Wednesday in Hawkville: Kearse steps into very active role

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

FOCUS ON

Jermaine Kearse

Jermaine Kearse

Jermaine Kearse. Now that the rookie wide receiver from the University of Washington and Lakes High School has been added to the active roster, he’s ready for any and all action that might come his way in the Seahawks’ game against the Vikings at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.

“It’s a dream come true to finally get my chance,” Kearse said today, when he was wearing a new number (11) as he practiced with the Seahawks’ offense rather than against the Seahawks’ defense. “I’m just going to try to do my best in any way I can to help the team succeed.”

And that could range from special teams duty to playing in the four-receiver sets because of the uncertainty over Doug Baldwin (sprained ankle) and Braylon Edwards (swollen knee). Coach Pete Carroll labeled their status as “wait and see.”

Kearse admitted he was wondering if his number would be called because of the injuries to Baldwin and Edwards, as well as the season-ending injury to Ben Obomanu that opened a roster spot for him.

“I mean I’m not going to say I wasn’t thinking about it,” he said. “I just knew that if I got my chance I was going to make the best of my opportunity, and that’s my plan for this weekend.”

For the NFL team he grew up watching in Lakewood, in the stadium his college team is sharing with the Seahawks this season.

“It’s like I can’t get out of Washington,” Kearse joked. “But I’m happy to be here. I’m very fortunate and blessed to be here. Not too many people get to live their whole life in the state and then play for a professional team in their state.”

Kearse has endeared himself to his coaches and teammates because of how hard he has worked, especially while filling the role of the opposition’s best receiver on the scout team each week.

“Jermaine has done a very good job,” Carroll said. “He’s impressed everybody in everything that he’s done. … We’re fortunate to have him available to pop up.”

One of the first to approach Kearse in the locker room was split end Golden Tate. And after he made a nice catch in the end zone during practice, running back Marshawn Lynch jogged over to congratulate him.

“They came and told me that they’re proud of me, that I deserve it, that I’ve worked hard,” Kearse said. “It feels good to have the older guys come up to me and say those type of things. It just shows they care about everybody on this team and they want everybody to succeed.”

Kearse was added to the 53-man roster on Tuesday when Obomanu was placed on injured reserve because he’s expected to have a cast on the wrist he injured in Sunday’s game against the Lions for six to eight weeks.

To fortify the receiving crew, rookie Lavasier Tuinei was today signed to the practice squad, as was rookie Phil Bates on Tuesday. Both players were with the team in training camp.

PLAYER WATCH

Zach Miller

Zach Miller

Zach Miller. The Seahawks’ tight end has caught 267 passes in his 5½-season NFL career, but where did the touchdown catch he made against the Lions in Detroit on Sunday rank on that list?

“I think it’s my best,” said Miller, who signed with the Seahawks last year after playing his first four seasons with the Raiders. “I can’t think of any better ones I’ve made, really. It was a tough one, but I think it’s probably my best catch.”

Miller used every inch of his 6-foot-5 frame and a fully extended arm to get to the pass from Russell Wilson in the end zone, tipping the ball with one hand before controlling it as he fell to the turf.

“I didn’t locate it until the last second, so just laid out and hoped that I could at least get a hand on it,” Miller said. “I got enough of it on there that I was able to tip it back to myself.”

What goes through his mind while all this is taking place?

“It’s just natural, just reacting to the ball,” he said. “That comes from playing football for so many years that you have a feel for it.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

WR Braylon Edwards (knee)

DT Jason Jones (ankle)

Limited in practice

WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)

OG John Moffitt (knee)

CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)

Full participation

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

Carroll said Jones might try to do some work later in the week, but that he doesn’t know if he’ll be available for Sunday’s game.

For the Vikings:

Did not practice

TE John Carlson (concussion)

LB Tyrone McKenzie (not injury related)

Limited in practice

WR Percy Harvin (hamstring)

RB Adrian Peterson (ankle)

S Mistral Raymond (ankle)

CB Antoine Winfield (knee)

Full participation

DT Fred Evans (knee)

DT Letroy Guion (ribs)

LB Erin Henderson (elbow)

P Chris Kluwe (left knee)

QB Christian Ponder (knee)

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks are 4-4 for the 13th time in franchise history. Here’s a look at how they fared the other 12 times:

Year    Final record (playoffs)

1978        9-7

1980        4-12

1983        9-7 (2-1)

1985        8-8

1988        9-7 (0-1)

1989        7-9

1991        7-9

1993        6-10

1998        8-8

2001        9-7

2007      10-6 (1-1)

2010        7-9 (1-1)

UP NEXT

“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Vikings – their first of two in a row at CenturyLink Field.

The Seahawks’ Tackle Hunger drive is Sunday, so fans attending the game are asked to bring nonperishable food or cash donations that will be donated to Northwest Harvest. The American Red Cross also will have volunteers at the game collecting cash donations to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I’m counting on this being a big finish.” – Carroll on the Seahawks playing five of their eight games at home in the second half of the season


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Carroll: “[Kearse] is jacked up about this opportunity”

Head Coach Pete Carroll addressed the media this afternoon as part of his weekly Wednesday press conference ahead of this afternoon’s 1:30 p.m. practice and preparations for their Week 9 home matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.

When asked about the team’s wide receiver situation heading into this weekend’s game, Carroll said they will take a “wait and see” approach with Braylon Edwards, who had a knee swell up prior to their Week 8 game in Detroit, and that he is expected to get work in practice this week.

On Doug Baldwin, Carroll said he is coming along “better than we thought” from a high ankle sprain and he is challenging the trainers and coaches every day to get back on the field.

Carroll said Ben Obomanu, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve yesterday, is expected to be in a cast for six to eight weeks with a wrist injury, and that the injury would have hampered him too much if he were to try and play through it.

Of Jermaine Kearse, the former University of Washington Husky wideout who was called up from the team’s practice squad to replace the injured Obomanu yesterday, Carroll said he has impressed everybody in everything he’s done and will contribute on special teams as well.

“He’s been solid the whole time and right in the middle of it,” Carroll said. “He’s jacked up about this opportunity.”

Also of note, Carroll said that it is possible that they go into this weekend’s game with just four active wide receivers, which would presumably be Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Charly Martin, and the recently-activated Kearse.

Carroll said he is not sure if defensive tackle Jason Jones will be available this week. Jones missed last week’s game against the Lions with an ankle injury.

No decision has been made on whether or not to activate cornerback Walter Thurmond to the active roster. Thurmond is still within the three-week practice window on the team’s PUP list and the Seahawks will have until Nov. 5 to make a decision on whether or not to activate the third-year corner. Carroll did say that Thurmond will get featured work in practice this week so that he and the coaching staff can obtain a better idea of where he is at.

Our Insiders Clare Farnsworth and Tony Ventrella will be back with more following today’s player availability and practice session. And in case you missed it, stay tuned to Seahawks.com for Carroll’s full video press conference.


