Monday, September 20, 2010
Around the NFC West: Seattle flops on road
By Mike Sando
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks were trying to set up a play for Julius Jones on fourth-and-2, but the Broncos forced Matt Hasselbeck to go elsewhere. Hasselbeck: "It's kind of like a screen play to the right essentially. Julius Jones kind of the guy to get the ball. I think their defense got confused. They ran two guys to Julius so it's just kind of a bad break, a little bit of bad luck and rather than just concede the play, I just tried to throw it up, again to Champ Bailey, which probably isn't going to work." The Seahawks spend each Thursday emphasizing the importance of the turnover battle. That's commendable, but no guarantee against the types of mistakes players will make under pressure.
Also from O'Neil: The Seahawks melted down on a hot day in Denver. O'Neil: "Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was intercepted twice inside the Denver 10, and a holding penalty against right tackle Sean Locklear negated a first-quarter touchdown. Rookie Walter Thurmond muffed a punt deep in his own territory, setting up the Broncos' first touchdown, and the Seahawks defense gave up 34 yards on a trick play in the second quarter. Seattle went for it on fourth down in the third quarter -- trailing by 17 points -- and wound up throwing to the corner of the end zone toward Deion Branch, the shortest receiver on Seattle's roster, while he was being covered by Champ Bailey, one of the NFL's best cornerbacks." Why would Thurmond be the first choice to return punts?
More from O'Neil: Seattle's running game did show signs of life.
More still from O'Neil: Rookie Golden Tate's big day.
Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times cuts the Seahawks some slack in their second game under Pete Carroll. One problem: Some of the mistakes were being made by the wrong guys. Kelley: "These Hawks should win more game than their 2008 and '09 predecessors. They're more athletic. They're deeper. And the division is so awful, they have a legitimate chance to win the NFC West, even if it's by default. But the veterans can't make the kind of mistakes that were made against Denver. The veterans have to play smarter."
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks' problems on the road are undeniable, no matter what Carroll says.
Also from Boling: Carroll spent time with Tate before kickoff going over the challenges of fielding punts on a sunny day.
More from Boling: The Seahawks ran the ball better and stopped the run just fine, but their postgame report card carries some low grades.
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Hasselbeck owned up to a poor performance.
Also from Williams: The Seahawks' defense struggled on third down. Williams: "Perhaps the most critical of those third-down conversions was a third-and-7 play from Denver’s 23 with 8:23 to go in the third quarter. With Seattle still in the game at 17-7, Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton threw wide to Brandon Lloyd and Seattle appeared to force a punt. But a late flag flew in, and cornerback Marcus Trufant was whistled for a questionable pass interference call."
More from Williams: Seattle is 3-14 on the road since 2008.
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com had trouble finding Seahawks receiver Mike Williams in Week 2. The Seattle pass rush was also largely missing.
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says linebacker Leroy Hill suffered a strained calf.
Also from Farnsworth: Tate can make plays. Carroll: "Golden obviously has a knack. I love the natural athleticism and toughness that he has, and his ability to break tackles. It’s one of the things we liked about him coming out. He was different from other receivers in that way."