A ghostly good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Oct. 31:
Jerry Brewer at the Seattle Times says it’s time to dash any thoughts of a playoff push by this Seahawks team after Sunday’s 34-12 loss to the Bengals at CenturyLink Field. Offers Brewer: “The prognosis: The Seahawks are, without a doubt, an obesely flawed football team. Any hope that this developmental season could include a playoff surprise is over. The P-word to aspire for is progress, something the Seahawks were approaching before slipping the past two weeks. Right now, progress is buried beneath a heap of disappointment and bewilderment.”
Also at the Times, Danny O’Neil says Sunday’s loss was a rude reminder to Pete Carroll that he’s no longer coaching a collegiate powerhouse. Offers O’Neil: “In nine years at USC, Carroll became used to running a powerhouse, not building one. Routs, not regrets. But on Sunday, one of the winningest coaches in college football history got a reminder of all the different ways an NFL team can beat itself. From the 11 penalties the Seahawks committed, to the headstrong gamble he took going for a touchdown just before halftime and costing his team a field-goal opportunity, to his team’s late-game swoon. ‘We really gave them everything they needed in this game,’ Carroll said.”
Still more from the Times, as Steve Kelley looks at some of the calls that even Carroll questioned after the game. Offers Kelley: “Carroll wanted to be aggressive. Make a statement. Charge into the locker room with some momentum he could use to re-stoke his team’s flickering fire. So with 14 seconds left in the first half, trailing 17-3, Carroll eschewed a chip-shot field goal and tried to weaken Cincinnati’s will, calling a running play for Marshawn Lynch on fourth-and-two from the Bengals’ 3-yard line.”
Doug Pacey at the News Tribune looks at the frustration of the loss through the eyes of Marshawn Lynch. Says Pacey: “Sitting at his locker, frustrated at another dismal rushing performance, Marshawn Lynch began to answer the question: Why did the offense stall on Sunday against Cincinnati? Then he paused, bowed his head and laughed to himself, before offering an answer. ‘Here’s what I got for you,’ Seattle’s starting tailback said. ‘See where our offense is at? I know where we want to go, I know those guys up front are going to push for that, to take us there, and I’m going to ride the wave and I’m going to ride the ship. Today was not one of our best days for offense, as you can see from the start of the game.’ ”
Also at the News Tribune, Dave Boling examines the decision to start Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback over Tarvaris Jackson. Says Boling: “Coach Pete Carroll and Jackson both said they’d hoped they could rest him for another week before bringing him back. The plan was to see if Whitehurst would come out and be functional, and if not, then bring on Jackson. But why wait? Why get off to a bad start against the second-ranked defense in the NFL? The fact that Jackson came on, with almost a third of the game gone, and still passed for 323 yards, proved his readiness.”
Rich Myhre of the Everett Herald looks at the head-scratching development that was getting 411 yards of offense, but having only 12 points to show for it. Says Myhre: “Yes, Seattle moved the ball, totaling 411 yards to Cincinnati’s 252 yards. But the Seahawks failed to translate opportunities into points due to too many turnovers, dropped passes, missed blocks and other offensive miscues. Offensively speaking, acknowledged Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, ‘we’re off right now.’ ”
Also at the Herald, John Boyle looks at déjà vu aspect of the “hormonal” Carroll and his decision to go for six instead of three at the end of the first half. Says Boyle: “A very similar situation played out last year, knocking on the door of the same north end zone, in fact, in the Seahawks’ win over the San Diego Chargers. The difference Sunday, however, is that the three points Seattle left on the field were in a loss, as the Seahawks fell 34-12 to the Cincinnati Bengals. And granted, three points weren’t the difference in this loss, but heading into the locker room down 17-6 instead of 17-3 might have changed the way things played out in the second half.”
Sando also has his rapid reaction to the game, including what he liked: “Rookie cornerback Richard Sherman tracked the ball nicely and picked off Andy Dalton’s deep pass down the right sideline when the Bengals were threatening to build on a 17-3 lead. Sherman was starting after the team lost Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond to season-ending injuries. He broke up another pass, enabling teammate Kam Chancellor to collect an interception. Punter Jon Ryan tracked down Bengals return specialist Pacman Jones to prevent a touchdown. Tarvaris Jackson’s deep pass to Ben Obomanu against cornerback Leon Hall covered 55 yards and gave the Seahawks a needed jolt late in the third quarter. Jackson topped 300 yards passing, making it clear he needs to remain the starter moving forward.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we look at how the Seahawks’ statistical output did not match their point total: “They had a 300-yard passer, two 100-yard receivers and rolled up more than 400 yards in total offense. So how did the Seahawks lose to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon? They intercepted rookie quarterback Andy Dalton twice, limited rookie wide receiver A.J. Green to four catches on 10 targets and held the Bengals to 252 total yards. So how did the Bengals leave CenturyLink Field with a 34-12 victory that pushed their record to 5-2? This wasn’t just another loss for the Seahawks – their second in a row and fifth in seven games this season. This was one that produced more answers than questions, and certainly left more issues to ponder than points produced.”
We’ve also look at Jackson’s performance in the “Game at a glance,” Rod Mar’s photo gallery and Tony Ventrella’s video report. There’s also a profile of Brandon Mebane that appeared in the GameDay program.
For a look at what happened around the rest of the league in Week 8, there’s John Clayton’s “Last Call” at ESPN.com; Peter King’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com; and Clark Judge’s “Judgements” at CBSSports.com.