Tuesday cyber surfing: Third down defense needs to improve

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 30.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks defense needs to improve on third down – where they rank 27th in the League, “No team in the league has forced opponents into more third-and-long situations than Seattle. That fact is evidence of the Seahawks’ fortitude against the run and an ability to hold their ground on first and second downs. No team in the league has allowed opponents to convert more third-and-long plays than the Seahawks. That fact points to an underlying weakness of the defense, a persistent inability to get off the field that could endanger Seattle’s playoff hopes. ‘It’s disturbing,’ coach Pete Carroll said, ‘that we’re not able to be like we are in the rest of our game. We’ll try to take the turn here. We’ve had some deep discussions about it, and see if we can get it fixed right away.’ “

O’Neil notes that with Seahawks wide receivers Doug Baldwin, Braylon Edwards, and Ben Obomanu dealing with injuries, the team is looking at options at the position, “The league trading deadline has been extended until Thursday, and it’s no secret receiver Dwayne Bowe wants out of Kansas City, but he has only half a season remaining on his contract. Terrell Owens’ name will inevitably be mentioned, too. He played flanker for the Seahawks during his three weeks with the team in August, and the spot Seattle would be looking to fill is split end and perhaps slot. Kearse has played well on the practice squad and could be a consideration.”

O’Neil also breaks down what history tells us about the Seahawks finishing the first half of the season with a record of 4-4.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune discusses the team’s defensive struggles on third down, “According to STATS Inc., Seattle’s defense allows 43.2 percent (16 of 37) third-down plays from 10 yards and longer to be converted into first downs, worst in the league. No other team in the NFL has allowed more than nine such conversions. Carroll addressed his defense’s third-down struggles during his Monday press conference, saying the reason for the high success rate by opponents is a mixture of inexperience on defense and a need for a more consistent pass rush by the front four. ‘It’s just being comfortable with the situation,’ Carroll said. ‘And doing the same thing right again and again, and not changing a little bit. Maybe we try a little too much, or we try a little too hard to make a play or something. Those things you can wash out with experience sometimes. And sometimes guys are just trying to make things happen, and they make mistakes. But I think we’ve tried a little bit too hard to be perfect, or to catch a tendency or something like that, and then we miss our drops. … I know we can get a lot better, I just hope we can do it right away. We need to get this done soon.’ “

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune reflects upon the Seahawks’ first half of the season following Carroll’s press conference yesterday, “As expected, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll sees the season as half-full, and reeled off a rapid-fire list of the team’s strengths heading into the final eight games: ‘We know we can run the football. We can play good defense. We’re becoming more efficient in the passing game. We’re protecting the quarterback well. Our special teams are really rock solid.’ All those are valid assessments. And if last season’s progression was an indicator, the Seahawks finish well. Last year’s second-half improvement (5-3 down the stretch) was the result of establishing an identity as a running team with an aggressive defense. No such makeover is necessary this season. ‘We’re going to continue to ride the defense and continue to ride the running game and continue to count on special teams and as we grow, hopefully, the way things are set up, we can make some noise here in the second half,’ Carroll said.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald comments on the club’s defensive struggles on third down, “Carroll is confident his defense will improve on third down in the second half of the season. ‘I know we can get a lot better, I just hope we can do it right away. We need to get this done soon,’ he said. But he also concedes that there is not a single easy-to-fix, reoccurring problem to address. ‘Unfortunately not,’ Carroll said. ‘It would be easy if it was, we got beat in man coverage the whole time, or it was all the zone stuff or the pressures. We made some mistakes that they took advantage of. Just little technical things like a guy dropping a bit out of his area, a guy not picking up the leverage side of his man-to-man the way we like it and things like that. We’ve miss-hit a couple of pressures that we had a great chance to get something done on, and timing wasn’t great for us. They just took advantage of every one of them and they were so efficient down the stretch. It just shows you that this was a really good quarterback that we played and he was able to carry it out through the game and get them a win.’ “

The NFL has moved the trade deadline back two days to Thursday Nov. 1 because of potential complications from Hurricane Sandy.

Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com recaps a segment of “Brock and Salk” in which Carroll joined the show following Sunday’s loss to the Lions. Henderson details the improvements in the passing offense as one of the silver linings from the Week 8 road loss, “The Seahawks offense had come up short in the final minutes of close road losses earlier this season, but on Sunday Wilson led a 12-play drive that ended with a go-ahead touchdown with 5:27 remaining only to see the Lions respond with a touchdown of their own. Wilson was 6 of 8 on that drive, capping it with a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Miller. ‘I thought he was really solid. I thought he was really good,’ coach Pete Carroll told ‘Brock and Salk’ on Monday. ‘I think we helped him again. We were able to get the ball on the perimeter a little more. We got the ball in guys’ hands where they were running with the football. Golden [Tate] looked good. We really wanted to get Sidney [Rice] and Golden the football and really emphasize that, to start to feel the continuity of where the ball is going. I think you saw that.’ “

Tim Booth of the Associated Press says the Seahawks’ defensive issues are concerning for a unit that ranked No. 1 in the League just a couple weeks ago.

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Monday, and speculates as to what moves the team could make to shore up the receiver position, “There are a handful of receivers that were with Seattle in training camp that could be an option. WR Terrell Owens, WR Deon Butler, WR Lavasier Tuinei, and WR Phil Bates are all free agents without jobs. WR Ricardo Lockette (San Francisco) and WR Kris Durham(Detroit) are both on practice squads and could be signed to Seattle’s active roster. The most likely move would seem to be bringing Kearse up from the practice squad and bringing back a practice squad eligible receiver if the Seahawks need to find replacements for Obomanu and/or Edwards.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his “NFC West Stock Watch“, pointing to the rise of quarterback Russell Wilson, “Wilson completed 25 of 35 passes (71.4 percent) for 236 yards and two touchdowns even though receiver Sidney Rice dropped what should have been a long scoring reception. Wilson graded out perfectly on his pre-snap checks and protection calls, Carroll said. The one pick Wilson threw resulted in a miscommunication with Rice, the sort of thing that happens when a quarterback and receiver haven’t played together long. Wilson led a 12-play, 87-yard drive to the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Tight end Zach Miller deserves special mention, too. He went above and beyond with a one-handed scoring catch.”

The staff at ESPN.com has their Week 9 NFL Power Rankings, where the Seahawks sit at No. 13.

NFL.com also has their Week 9 Power Poll, and the Seahawks come in at No. 11.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a look at what worked and what needs work after the team’s 28-24 defeat in Detroit in his “Monday Metatarsal Musings,” and recaps the activities surrounding “Monday in Hawkville.”

Tony Ventrella and Farnsworth rehash the Week 8 loss to the Lions in their video review.

Ventrella brings thoughts on the first half of the season in his “Seahawks Daily.”

And finally, we bring you coach Carroll’s full video press conference from Monday.


