NFL Wire News

Seahawks’ slow start traced to not finishing

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The Sports Xchange

RENTON, Wash — The Seattle Seahawks are 0-2 for just the second time under head coach Pete Carroll.

The Seahawks also began the 2011 season with an 0-2 start with defeats on the road at San Francisco and Pittsburgh on their way to missing the playoffs for the only time under Carroll.

Similarly, the Seahawks have begun the 2015 season with losses on the road at St. Louis and Green Bay.

“We got to get out of our own way right now,” Carroll said. “We are not doing that well. We are not playing good enough ball to just play good, clean, and sharp and better football. It feels like we are not as clean as we need to be.”

The Seahawks have lost three straight games dating to Super Bowl XLIX, failing to hold a fourth-quarter lead each time.

Against the Packers, Seattle rallied from an early 10-0 deficit to take a 17-16 lead late in the third quarter.

Green Bay then marched 80 yards on 10 plays to take the lead on a touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Richard Rodgers. The ensuing two-point conversion gave Green Bay a 24-17 lead.

Quarterback Russell Wilson’s pass was intercepted on the following possession by linebacker Jayrone Elliott, which led to a Mason Crosby field goal to give the Packers a 27-17 cushion.

“Not finishing,” Carroll said about what has bothered him most from the first two games. “Not finishing when we had a chance to win. Whatever the circumstances were that led up to the finish, let’s finish the thing and get out of there on both of them.”

Unforced errors were a problem for Seattle on Sunday night. Despite only six penalties officially being called, several more hurt the Seahawks chances in other ways.

Defensive end Michael Bennett was offside three times. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, knowing he had free plays at his disposal, completed two passes to James Jones for 22 and 29 yards with a touchdown, and also drew a 52-yard pass interference penalty against Richard Sherman.

In total, those five declined penalties resulted in plays totaling 128 yards, a touchdown and the two-point conversion to Richard Rodgers.

“I think it’s just been us hurting ourselves,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “I think from the penalties to the missed tackles to the things of that nature, it’s been stuff that is fixable.

“Stuff that is in our control and we just need to eliminate that stuff. We can’t give the offense free plays.”

The Seahawks led the league in scoring defense in each of the last three seasons. So far in 2015, they are allowing 30.5 points per game, which is tied for third-worst in the league.

REPORT CARD VS. PACKERS

–PASSING OFFENSE: C-plus — Pass protection was better this week for quarterback Russell Wilson after the Seahawks allowed six sacks to the St. Louis Rams. Wilson threw two touchdown passes but a critical interception by linebacker Jayrone Elliott in the fourth quarter led to the Packers retaking the lead.

–RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus — If not for Russell Wilson, this grade would be a lot lower. Marshawn Lynch had little room to run as B.J. Raji was frequently tossing Seattle center Drew Nowak into the backfield to disrupt the Seahawks’ inside running game. Wilson ran for 78 yards on 10 carries, primarily with read-option keepers to help spark Seattle’s offense in the second half.

PASS DEFENSE: C-minus — Quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 25-of-33 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle. Wide receiver Randall Cobb caught eight of those passes for 116 yards. The Seahawks’ pass rush couldn’t keep Rodgers contained in the pocket and Rodgers was able to frequently extend plays to find an open receiver.

RUSH DEFENSE: C-minus — Running back James Starks rushed for 95 yards on 20 carries for the Packers, as the Seahawks struggled to get the shifty back to the ground. Eddie Lacy has never had successful games against Seattle. He had only nine yards on three carries before an ankle injury knocked him from the game.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus — The Packers managed to return only one kick in the game. Steven Hauschka converted his only field-goal attempt from 54 yards. Jon Ryan placed two punts inside the Packers’ 20-yard line.

COACHING: C — The running game was non-existent in the first half. Tight end Jimmy Graham did not factor into the game at all. It took quarterback Russell Wilson getting going in the running game for Seattle’s offense to show any life. Seattle has had three straight losses dating to the Super Bowl and were unable to hold leads in the fourth quarter each time.


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