RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks figured out just how easy it is to get off track.
After successfully resetting its roster and figuring out a style and method for winning in the first half of the season, Seattle took a major step backward in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Seahawks had built a winning formula on running the ball, avoiding mistakes on offense and stopping the run on defense. Now, Seattle has to prove it can beat a quality opponent when the script doesn’t play out perfectly.
“We’ve found ourselves in most of the games we didn’t win right there at the end, so close to getting it done,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “I’m hoping the second half of the season will allow us to finish those games and get the wins that we want and turn this season into a really positive year for us.”
The 25-17 loss to the Chargers revealed how quickly the Seahawks can lose the style of play that led them to win four of the previous five games. They sit at 4-4, facing a challenging three-game stretch that starts this week with the Los Angeles Rams.
“I’ve never looked at this like it’s a rebuilding year. (GM) John (Schneider) and I didn’t look at this like that. We saw the opportunities to fill the spots and we thought we could keep moving and going,” Carroll said. “There’s always going to be some growing time and we saw that the first two weeks of the season. As far as expectations, our expectations are higher and that’s why we’re disappointed that we’re not in better shape than we are right now.”
Seattle still had a chance to force overtime against the Chargers until Russell Wilson’s pass for David Moore at the back of the end zone was tipped slightly and fell incomplete on the final play.
The Seahawks issues started long before that pass hit the turf.
Seattle did not stop the run, giving up 7.3 yards per carry to the Chargers and letting Melvin Gordon run for 113 yards and a touchdown.
It did not avoid offensive mistakes. Wilson was sacked four times, with several of those his fault for not getting the ball out or trusting the protection. He also made a critical turnover, throwing an interception that was returned 42 yards for a touchdown by Desmond King in the fourth quarter.
And Seattle’s own run game was spotty. The Seahawks finished with 154 yards rushing, but starter Chris Carson didn’t play the final 2 ½ quarters due to a lingering hip injury. After scoring a touchdown on their opening possession, the Seahawks got just three points out of the next nine drives.
The end result was too much reliance on Wilson for a fourth-quarter rally. While Wilson nearly pulled it off, the Seahawks fell to 5-6 at home over the past two seasons and have lost the last five games when Wilson has attempted 30 or more passes dating to last season.
Carroll was uncertain the status of Carson or strong safety Bradley McDougald for Sunday’s game against the NFC West-leading Rams. Carroll said Carson’s hip was a lingering problem coming out of last week’s victory over Detroit, and a light week of practice wasn’t enough for Carson to handle the load early against the Chargers. Carson had just eight carries, leaving Mike Davis as the primary back. Davis had 15 carries for 62 yards.
McDougald didn’t play in the second half with a knee injury that Carroll said was “pretty sore” on Monday. McDougald will likely be a very limited participant in practice this week, but Carroll said he was pleased with the performance of backup Delano Hill stepping in for McDougald, who has been one of Seattle’s top defensive players this season.
NOTES: Carroll said G D.J. Fluker (calf) appeared to be OK. Fluker didn’t play late in the game due to the injury and was replaced by C Joey Hunt playing out of position. … Carroll declined to comment on any speculation about a reunion with DE/LB Bruce Irvin, who was released by Oakland. Irvin spent his first four seasons in Seattle and the Seahawks could use a boost in the pass rush. “I’d prefer not to comment on that right now if you don’t mind. Let’s wait and see what happens,” Carroll said.