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Monday in Hawkville: Driven to discouragement, but also encouragement

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 29:

FOCUS ON

Zach Miller

The last drives. As discouraged as Pete Carroll was with his defense allowing the Lions to drive 80 yards in 16 plays to a game-winning touchdown in Detroit on Sunday, the Seahawks’ coach was even more encouraged by the 12-play, 87-yard TD drive that allowed his team to take a 24-21 lead with 5½ minutes to play.

That was the word from Carroll today after he had reviewed the video of the 28-24 loss that left the Seahawks at 4-4 as they begin the second half of their schedule against the Minnesota Vikings at Century Link Field this Sunday.

“For sure, the offensive finish,” Carroll said when asked about the most encouraging aspect of the game. “The ability to execute a huge drive and get down the field.”

That drive included an 18-yard pass from rookie QB Russell Wilson to Sidney Rice on third-and-10 and also Wilson’s 6-yard pass to Golden Tate on fourth-and-2. But the piece de resistance was the throw and the catch that produced the TD.

“To see a great throw to Zach, and then a better catch,” Carroll said. “He threw the ball way early because he knew where he was going to be, and put tremendously soft touch on the ball so Zach had a chance to really control that ball. He gave him an opportunity to make the play, and Zach makes a phenomenal catch.

“Of all the conditions that were presented in that game that was terrific. That was the bright spot – the whole drive, the execution of it.”

As for that other drive that was the exclamation point on the Lions compiling 415 yards, Carroll offered, “We’re disappointed. We’re not accustomed to giving up stuff like that. It just felt uncharacteristic. … We have things to correct and we’re going to work on it.”

POSITION WATCH

Wide receiver. The Seahawks are suddenly shorthanded, because of the high ankle sprain that is sidelining Doug Baldwin, the wrist injury Ben Obomanu got in Sunday’s game and Braylon Edwards’ knee to swell on Sunday morning.

“We have to consider our situation because there’s a little bit of uncertainty right there,” Carroll said. “We’re looking at our options there.”

Obomanu was seeing a specialist today, while Edwards was getting additional tests on his knee. Carroll is anticipating that Edwards will be able to play against the Vikings, because there is no structural damage to the knee. But he called Baldwin’s availability “a long shot.”

Fullback Michael Robinson also was seeing a specialist for the wrist he injured against the Lions.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW

If he had it to do over, Carroll would not have challenged the play in the third quarter against the Lions where he couldn’t win no matter what the ultimate call was.

“A total blunder,” Carroll said. “It was a blunder. I screwed it up.”

Carroll challenged whether Titus Young actually had caught a 9-yard pass from Matthew Stafford on a third-and-8 play. But it didn’t matter, because cornerback Brandon Browner had been called for defensive holding. So the Lions would get a first down even if the ruling on the field was reversed – which it wasn’t.

“It was a competitive moment that I really regret,” Carroll said.

STAT DU JOUR

Marshawn Lynch didn’t just run 77 yards for a touchdown against the Lions on Sunday; he ran his way into the franchise record book in two more categories. That play tied for the fourth-longest run and allowed him to post the best-second per-carry average in club history:

Longest runs

Player, opponent (date)                                      Length

Shaun Alexander, Raiders (Nov. 1, 2001)             88

Shaun Alexander, Cardinals (Nov. 6, 2005)          88

Joey Galloway, Jaguars (Nov. 12, 1995)                86

Marshawn Lynch, Lions (Oct. 28, 2012)                77

Steve Broussard, Titans (Oct. 5, 1997)                  77

Best per-carry average

Player, opponent (date)                                    Avg. (carries-yards)

Sherman Smith, Falcons (Nov. 7, 1976)         8.86  (14-124)

Marshawn Lynch, Lions (Oct. 28, 2012)         8.75  (12-105)

L. McCutcheon, Cowboys (Nov. 27, 1980)     8.64  (11-95)

Marshawn Lynch, Giants (Oct. 9, 2011)         8.17  (12-98)

UP NEXT

The players have their off day on Tuesday, when the coaches will compile the game plan for Sunday’s matchup with the Vikings. The players will return on Wednesday to begin practicing.

YOU DON’T SAY

“Marshawn Lynch. (NFL Network analyst Mike) Mayock’s right – the most underrated tailback in football.” – Peter King in the “What I Liked” section of his “Monday Morning Quarterback” on SI.com


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Game at a glance: Lions 28, Seahawks 24

DETROIT – A recap of the Seahawks’ 28-24 loss to the Lions at Ford Field on Sunday:

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Matthew Stafford. The Lions’ quarterback threw, and threw, and then threw some more. Stafford didn’t stop until he had passed his team to victory with a 1-yard pass to Titus Young with 20 seconds left in the game.

It was Stafford’s 49th pass of the afternoon, and 34th completion. Not to mention his third TD pass. Oh, and he also ran for a touchdown to give the Lions a 21-17 lead with 11½ minutes remaining. But after Russell Wilson led a 12-play, 87-yard drive that ended with his 16-yard TD pass to tight end Zach Miller that gave the Seahawks a 24-21 lead with 5½ minutes left, Stafford didn’t blink. He just kept throwing on the 16-play, 80-yard drive that ended with his game-winner.

“It was a great win for Detroit,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll conceded. “They kind of did what they wanted to do. Stafford did a really good job moving the ball around like he needed to.”

That was perhaps the most frustrating part of Stafford rallying the Lions not once by twice in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks held Pro Bowl receiver Calvin Johnson in check (three catches for 36 yards). It was Titus Young, who was filling in for injured former Seahawks wide receiver Nate Burleson, and tight end Brandon Pettigrew that they had trouble with. Young (nine for 100) and Pettigrew (seven for 74) combined to catch 16 passes for 174 of Stafford’s 352 passing yards.

Stafford was at his best on third downs, completing 14 of 15 for 111 yards and two TDs.

“Anyone of those, if we had gotten a stop, it would have changed the game,” Carroll said.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: The game-winner, of course, as Stafford found Young on a third-and-goal play – and with the Seahawks in zone coverage in the end zone.

Defense: Earl Thomas’ third-quarter interception, because of when it came – as the Lions were driving; and where it came – at the Seahawks’ 3-yard line. It was the kind of play the Seahawks needed more of on this afternoon. It also was somewhat wasted, because rookie QB Russell Wilson was picked off six plays later by safety Ricardo Silva at the Lions’ 18-yard line.

“I thought Sidney was saying, ‘I put my hand up, I’m going (downfield),’ ” Wilson said. “He was saying, ‘Hey, throw it to me now.’ So it was just one of those situations.”

Special teams: Jon Ryan’s 64-yard punt. Again, because of when it came – after a three-and-out; and where it came – with the Seahawks deep in their own territory. But also because of where it put the Lions – at their 19-yard line.

INJURY REPORT

Fullback Michael Robinson and wide receiver Ben Obomanu got sprained wrists, while wide receiver Golden Tate tweaked an ankle.

The Seahawks also played without wide receiver Braylon Edwards and rush-tackle Jason Jones.

