who Got Hurt? Jackson left the field on a cart in the third quarter after his right ankle was rolled up on. Coach Pete Carroll called it a sprain but didn't know of the severity. Wide receiver Chris Matthews, the surprise star of Super Bowl XLIX, suffered an AC sprain in his a shoulder injury while trying to fall on a muffed punt in the second quarter, ending his night. Carroll said Matthews could be out as long as two weeks. Cornerback Mohammed Seisay left in the first half with a groin injury and didn't return.
A Surprise Player Who Looks Amazing: Undrafted rookie running back Thomas Rawls helped his case for a roster spot with a 19-yard touchdown reception off a screen pass, showing a nice burst to find the end zone. In all likelihood, Rawls would have to unseat Christine Michael as the third running back in order to stick with the Seahawks. Michael fumbled Friday night as he continued to have trouble holding onto the ball.
Rookie Watch: While Lockett stole the show, second-round pick Frank Clark looked downright dominant, wreaking havoc in the Broncos' backfield all night while leading Seattle in tackles with nine. On one play, he blew by tackle Ty Sambrailo to force a fumble. Later, he manhandled guard Ben Garland, pushing him backward off the line of scrimmage to make another tackle. Clark was lined up at end on the first play and at tackle on the second, showing the versatility that the Seahawks cited as one of the reasons they chose him with their first pick.
When It Was Starters v. Starters, the Seahawks Looked …: In two words, not good. During the only two series in which the starting offense played, the Seahawks gained a net of 25 yards on 10 plays, allowed two sacks and committed a false-start penalty. The second of those two drives resulted in a field goal, but that was largely thanks to a 46-yard kickoff return from Lockett that gave Seattle a short field.
One Reason To Freak Out, Good or Bad: It was only one play, but it showed an element of Seattle's offense that could be incredibly tough to stop. On Seattle's second series, Graham and Luke Willson lined up in a two-tight-end set, a formation that screams run. Denver's defense bit on the play fake and Wilson found Graham wide open for a 12-yard gain. Just imagine how effective that same play could be when it's Marshawn Lynch in the backfield that the defense has to worry about. Lynch didn't play, no surprise as he typically does little in the preseason.
McCoy Drops The Ball: Tight end Anthony McCoy had a forgettable night in what was his first game back after missing the last two seasons with separate Achilles injuries. He was targeted twice and dropped each pass despite being wide open both times. Drops were a problem for McCoy earlier in his career and it appears they still might be.
Big Nights For Williams, Boyer: Want to hear an uplifting story? Here are two of them. Defensive tackle Jesse Williams played Friday night, two and a half months after undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous kidney. Diagnosed in May with papillary type 2 cancer, Williams has yet to be told that he's in remission but recently was cleared to play football. He was credited with two tackles. And then there was Nate Boyer, the 34-year-old former U.S. Army Green Beret who's getting a shot as a long snapper with Seattle. He made his NFL debut, handling the snapping duties in the second half.
Brady Henderson is the editor-in-chief at ESPN Seattle/710Sports.com.