Seahawks with no time to lament growing list of issues
By TIM BOOTH
Nov. 07, 2017
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Maybe it's best the Seattle Seahawks don't have time to dwell on what went wrong.
By the time Monday afternoon rolled around, the Seahawks were trying to put the mistakes of Sunday's 17-14 loss to Washington behind them, knowing they had barely 72 hours to prepare for Thursday's divisional game at Arizona.
But it was hard to ignore such a sloppy performance by the Seahawks that featured 16 penalties, two turnovers, three missed field goals and Washington scoring with less than a minute remaining to walk out of Seattle with an unlikely victory.
"We've got some real serious stuff we've got to get better at," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
Carroll was not in the best of moods Monday, with the continued penalty problems at the top of the list. But he also was irritated by Blair Walsh's three missed field goals, quarterback Russell Wilson sometimes escaping the pocket too early, and his defense surrendering two big plays on Washington's final drive.
The Seahawks have shown flaws throughout the first half of the season, but Sunday was the first time so many of them had surfaced in the same game.
"We have so much to improve and I am surprised somewhat that we're not further along in these areas that I'm talking about right now," Carroll said. "These are things that we really can control and we have a chance to be good."
The 16 penalties were the second-most in franchise history and the most by any team in the NFL this season. Carroll was particularly miffed that 10 of the penalties came against the offense and all of them left Seattle facing long-yardage situations. All five offensive linemen were flagged at least once.
Seattle has never been the cleanest team with penalties, but the Seahawks already have games of 16 and 15 penalties this season, the most in Carroll's tenure.
"It's a group thing when you have a bunch like this, but it comes down to individual choices and making good decisions and doing things right," Carroll said. "So we're going to jump all over it with another emphasis."
There was also concern about Walsh's confidence moving forward after an awful kicking game. Walsh missed wide left from 39, 44 and 49 yards all in the first half and left Seattle facing a 7-2 deficit at halftime.
Walsh had been 12 of 13 on the season going into Sunday's game, and Carroll said the Seahawks would not be making a change.
"He's been great. He's been kicking like crazy and we are expecting him to get right back to that," Carroll said.
Then there was the final drive when Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins hit two long passes that led to the winning touchdown. Seattle remained aggressive with its defensive calls after being criticized in the past for playing too soft in late-game situations.
This time, the aggressiveness got the better of them. Rather than playing zone, the Seahawks had their cornerbacks in the face of the wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. So when Brian Quick and Josh Doctson got separation from Justin Coleman and Shaquill Griffin there was no other defenders there to help. Quick's 31-yard catch was the precursor to Doctson's 38-yard reception to the 1-yard line — beating Griffin — that set up Rob Kelley's winning TD run with 59 seconds left.
"I feel like the mistake that I made, I almost got relaxed on that play. Looking for (the ball), I couldn't find it and that's the mistake that I made," Griffin said. "That's something I've got to move on from too. He made a hell of a catch. That was a hell of a throw and it sucks to see a ball game go away like that."
NOTES: Carroll said it's too early to know if FS Earl Thomas (hamstring) and DT Sheldon Richardson (oblique) will be able to play against the Cardinals after both were inactive on Sunday. ... DE Marcus Smith (concussion) was not at the facility on Monday and is in the concussion protocol. "He might be out a little bit," Carroll said. ... FB Tre Madden will be out due to a calf injury.
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