Edwards participated in Saturday’s walkthrough at a local high school, and Carroll said he would split reps with Tate at split end. But Edwards woke up Sunday morning with a swollen knee. It was drained, but then became swollen again after he went through pregame warm-ups. So he was inactive.

Jones missed practice all week because of an ankle injury, and Carroll credited his inability to play with the Seahawks’ inability to generate more pressure on Stafford.

WORTH NOTING

While the Lions were converting 75 percent of their third-down situations (12 of 16), the Seahawks converted 33 percent (3 of 9).

Each team was 3 of 3 in red-zone situations, but the Lions got three touchdowns on possession inside the Seahawks’ 20-yard line, while the Seahawks got two TDs and a field goal in their red-zone possessions.

Rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (12) and second-year strongside linebacker K.J. Wright (11) combined for 23 tackles.

Wilson’s interception was his eighth of the season, and all have come in road games.

Marshawn Lynch carried 12 times for 105 yards, including a 77-yard TD that was the longest run of his career. He has four 100-yard rushing games this season and 10 in his past 17 games.

The Seahawks are 1-4 on the road this season, and 6-15 in 2½ seasons under Carroll.

The Seahawks were penalized only twice for 10 yards, each a season-low.

YOU DON’T SAY

“These young guys know that we’re OK. They know that we can play football and we can hang tough. We just have to come back and get going and see if we can’t put together a second half that really makes this season feel like we’re going in the right direction and we’re making great progress. There’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that we can. We’ve just got to go do it.” – Carroll


Friday in Hawkville: Carpenter selected for Ed Block Courage Award

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 26:

FOCUS ON

James Carpenter

James Carpenter. When the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice went down during a midweek practice last November, the severity of his knee injury left the coaches expecting the worst.

The thought then, and also as late as this summer, was that Carpenter would not be ready to return until midseason. But as the team reaches the midway point of the season with Sunday’s game against the Lions in Detroit, Carpenter will be starting his fifth consecutive game at left guard.

The efforts that allowed Carpenter to return ahead of schedule, and put his promising career back on schedule, have earned him the Ed Block Courage Award that is presented annually – and voted on by the players – to the player who is a role model of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage.

“I appreciate the team thinking that I worked hard getting through my injury,” Carpenter said. “So it’s an honor to be chosen.”

His rapid return – from the injury and to the lineup – has been more than Carpenter could have hoped for. He started the season opener as a rookie at left guard and then the next eight games at right tackle before his injury.

“It did surprise me,” Carpenter said. “I know that it was kind of a bad injury, but I had a lot of people motivate me to get back and it worked.”

Coach Pete Carroll said after practice that Carpenter was so deserving of the honor that it was “an avalanche of votes for him.”

“This is a most-deserving recipient of the Ed Block Award,” Carroll said. “He surprised us, really. James had a terrible injury – one that we couldn’t predict how long it was going to take him to get back. We thought it was going to be quite a bit longer rehab. And he struggled for a long time in his early rehab to get going. But once he turned the corner, he just flew through it and just shocked us with his ability to get back.

“That’s total determination. That’s totally competing every single day to get himself to where he could have a chance to get back on the field. He just surprised the heck out of us.”

Carroll aided the cause by showing clips of Carpenter running during his rehab in the team meetings.

“Just to give him a little encouragement,” Carroll said. “And they were wowed by the way he was working and how he worked. I think it fit together really well and he did a marvelous job.”

PLAYER WATCH

Jason Jones

Jason Jones. The rush-tackle who was signed in free agent to help boost the Seahawks’ pass rush has been listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game because of an ankle injury, but he did make the trip to Detroit. If Jones can’t play, rookie Greg Scruggs will work in the nickel line.

“It’s a really big deal if we can get him out there,” Carroll said of Jones’ availability against a Lions team that averages 46 passes a game. “We’re starting to learn how to rush together and we have a chance to get pretty good here if we grow together. Unfortunately, Jason’s a big deal. He’s been involved in a lot of stuff and been a factor.”

POSITION WATCH

Split end. Golden Tate and Braylon Edwards will both play the position against the Lions after sharing reps in practice, Carroll said.

Tate, the starter, has just 13 receptions and was not happy with his performance in the loss to the 49ers in San Francisco last Thursday night, when he did not catch a pass and was among the players who dropped a pass.

“Golden worked very hard to make sure he was competing every single play, to be in the right spot and do the right thing,” Carroll said. “So he put together a solid week. I’m expecting him to make some plays and help us.”

OPPONENT WATCH

The fourth quarter. Say what? The Lions have been roaring in the final quarter this season, when they’ve scored 80 of their 133 points, produced 992 of their 1,926 yards and thrown all seven of their TD passes – five by Matthew Stafford and two by backup Shaun Hill.

In the other three quarters, the Lions have scored 21, 16 and 13 points.

INJURY REPORT

The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:

Out

WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)

CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)

Doubtful

DT Jason Jones (ankle)

Questionable

OG John Moffitt (knee)

Probable

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

Moffitt will be a game-day decision, Carroll said, after missing the past four games. Carroll also said no decision has been made on whether to activate cornerback Walter Thurmond from the physically-unable-to-perform list, even though he practiced all week.

“He did a nice job,” Carroll said. “It’s really cool to see him out here. He’s practicing like crazy and he’s showing the speed and the quickness that he’s noted for. … When he’s back out there, he’s going to give us a boost that will be great to have out there. And we’re getting close.”

Thurmond has not played since fracturing his right fibula in last season’s Week 7 loss to the Browns in Cleveland.

For the Lions:

Out

DE Jacob Lacey (concussion)

S Amari Spievey (concussion)

Doubtful

LB DeAndre Levy (hamstring)

Questionable

DE Cliff Avril (back)

CB Dwight Bentley (shoulder)

S Louis Delmas (knee)

WR Titus Young (knee)

Probable

TE Brandon Pettigrew (knee)

LB Stephen Tulloch (knee)

DT Corey Williams (knee)

WR Calvin Johnson (knee)

Johnson did not practice today after being limited on Thursday.

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks’ special teams haven’t gotten a lot of mention this week, but that’s about to change. Entering Sunday’s game, coordinator Brian Schneider’s units lead the league in average starting position by their opponents and are third in average starting position. Here’s a look at the leaders in both categories:

Average drive start, kicking team

Team                No.   Avg. start

Seahawks        29       19.4

Bears                35       19.5

Raiders             26       20.0

Browns             33       20.2

Dolphins           27      20.2

Average drive start, receiving team

Team                  No.   Avg. start

Vikings               31       26.2

Bills                     46       25.0

Seahawks           27      24.6

Giants                 33      24.4

Ravens                35      24.2

UP NEXT

The team flew to Detroit this afternoon after the players had a midday practice. They will hold a walkthrough in Detroit on Saturday.

