Monday cyber surfing: ‘Hawks fall to 2-2 after 19-13 defeat at Rams; Quarterback thoughts

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 1, after their 19-13 loss at the St. Louis Rams.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times recaps yesterday’s defeat, “There were so many errors it was tough to say which was most critical. Wilson was intercepted three times, but none were strictly his fault. Seattle was assessed three personal-foul penalties, two of them on offensive tackle Breno Giacomini. The Seahawks gave up a touchdown on a fake field goal, botched clock management to allow a Rams field goal at the end of the first half and then unsuccessfully attempted an onside kick to begin the second half. That all occurred in a span of 2:25, beginning in the final 2 minutes of the first half and continuing into the second in an amazingly abominable stretch in which Seattle allowed 13 points.”

O’Neil has his game notebook from Sunday, looking at the costly timing of the Seahawks’ five penalties on Sunday, “The issue was three personal fouls, which cost Seattle both momentum and a total of 45 yards. Two of those came on consecutive plays in the second quarter when defensive end Chris Clemons was called for shoving a St. Louis player on the sideline after Richard Sherman’s interception. Running back Marshawn Lynch gained 10 yards on the next play, but offensive tackle Breno Giacomini was called for a personal foul, costing Seattle 15 yards. The Seahawks punted three plays later. Giacomini also was called for a personal foul on Seattle’s last possession, and while it didn’t cost the Seahawks a first down, it essentially hit reset on the drive by pushing Seattle back 15 yards after it had picked up a first down.”

O’Neil also comments on the Seahawks’ passing game, “After the game, Carroll was asked if Seattle was getting enough production from its quarterback, including post-game reaction from coach Pete Carroll, ‘He’s running the plays we’re calling,’ Carroll said. ‘He’s running the plays we’re calling, and he’s doing all right. We’ll see. I’ll watch the film and see where we are.’ The questions about the quarterback will only be amplified this week with Matt Flynn looming in the background as an alternative to Wilson, who completed 68 percent of his passes against the Rams, none for more than 17 yards, and for the second time this season failed to finish off a comeback. ‘He’s showed he can move us, and made some great plays,’ Carroll said. ‘He ran around really well and was accurate with the football for the most part. I’m still thinking he’s improving and getting more comfortable and all that.’ “

Lastly from O’Neil is his two-minute drill, where he lists his players of the game, “Players of the game: Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein kicked four field goals, including the two longest ever made by a Seahawks opponent as he made a first-half kick of 58 yards and third-quarter boot of 60. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 118 yards on 20 carries, and his 18-yard scoring run in the first quarter was Seattle’s only touchdown.”

John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune breaks down what he feels were several mistakes made in yesterday’s contest, “After the Seahawks presented a gift-wrapped 19-13 victory to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, a reporter asked Seattle coach Pete Carroll if the four-point swing the Rams gained on Danny Amendola’s reception off the fake kick was a momentum-turner. ‘Of course it was,’ said Carroll. ‘That was their only touchdown for the day.’ As inexcusable as the special-teams breakdown was, mistakes happen. And give Carroll this much: Unlike his players on the field, he noticed Amendola in position to score on a fake kick. Carroll waved his arms for a timeout, but it was too late.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his game recap from Sunday, “Even though Seattle’s defense did not give up a touchdown, special teams gaffes, three critical turnovers and ill-timed penalties led to a second game in four weeks that slipped away against an NFC West Division rival. The Seahawks are tied with the Rams at 2-2 in the NFC West standings, a game behind San Francisco (3-1) and two games behind division-leading Arizona (4-0). But with the Seahawks entertaining expectations of making a deep run in the playoffs, Bryant knows each game is precious. ‘It’s very frustrating because of what our goals are,’ Bryant said. ‘We’re trying to go far in the playoffs. We feel like we’ve got a good team to do that. But we’ve got to win these types of games – bottom line.’ “

