Monday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 31:

FOCUS ON

The defense. Somewhat overshadowed by the continuing problems on offense and breakdowns in the coverage units on special teams during Sunday’s 34-12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals was how well the Seahawks defense played.

Again.

“The thing that does get lost a little bit in here is that we played very tough on defense again,” coach Pete Carroll said today. “We did a very good job in the second half, in particular.”

Say what? The Bengals put up 34 points. But two of their touchdowns came on late returns – the first on a punt for 56 yards, the second on an interception for 75 yards. Also, both the Bengals’ field goals also were set up by big returns – a 63-yard punt return and a 45-yard kickoff return.

The defense held the Bengals to that one field goal in the second half, not to mention 84 yards.

“The defense gave us a chance to hang in that football game, if we could make a few plays,” Carroll said. “The guys played very physically. They were intent on getting after the running game. It wasn’t perfect, but there was enough to put us in position to win.”

Again.

PLAYER WATCH

Ben Obomanu. When split end Mike Williams could not play against the Bengals because of a sore hamstring, Obomanu stepped in to catch four passes for 107 yards. On his 28th birthday, no less.

“That’s pretty neat,” Obomanu said after the game. “I’m glad the fans can take something away from the game. I know it’s pretty rare for somebody to play on their birthday. I know for me that may not have happened since I was a little kid playing Pee-Wee football, so I just wanted to come out and play hard and help our team get a win.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t do that. But at the same time, at least the fans can take something away from the game.”

Asked if Obomanu was pushing for more playing time, Carroll offered, “Ben’s always been pushing. Ben’s been a starter here and he’s a really good football player. Ben again came through and did a very nice job. It’s a competitive position for us.”

INJURY UPDATE

Carroll said he expects Williams to be OK for practice this week. Tight end Cameron Morrah bruised a knee in the game, so his status is uncertain for practice.

Also, wide receiver Deon Butler remains the last of the players on the physically unable to perform list after cornerback Roy Lewis was activated last week and Morrah the week before. Butler is ready to return, but Carroll said his situation is day-to-day.

STAT DU JOUR

To say that the Seahawks are playing “winning” defense is not just hyperbole. They rank No. 13 in the NFL coming out of Sunday’s games, and eight of the teams ranked above them have winning records. Here’s the Top 13, with the records of those teams:

Team                       Record

Ravens                       5-2

Steelers                     6-2

Texans                       5-3

Chargers                    4-2

Bengals                      5-2

Browns                      3-4

Jaguars                      2-6

Jets                            4-3

Cowboys                   3-4

49ers                         6-1

Eagles                        3-4

Lions                          6-2

Seahawks                  2-5

UP NEXT

The players are off Tuesday, but will return Wednesday to begin preparing for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington.

YOU DON’T SAY

“The Niners’ magic number to win the NFC West is six. Not since Nixon-McGovern has there been less drama in a race two months before it ends.” – Peter King, in his “Monday Morning Quarterback” on SI.com


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