This game concludes a stretch where the Seahawks have played four road games in a five-week stretch. They will have back-to-back home games against the Vikings (Nov. 4) and Jets (Nov. 11) before getting their bye week (Nov. 18).

YOU DON’T SAY

“I don’t think we’ve done very well. At least we got a game (in Carolina) at this point so that we know we can figure out a way. But until we take care of the ball and get it on the road it’s hard.” – Carroll on this stretch of four road games in five weeks


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Wednesday in Hawkville: Baldwin out with high ankle sprain

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 24:

FOCUS ON

Doug Baldwin

Doug Baldwin. Remember that old B.B. King tune? The one that goes, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all”?

The Seahawks’ second-year slot receiver doesn’t because he’s too young, but it could be the theme song for Baldwin’s injury-filled season. Coach Pete Carroll said today that Baldwin will miss Sunday’s game against the Lions in Detroit because of the high ankle sprain he got in last week’s game against the 49ers in San Francisco.

This just after last year’s leading receiver was working his way back into the passing game after missing time with a shoulder injury. And that after his missed most of training camp and all of the preseason with a hamstring injury.

Baldwin has only 11 receptions – compared to 25 after seven games last season – because he can’t catch a break.

“Unfortunately, he’s going to be a couple of weeks away,” Carroll said. “And that’s going to be a change for us because we were just getting him going and it felt like he was coming around.”

Baldwin had two catches for 15 yards against the 49ers, but was injured while blocking on a special teams play when another player fell into his leg.

“I’m just trying to stay positive and be as patient as I can,” Baldwin said.

With Baldwin out, Charly Martin will be active for only the third time this season against the Lions and see time in the slot – as will split end Golden Tate, with Braylon Edwards taking over at split end in those alignments.

PLAYER WATCH

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ rookie quarterback doesn’t hold his weekly Q&A session with the Seattle media until Thursday. But he did a conference call today with reporters who cover the Lions.

And Wilson admitted he will be pulling for one Detroit team this weekend.

“I’m actually family friends with Justin Verlander,” Wilson said. “I grew up right near him (in Virginia). I’m rooting for the Detroit Tigers there.

“My (older) brother played with him all throughout middle school, high school, Little League, all that stuff.”

OPPONENT WATCH

The Lions’ defensive line. From Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, last year’s NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. To defensive end and sack leader Kyle Vanden Bosch. To defensive end Cliff Avril, who had 11 sacks in 2001. To defensive tackles Corey Williams, a 320-pounder, and even Nick Fairley, the Lions’ first-round draft choice in 2011.

“Yeah, probably as a whole,” Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said after practice when asked if this is the best defensive front his unit has faced. “All the way across. All four of them. They all have great skill. They have some nastiness to them. They’re very tenacious. They keep coming. It’s a big group; a good group.

“If you don’t take care of the front four, it can screw up the whole game.”

Asked how you handle Suh, Bevell offered, “Block him.”

When the laughter subsided, Bevell added, “You have to make sure you account for him. I mean, really their whole front four. That’s the strong part of their defense. They can wreak some havoc.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)

DT Jason Jones (ankle)

CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)

Limited participation

OG John Moffitt (knee)

Full participation

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

For the Lions, who held a walkthrough today so the report is an estimation:

Did not practice

DE Cliff Avril (back)

WR Calvin Johnson (knee)

DE Jacob Lacey (concussion)

LB DeAndre Lacey (hamstring)

DE Ronnell Lewis (not injury related)

S Amari Spievey (concussion)

Limited participation

CB Dwight Bentley (shoulder)

S Louis Delmas (knee)

TE Brandon Pettigrew (knee)

LB Stephen Tulloch (knee)

DT Corey Williams (knee)

WR Titus Young (knee)

Also, the Lions placed for Seahawks wide receiver Nate Burleson on injured reserve because of the broken leg he got in Monday night’s loss to the Bears and signed wide receiver Brian Robiskie.

STAT DU JOUR

Today, it’s all about the joy of sacks. The Seahawks produced 33 last season, but already have 19 in their first seven games – a pace that will produce 43. A big reason for the increase is the addition of rookie rush-end Bruce Irvin (4.5 sacks) to complement Chris Clemons (7), who had 11 of the team’s 33 sacks last season. Here’s a look at the top sack teams in the league, as well as the top sack tandems among defensive ends:

Team sacks

Team                    No.

Packers                24

Bengals                23

Cardinals             22

Vikings                 22

Texans                 21

Bears                    21

Rams                    21

Seahawks            19

DE sack tandems

Players, team                                                           No.

J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith, Texans                  13.5

Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin, Seahawks         11.5

Robert Quinn and Chris Long, Rams                   11.0

Jared Allen and Brain Robinson, Vikings            10.0

Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon, Dolphins     9.0

Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich, Patriots       9.0

TOO MANY COOKS?

JBLM Chefs

Never. Especially when the extra cooks who helped prepare lunch for the players and coaches today were soldiers from Joint Base Lewis McChord and members of 1st Special Services Support.

Helping head chef Mac McNabb and his staff were Master Sgt. Scottie Ingram, Sgt. Erik Melendez, SPC Darrell Riley, SPC Julius Williams-Cox, SPC Samuel Balicanta and SFC Daniel Sotoamaya.

UP NEXT

“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Lions in Detroit.

After Sunday, the Seahawks’ fourth road game in a five-week span, they will play back-to-back home games against the Vikings (Nov. 4) and Jets (Nov. 11) before getting their bye week.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I look at this week like we’re playing for first place. We can be in first place after this game, so it’s another championship opportunity and we have to be able to match the opportunity with our intensity, focus and all that.” – Carroll, with an eye toward the Monday night matchup between the 5-2 49ers and 4-3 Cardinals in Arizona


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Countdown to a Thursday night kickoff

SAN FRANCISCO – Greetings from Candlestick Park, where it’s suddenly summer again and the NFC West co-leading Seahawks and 49ers are preparing for what should one very hot Thursday night matchup, regardless of the temperature.

The 49ers have won the past three games in this series, including sweeping the Seahawks last season for the first time since 2006. But the Seahawks pulled to within two points, 19-17, in the fourth quarter in their opener here last season and seemed to have the momentum – before Ted Ginn Jr. returned a kickoff (102 yards) and a punt (55) for scores to make it 33-17. In the Week 16 rematch in Seattle, Marshawn Lynch became the first back to rush for more than 100 yards against the 49ers since 2009 and the first to score a rushing TD against them in 2011. But the 49ers prevailed 19-17 as David Akers kicked a 39-yard field with less than three minutes to play.

But that’s all history, because neither team is the same this season.

The Seahawks’ defense is better – even more aggressive, faster and disruptive with the additions of rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and rookie rush-end Bruce Irvin; and second-year starters K.J. Wright, Brandon Browner, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor are playing better, more consistently and with more confidence. The Seahawks’ offense is now in the hands of rookie QB Russell Wilson, who is coming off the best game of his still-young NFL career in the upset of the Patriots on Sunday. And he is throwing to Sidney Rice, who missed both games last season because of injuries; Braylon Edwards, who was with the 49ers last season; and Doug Baldwin, who had a TD catch in each game against the 49ers last season. Each had a TD catch against the Patriots.

