A recap of the day’s activities:
Right cornerback. Kelly Jennings remains the starter as the Seahawks get ready for this week’s game against the 49ers in San Francisco, but rookie Walter Thurmond will continue to get some playing time.
That’s the word from coach Pete Carroll, when he was asked about Thurmond taking over for Jennings during a series in Sunday’s 31-14 win over the Carolina Panthers.
“We’re going to continue to play Walter,” Carroll said. “He deserves to play and he’s doing a good job when he’s in there.”
Thurmond started the Week 7 game against the Arizona Cardinals because Jennings was out with a sore hamstring. But Sunday was the first time the coaches made the move to him during a series when it wasn’t injury related – as Jennings allowed four completions for 43 yards in the Panthers’ first 10 pass plays.
“They did come out throwing to their left and working the split end, you know, because Steve Smith is starting over there,” Carroll said. “Which is a good idea – he’s a terrific player.”
Thurmond also got work in the nickel and dime packages, covering slot receivers, because Roy Lewis went out in the third quarter with a knee injury.
“He’s still learning; there’s tons of stuff for him to learn and all,” Carroll said of Thurmond, the team’s fourth-round draft choice. “But we’re going to try to keep him part of the rotation, and we think he makes us better.”
STATS ’N STUFF
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck needs one victory to tie Dave Krieg’s club record. Krieg was 70-49 from 1980-91. Hasselbeck, who joined the Seahawks in 2001, is 69-59.
Leon Washington’s kickoff return average has dipped to 27.0, which ranks fifth in the league. But his punt return average has spiked to 20.9 after his 84-yarder against the Panthers. But he does not have enough attempts (10) to qualify as the league leader – although he’s well ahead of the league-leading average (16.0) that belongs to the Titans’ Marc Mariani.
The Seahawks continue to lead the league in average starting point after returning kickoffs (30.4-yard line) and they’re tied for third in opponent average starting position after kickoffs (23.3).
Chris Clemons has a career-high 8½ sacks, which ties him for sixth in the NFC and 12th in the league. The only defensive ends in the NFC with more sacks are the Falcons’ John Abraham, the Eagles’ Trent Cole and the Giants’ Osi Umenyiora (nine each).
Kicker Olindo Mare is 10th in the league among kickers with 88 points and fifth with 17 touchbacks on his kickoffs.
Twenty of Mike Williams’ team-leading 52 receptions have come on third downs, which ranks fifth in the NFC and ninth in the league.
Rookie free safety Earl Thomas has five interceptions, which ties him for fifth in the league.
STAT DU JOUR
With double-digit tackles in four of the past five games, weak-side linebacker David Hawthorne has increased his team-leading total to 79 – 10 more than strong safety Lawyer Milloy.
Hawthorne also led the team in tackles last season, so he is looking to become the eighth player in franchise history to do it in back-to-back seasons. The others: linebacker Terry Beeson (1977-79), linebacker Michael Jackson (1980-82), linebacker Fredd Young (1985-87), free safety Eugene Robinson (1988-89 and 1992-93), linebacker Chad Brown (1997-99), linebacker Anthony Simmons (2000-01) and linebacker Lofa Tatupu (2005-08).
YOU DON’T SAY
“I think what was great for is we haven’t been in a game where we really came from behind and did it in that kind of fashion. Even though it wasn’t a tight game at the finish, it was a game that we did finish well. So we’re happy with that.” – Carroll, looking back the Seahawks erasing a 14-point deficit against the Panthers and also with an eye on the bigger picture, as the Seahawks’ six wins have been by an average score of 13.7 points and the six losses by an average of 21.8.