Williams also looks at the Seahawks’ play at the quarterback position, “Carroll wants to review the recording before discussing his quarterback’s productivity, saying Wilson isn’t the only one on offense struggling. However, the Seahawks have fifth-year veteran Matt Flynn ready to go. Flynn signed a three-year, $19 million deal as the team’s top free agent. Flynn, who will make $8 million in total compensation this season, was Seattle’s projected starting quarterback heading into trainging camp. ‘I think he’s moving the club,’ Carroll said about Wilson. “He shows that he can move us, and he made some great plays today. He ran around really well, and he was accurate with the football for the most part. I’m still thinking that he’s improving and getting more comfortable and all of that. … So we’ll see what it all means. I don’t know yet.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald has his reaction from Sunday’s loss in St. Louis, “Seattle lost this game for a lot of reasons. For starters, St. Louis kicker Greg Zuerlein played out of his mind, making field goals of 58 and 60 yards. But what really stood out from a Seahawks perspective is how many ways they found to cost themselves a game. Russell Wilson was intercepted three times, though one of those was a ball that went through Doug Baldwin’s hands, and the last one, which sealed the win for St. Louis, was the result of Anthony McCoy falling down. The Seahawks were the victims of a trick play that turned a field goal attempt into a touchdown, they tried an onside kick to open the half, which set up a Rams field goal, and they had three 15-yard personal foul penalties, and some poor clock management at the end of the first half led to a Rams field goal. The defense held St. Louis without an offensive touchdown, but again struggled mightily to get off the field on key third downs. Oh, and there was plenty of suspect play calling, in particular a quarterback draw in the red zone on third and two that led to Seattle settling for a field goal.”

Mike Salk of mynorthwest.com believes that it is too quick to call for a quarterback change after yesterday’s defeat, “So, yeah, there were three interceptions, but did any of them tell you Wilson was unfit to start? If they did, you are watching a different game than I am. And if you think he’s the problem, I challenge you to watch the opening drive and see how effective he can be when the team doesn’t make terrible mistakes around him. I could entertain an argument that 160 passing yards are not enough, but Carroll, by his own admission, is putting the emphasis on efficiency over yardage. If so, completing 68 percent of your passes is excellent. So why did the Seahawks lose in St. Louis. Some will blame Wilson. Others will say it was an inevitable letdown after the energy and drama of the Monday night win. I’ll say they shot themselves in the foot. I’ll say they made some of the same careless, unforced errors that have plagued them this season. I’ll say their head coach got hormonal again, which he claimed caused a misguided fourth-down attempt last year.”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com calls out the play of the Seahawks’ offense, “The offense converted only two of nine chances on third down. Reasons are varied but included everyone, especially the increasingly notorious right tackle, Breno Giacomini. In precariously tight road games with minimal margin for error, he had two more unnecessary personal fouls, apparently continuing his inexplicable march to make the world forget Yosemite Sam. ‘He’s a total maximum-effort guy but sometimes it gets the best of him,’ Carroll said. ‘If we get flagged, we’re wrong.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his wrap-up from Sunday’s game, “What it means: The Rams showed they won’t be an easy out for NFC West opponents, particularly in the Edward Jones Dome. They showed that coach Jeff Fisher and staff can give the team an edge. They also moved into a tie with Seattle at 2-2 in the NFC West. This game showed the Seahawks’ vulnerability pending improvement in the passing game. They’re a defensive team and a rushing team, but not much of a threat in the passing game.”

Marc Sessler of NFL.com has his quick reaction on Seattle’s quarterback play following yesterday’s loss to the Rams, “Defenses have found a way to close in on Wilson, and if you keep him from escaping to the edge, his chances for success are nearly wiped out. Wilson’s three interceptions speak more to an opportunistic Rams defense than anything else (only one can be blamed on Wilson alone), but he struggles to complete drives. We also saw this Monday night against the Green Bay Packers. Wilson can move — and he was involved in more play-action passes against St. Louis — but he’s not finding his passing lanes over the middle. Seattle’s simplified offense has led to Wilson’s decent completion percentage, but where are the points? Pete Carroll said this week he’s “holding the lid” on the passing game, but that’s a challenging concept for fans to cling to with Matt Flynn on the bench.

For a look around the League, Peter King of SI.com has his Monday Morning Quarterback column, which is always worth a read.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps Sunday’s 13-19 outcome and names Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, his player of the game.

And finally, from the video side Tony Ventrella brings you his game recap, with postgame reaction from players and coaches. We also have a look at highlights from yesterday’s game.


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