The 49ers, meanwhile, have the No. 1-ranked defense in the league and their offense is much more diverse this season than it was last year in its first season under coach Jim Harbaugh. The primary problems for the Seahawks’ offense are far too familiar – the Pro Bowl quartet of defensive lineman Justin Smith, inside linebacker Patrick Willis, cornerback Carlos Rogers and free safety Dashon Goldson. But on offense, Harbaugh is now sprinkling in some plays for backup QB Colin Kaepernick, passing from formations that looked loaded to run and running from spread formations that look like they’re intended to pass.

Wilson has thrown five TD passes of 20-plus yards, which leads the league; while the 49ers are the only defense in the league that has not allowed a TD pass of 20-plus yards.

But some things never change. The strength of both offenses remains the legs of Lynch and Frank Gore. The ability to run the ball allows each team to setup its play-action passing game.

The first thing the Seahawks need to do is act like this is a home game. They have turned the ball over 10 times in their first six games, and eight have come in their three road games. The 49ers have forced 10 turnovers.

“We need to play well on the road again,” coach Pete Carroll said after practice on Wednesday. “We did a good job in Carolina getting out of there with a win (two weeks ago), and we need to do the right things and not make mistakes and put ourselves in difficult situations on the road.

“They’re really good at home in making you do that, so it’s a big challenge for us. We’ve played much better at home than we have on the road. We’ve taken care of the football better and all of that stuff. We need to get that done in this game.”

The 49ers are coming off a 26-3 loss to the Giants here on Sunday, but they’re also 4-0 after defeats under Harbaugh and have forced 14 turnovers in those games while outscoring their opponents 93-11.

The loser of this game will remain above .500 – at 4-3 – but the 49ers lost only three games all of last season when they ran away with the NFC West title and all the way to the conference championship game. The winner will be 5-2, and the Seahawks have not started that well since 2005 – when they won 11 consecutive games and finished 13-3, both franchise records.

But that’s putting the victory before what it’s going to take to achieve it.

Enjoy what should be a very entertaining game, with kickoff set for 5:20 p.m. on the NFL Network as well as KONG in the greater Seattle area. You also can catch the radio broadcast on 710 ESPN and KIRO 97.3.


Monday cyber surfing: Offense feeds off defense in 24-23 victory over New England

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks the day after their come-from-behind victory over the New England Patriots.

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks turned into a complete team when it mattered most yesterday, “Down 23-10 with less than eight minutes remaining, the Seahawks needed the most thorough miracle a team could request. A questionable call on a Hail Mary wouldn’t do against the Patriots. The Seahawks needed a double dose of good fortune. They needed to manufacture two touchdowns against a Patriots defense that had held them to 35 yards during a 21-minute stretch in the second half. And they needed their No. 1 defense, which yielded 475 yards to the league’s No. 1 offense, to make a cameo. It all happened, in the most stunning, galvanizing and unifying manner possible. These are the kinds of improbable victories that launch teams. And for the Seahawks, defensively dominant but offensively opaque, an all-in rally against an elite team could help redefine the possibilities this season. ‘Growth. That’s what this was about — growth,’ fullback Michael Robinson said. ‘A comeback like this wouldn’t have happened around here the last two years.’ “

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times highlights the play of the Seahawks’ second-half defense, “The defense found a way to make Brady look average. It kept alive this game that appeared to be fading to black. ‘Even when Tom Brady was eating us up and they were getting big yards here and there, we wouldn’t break,’ defensive end Red Bryant said. ‘We kept coming. That manifests through the team. You witnessed it today. It was 23-10. We were down. But we kept fighting tooth and nail. I’m happy today because of the way we responded.’ The defense held the NFL’s statistically best offense to six second-half points. It didn’t cave to New England’s constant pressure, didn’t stress when the Patriots tried to speed the tempo. The defense endured. ‘We went and got this game. They didn’t lose it,’ Bryant said. ‘This defense is resilient. We’re hardheaded. We’re gonna keep coming. And the offense feeds off us. They know that no matter what the situation is, instead of complaining and moaning at each other, we buckle down. We understand, it ain’t how you start, it’s how you finish. And today we finished.’ “

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times recaps the wild finish to Sunday’s 24-23 Seahawks victory at CenturyLink Field, “Over the final eight minutes of this game, it was Seattle that demonstrated a fourth-quarter resolve that Carroll has been preaching since he arrived and has now clearly taken root. ‘That’s what coach Carroll preaches: finish,’ Sherman said. “Finish, finish, finish. You don’t win the game in the first quarter. You don’t win the game in the second quarter. You dang sure don’t win it in the third quarter. It’s the fourth that matters.’ And this fourth quarter turned out to be particularly memorable, from Earl Thomas intercepting a pass in the end zone to squelch a Patriots scoring chance early in the period to Wilson throwing a 10-yard fade to Braylon Edwards, who had gone 651 days since his last touchdown catch. And it was only fitting that the game-winning touchdown came on the second-longest pass Wilson completed, this longshot of a comeback completed with one long pass.”

O’Neil looks at Wilson’s downfield throws from yesterday, “Russell Wilson’s final pass is the one that will be remembered, a 46-yard completion to Sidney Rice for the game-winning touchdown. But it was his first-quarter pass to Doug Baldwin that might have been the most significant sign of growth for Wilson in this game. It went for 50 yards and was the Seahawks’ longest play from scrimmage this season at that point. Coach Pete Carroll said that was the result of a concerted effort all week to get the receivers to keep working downfield even if Wilson flees the pocket. ‘There are huge plays there for us if we just look and fight hard to get open,’ Carroll said. That pass to Baldwin was proof of what can happen. ‘I took a couple more chances than what I would normally do sometimes,’ Wilson said. ‘And it came up big.’ “

O’Neil also names Wilson his player of the game in his two-minute drill, “Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw for a career-high 293 yards, but more importantly, two touchdowns in the final eight minutes as Seattle came back from a 13-point deficit.”

