Upon Further Review: Seahawks Week 16

December, 23, 2013
12/23/13
8:00
AM ET
SEATTLE -- A review of four hot issues from the Seattle Seahawks' 17-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals:

More offensive line woes: Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung left the game in the second half with what coach Pete Carroll described as soreness in his big toe. It's the same toe that had ligament damage earlier this season and caused him to miss eight games. Okung’s status is unknown, but he is one player the Seahawks can ill-afford to lose for the playoffs. Seattle had two rookies in the game when Okung left, Alvin Bailey in Okung’s spot and Michael Bowie at right guard. Bowie was starting for J.R. Sweezy, who was out with a concussion. Quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked four times Sunday and under heavy pressure most of the game. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 71 yards, but only 11 yards came in the second half. Sweezy probably will return in Week 17 against St. Louis, but offensive line injuries have been a problem for the Seahawks most of the season.

Passing not fancy: Seattle had its worst effort of the season in the passing game. Doug Baldwin was targeted six times and had only one catch. Jermaine Kearse led the team with only three catches, but he was targeted seven times. Golden Tate had only two receptions. Wilson completed only two passes of more than 11 yards. In their defense, Kearse was playing on a bad ankle and Tate injured his left thumb in the game. Frankly, this was a game in which the Seahawks could have used Percy Harvin, and that included on kickoff returns. Robert Turbin fumbled on two returns but was ruled down on the first one. Baldwin did well on two returns in the fourth quarter, but this was the first game in which plenty of people must have thought, “Percy, where are you?”

Yellow fever: The biggest weakness all season for the Seahawks has been a penchant for penalties that kill scoring drives and keep opponents' drives alive. It happened again Sunday when Seattle has nine penalties for 102 yards. It included two facemask calls, two pass interference flags, one unnecessary roughness on defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, one defensive holding, one delay of game, one false start, one offsides and one offensive holding that was declined. In close games against qualities opponents, like Sunday, it’s a killer. And it could be a major problem for the Seahawks in the playoffs if they don’t find a way to play with more discipline.

Sherman continues to excel: Cornerback Richard Sherman had two interceptions Sunday and would have had three if not for Michael Floyd pushing him out of the play for offensive interference. Sherman now has eight interceptions on the season. He also had eight tackles Sunday. He might have passed his teammate, free safety Earl Thomas, for NFL defensive player of the year considerations. But you have to take the good with a little bad with Sherman. He also was flagged twice for interference.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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