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune points to Wilson’s growing NFL resume through six weeks, “Despite a sluggish third quarter on Sunday, Wilson finished with career highs in passing yards (293) and touchdown passes (3) while completing 16 of his 27 attempts for a passer rating of 133.7. He bought second chances with his evasiveness, showed a gift for delivering deep balls on target, and an indisputable flair for the dramatic. But he was the only Seahawks player who came out of the game without a gushing assessment of his performance. ‘Obviously, I’m a rookie,’ he said. ‘I’m just trying to help the other 10 guys play at a high level. I just call the play and trust what I see, and just facilitate the ball to the right guy at the right time, and that’s got to be the goal, and for us to get the ball in the end zone.’ “

Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune looks at the battle between the Seahawks’ defense and the Patriots’ no-huddle, hurry-up offense, “The hurry-up offense led by Brady gave Seattle issues early, and wide receiver Wes Welker, who caught 10 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown, gave the Seahawks headaches all game. But the Seahawks thought it was just a matter of time till they figured out how to slow the fastbreak offense down. ‘We figured out early in the game what their calls were, what they were doing, what the adjustments were and then we started playing better,’ Sherman said. ‘That’s why they only scored six points in the second half.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune recaps Sunday’s one point Seahawks victory, “Seattle defensive lineman Red Bryant said Carroll was careful to show the proper respect for his former team and its accomplishments over the years, but also let his players know this was a game they could win. ‘We respected the fact that we knew it was going to be this kind of game,’ Bryant said. ‘And he showed a lot of confidence in what we do. I’ve been on teams with coaches where you’re playing a Tom Brady-like player, and they overemphasize how great the player is. And he did a great job of letting us know that he knew Tom Brady was that guy, but at the same time, relaying confidence in us that we could get the job done.’ “

Williams also details Wilson’s performance from Week 6, “For a second straight week, Wilson’s final numbers were impressive. He completed 16 of 27 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns. He was sacked twice, and scrambled around for another 17 yards. He also fumbled on a sack by New England rookie Chandler Jones. Wilson finished with a 133.7 passer rating. He had six completions of 20 yards or more. ‘I think I’m just more experienced,’ Wilson said about his improved play. ‘Being in those situations, you really have to trust what you see, and you really have to be quick with your decisions, but also believe in your decisions and just be decisive with the football.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald has his account of Sunday’s 24-23 result, “And as significant as Sunday’s win was because it improved the Seahawks record to 4-2, putting them in a three-way first-place tie in the NFC West, it is also important for what it can mean for the perception of the team both in and out of the locker room. People were quick to write off Seattle’s win over Green Bay because of the way that game ended. But this victory, one that featured not just a good Seattle defense, but a stunning fourth-quarter outburst by an offense that has struggled so often this season; this game showed that the Seahawks belong on the big stage. ‘It’s a big statement for a young team,’ Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. ‘And it is more so because of that (New England) staff, that coach, that quarterback, their team, the championship ways that they know and understand and everything about that, so we take great pride in it.’ “

Boyle also says Wilson showed he can be a playmaker after yesterday’s comeback victory, “Following a loss in St. Louis, the talk of the town was the Seahawks’ quarterback controversy. Two weeks later, Wilson made his coaches look smart, not stubborn, for sticking with him through the early ups and downs. ‘I was in awe,’ said Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman. ‘He was a magician, he was magnificent, he did a heck of a job, and that’s what they got him for. That’s the reason he’s starting. A lot of people have been doubting him, but I think he shut up all the doubters today. He beat Tom Brady, he beat Aaron Rodgers, and not a lot of rookies can do that.’ “

Todd Fredrickson of the Everett Herald sums up the Patriots’ last-ditch-effort after Rice’s game-winning touchdown catch that put the Seahawks up 24-23, “Then it was up to the defense to protect that lead with the ball at the Patriots’ 20 and 1:14 left, which is plenty of time for Brady, who has engineered 37 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter and overtime in his 13 NFL seasons. After an incomplete pass, the Seahawks got their first sack when Jason Jones dumped Brady. Another incomplete pass set up fourth-and-17, and the Patriots got just 15 yards on Brady’s pass over the middle to wide receiver Wes Welker. Rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner tackled Welker at the New England 28 to set off a wild celebration. ‘I’m so proud of my guys. I’m proud of the defense,’ Seattle defensive end Red Bryant said. ‘That was a great game. 23-10. A lesser team probably would have gone in the tank. Nobody batted an eye. Nobody felt that we were out of the game. That’s what it’s all about. If you want to be remembered, then you finish games.’ “

Lastly from the Herald, Boyle and Fredrickson look at Seattle’s improvement in the red zone, “In their first five games, the Seahawks scored touchdowns on only 29 percent of their trips inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. They were much better on Sunday, scoring two touchdowns and a field goal on three trips to the red zone, one of the keys to a 24-23 victory over the Patriots. ‘Our focus this whole entire week was the red zone. We did a good job in the red zone this week and today,’ Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said. ‘That’s the way we have to be all the time, and we’re doing a good job of growing.’ “

Mike Salk of mynorthwest.com says the Seahawks made a statement in Sunday’s win over the Patriots, “So, has anyone said the Patriots played down to the Seahawks’ level yet? If so, tune them out. The Seahawks’ vaunted defense didn’t dominate the Patriots. That’s OK; no one does. They were out-manned at times – everyone is – but found ways to limit the damage. The Patriots scored just three points on two turnovers, this despite a pass rush that did not get home often enough.”

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com recaps the big-play ability Seahawks receivers showcased in yesterday’s win, “Seattle’s receivers had been assigned some of the blame for the offense’s inability to move the ball through the air earlier in the season. That group, some suggested, isn’t explosive enough to make big plays down the field and not clutch enough to make tough catches in key moments. Tate was aware of the criticisms. ‘We haven’t been reading it but we’ve definitely been hearing about ‘Seattle doesn’t have receivers, they can’t throw the ball, they can’t do this,’ ‘ he said. “We all know, we all believe in us and the 12th Man believes in us. We know we can make plays and today was a perfect example of just guys across the board just making play after play after play.’ “

Tim Booth of the Associated Press has his game story from yesterday, “The matchup between the Patriots’ No. 1 ranked offense and Seattle’s No. 1 defense instead turned in to a starring performance for Wilson. And a shocking rally that gave Pete Carroll a win in the first matchup against the franchise he coached for three seasons in the late 1990s. Carroll was bouncing around the sideline in celebration after one of his biggest pro victories. ‘I hadn’t even thought about that. That was a long time ago and there have been a lot of games,’ Carroll said. ‘I really love Robert Kraft, he’s a great man and he’s been great throughout the years about our separation of sorts. I respect the heck out of him. But I’m a competitor and, heck yeah, I want to win against those guys.’ “

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM recounts the Seahawks’ 24-23 victory over the Patriots, “Rice totaled 81 yards on three receptions, as Marshawn Lynch was held to 41 yards on 15 carries as Seattle pulled into a three-way tie atop the NFC West standings after wins by San Francisco and the Cardinals. ‘We got some offensive plays thanks to the offensive line,’ Wilson admitted. ‘Practice was sharp this week, and the coaches really did a good job getting us focused. Guys worked hard this week. Every team tries to slow down Lynch, but at the same time, it opens opportunities for us. Playing here in front of this crowd is fascinating.’ “

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com says Wilson outplayed New England quarterback Tom Brady, “Instead of Brady, the man of many memorable comebacks, it was Wilson who launched his team after slogging through a turgid second half to deliver the performance of his abbreviated football career, staggering the Super Bowl-bejeweled Pats. ‘The lift — you could see it in our players — as we were finishing the game was really something to make you proud as a coach,’ said Carroll, whose four-speed oral transmission found a fifth gear. ‘It really took every play, every kick, every rush — everything we did had to happen like it that, for us to have a chance. I just loved the way we rallied on both sides of the ball and special teams, knowing that we had a chance to win. It’s a big statement for this young team — more so because (of New England and) the championships ways they know. Russell played a fantastic game today.’”

Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com has a look at Carroll’s winning formula, “In Carroll’s third year in Seattle, he finally got the ultimate litmus test — he got to set his new team against the team Belichick built after his departure. He had build a dominant defense and an offense designed to avoid mistakes. Knowing full well that he’d need more big plays to counter New England’s hyperactive offense, Carroll set rookie quarterback Russell Wilson loose, and bagged an important victory for his 4-2 team.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his wrap-up after yesterday’s 24-23 Seahawks win, “What it means: The Seahawks improved to 4-2 with a comeback victory that should at least temporarily silence calls for the team to replace rookie quarterback Russell Wilson with backup Matt Flynn. Wilson connected on big plays early, then found Sidney Rice for the winning 46-yard touchdown pass with 1:18 remaining. This was exactly what Wilson and the Seahawks needed heading into a road game against the San Francisco 49ers.”

John Clayton of ESPN.com tells us what we learned from Week 6 in the NFL, “1. It’s clicking for Carroll: Pete Carroll’s unconventional approach to personnel is winning in Seattle. Critics questioned Carroll’s decision to start rookie third-round choice Russell Wilson at quarterback instead of veteran Matt Flynn, who received a three-year, $19.5 million contract as a free agent. Well, Carroll is smiling with a 4-2 record and home upsets over the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots. Wilson, who is only 5-foot-10 5/8, overcame a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit by throwing two touchdown passes in the final 7:21 and beat the Patriots 24-23. Wilson has the best record among the rookie quarterbacks. ‘We’re a young football team that knows how to hang,’ Carroll said.”

Finally, Peter King of SI.com has his Monday Morning Quarterback, and leads with the Seahawks’ comeback victory over the Patriots and play of Wilson, “The maturation of Russell Wilson. After his sixth NFL game Sunday, a 24-23 win over the Patriots at home, Wilson told Tom Brady on the field, “I have so much respect for you as a player and a person. It’s great to play against you.” He walked through the Seattle locker room, shaking hands with every player. He stopped to share a few moments with owner Paul Allen. In his post-game press conference, during which he deflected any praise about himself toward the team, he finished the way he finishes interviews broadcast live to Seattle fans: “Go Hawks!” Good teammate. Good politician. Good guy. And a very quick study as a quarterback.”


Game at a glance: Seahawks 24, Patriots 23

A recap of the Seahawks’ 24-23 victory over the Patriots at CenturyLink Field on Sunday:

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Russell Wilson. You had to expect this would go to a quarterback – just not this quarterback. The Patriots’ Tom Brady might have thrown for 395 yards and two touchdowns, but he had to put the ball up 58 times to do it.

Wilson, meanwhile, was efficient – and effective – from start to dramatic finish. The rookie was 7 of 8 for 131 yards in leading the Seahawks to a 10-7 lead in the first quarter, when he passed 24 yards to Doug Baldwin for a touchdown. After going 4 of 10 in the second and third quarters, when the Patriots took a 20-10 lead, Wilson made like a little kid with a big bag of Halloween candy.

That is, he saved the best for last.

Wilson was 5 of 9 for 116 yards in the final 15 seconds, including a 10-yard TD pass to Braylon Edwards – on a fourth-and-3 play – to cut the Patriots’ lead to 23-17; and a 46-yard TD pass to Sidney Rice for what proved to be the game-winner.

It left Wilson with 16 completions in 27 attempts for 293 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions, for a passer rating of 133.7. Winning numbers no matter how you stack them.

“This week, we made a big point to the whole receiving crew and the quarterbacks and everybody that is catching the ball, that we have not taken advantage of Russell’s movement,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s been getting out, and he’s been running and making yards. And we made a big deal about it this week that there are huge plays there for us if we just look and fight harder to get open.”

None bigger than Wilson’s two fourth-quarter TD passes. The last rookie QB to overcome a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter was Vince Young. He did it in 2006 while playing for the Titans, and playing against the Giants.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: The game-winner, of course, as Wilson lofted his pass toward the end zone and Rice was able to run it down.

Said Rice: “It was a heckuva throw. The whole time when I came out of my break I was looking at the ball in the air and it was so pretty. I’m just running and I was like, ‘You’ve got to catch up to it. You’ve got to catch up to it.’ ”

Said Wilson: “The key was that the offensive line did a great job of protecting me long enough for Sidney to get open. He ran a great, great route. He headed up his guy and he ended up getting open. I just try to put it in a spot where only he could catch it, and he did a great job of coming up with that tremendous catch there. I think he squeezed it with four hands.”

Defense: The Seahawks intercepted Brady twice, but let’s go with the pick by free safety Earl Thomas because it came in the end zone on the third play of the fourth quarter.

“I baited him,” Thomas said. “I watch a lot of tape. I had a great opportunity. I had a great break on the ball.”

Special teams: Jon Ryan’s entire day, as he averaged 60.0 yards on four punts. That made Ryan only the third punter in NFL history to average at least 60 yards on a minimum of four punts, and the first to do it since 1946. The two punters ahead of Ryan are the Lions’ Bob Cifers (61.75 on Nov. 24, 1946) and the Packers’ Rob McKay (61.60 on Oct. 28, 1945).

Then there is the punter Ryan nudged from the third spot – the 49ers’ Andy Lee (59.60), who did it against the Seahawks last Sept. 11.

INJURY REPORT

Cornerback Byron Maxwell aggravated a hamstring injury. Strong safety Kam Chancellor took a blow to the elbow and Carroll said, “We’ll see what that means.” Guard Paul McQuistan tweaked a knee, but was able to finish the game.

WORTH NOTING

Rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner had a game-high and career-best 14 tackles. The franchise single-game record is 18, set by Terry Beeson in 1977 and tied by Sammy Green in 1978.

Chancellor had 11 tackles, also a career-high; while linebacker K.J. Wright had nine and nose tackle Brandon Mebane seven.

Marshawn Lynch ran for 41 yards, his lowest total since he had 24 against the Bengals last season – one week after sitting out a game against the Browns because of back spasms. Lynch had run for at least 85 in the first five games this season and 13 of his past 14 dating back to last season.

Rice (three for 81) and Baldwin (two for 74) combined to catch five passes for 155 yards, while the Patriots’ Wes Welker caught 10 passes for 138 yards.

Brady had thrown one interception in 185 pass attempts entering the game, but the Seahawks picked him twice.

The Seahawks are 4-2 for the first time since 2010, Carroll’s first season as coach.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I really don’t care about the yards, as long as we get the win and we’re making plays in critical situations.” – Thomas, on the Patriots compiling 475 yards against the Seahawks’ No. 1-ranked defense in the loss