A look back and a look ahead to the week that was and the week that will be for the Seahawks:
Anatomy of a 48-10 loss to the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday
John Carlson’s underused hands: Another game, another touchdown catch for the second-year tight end. The Seahawks have scored three touchdowns in their past three games, and Carlson has them all – giving him six of the season to break the franchise record for the position that he shared with Jerramy Stevens. But Carlson also had only one other reception against the Packers.
“That’s one of my big disappointments – I wish I could get him the ball more,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said after the game. “He’s such a good guy, and a good player. I came to him at one point in the third quarter and I said, ‘Hey, how many catches do you have? I’m trying to get guys the ball that can get open.’
“He wouldn’t even answer me. He was just like, ‘Don’t even worry about it. Just do what you’ve got to do.’ So it was good to get him the ball. It would be nice to get him the ball some more.”
Will Herring’s opportunistic appendages: The third-year linebacker got a rare start, because rookie Aaron Curry was inactive with the stinger he got the week before. Herring led the team with a career-high eight tackles. Herring started five games earlier this season when Leroy Hill was out with a groin injury, but he never led the team in tackles.
Jon Ryan’s sweet spot-finding right foot: The Seahawks’ punter is used to kicking in cold weather. He’s from Regina, Saskatchewan, and played at Regina University, in the CFL and also with the Packers. The sweet spot on the ball is smaller the colder the weather, as Ryan explains it. But he found it often enough in the mid-teens temperature against the Packers to average 47.8 yards on four punts, with a net of 42.8 and a long of 64 yards. For the season, his averages are 47.1 and 39.3 – still on pace to break the franchise single-season record in both categories (45.6 and 38.7).
Hasselbeck’s overburdened shoulders: For a long time this season – too long – Hasselbeck putting the ball in the air was the best offensive option the Seahawks had. In the past two games, however, the pressure has gotten to him as he has thrown four interceptions in back-to-back games after doing it only once in his first eight seasons with the team. Sunday, the first one slipped out of his hand, while the second was tipped. As for the other two, Hasselbeck admitted, “There’s definitely an element of forcing things.”
The week ahead
One last chance to get it right, and one last big challenge.
The Seahawks host the Tennessee Titans at Qwest Field on Sunday. Neither team will advance to the postseason, but the Titans are intent on getting running back Chris Johnson to 2,000 yards. He needs 128 rushing yards to do it, and has averaged 124.8 in getting to his league-leading total of 1,872.
The Seahawks have allowed only one runner to hit triple digits this season, and that was in Week 2 when the 49ers’ Frank Gore went for 207 in San Francisco. Since then, the Seahawks have done a better-than-average job against the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson, the Rams’ Steven Jackson, the Jaguars’ Maurice Jones-Drew, the Cowboys’ Marion Barber, the Colts’ Joseph Addai and even Gore in the Week 13 rematch at Qwest. Each is among the Top 20 in rushing yards, but each gained fewer yards against the Seahawks they have averaged against the rest of the league.
The Titans started 0-6, but have won seven of their past nine games – with the losses coming at Indianapolis and against the red-hot San Diego Chargers last week.
In addition to Johnson the runner and his 12 rushing touchdowns, the Titans also feature rejuvenated QB Vince Young, who is completing 58.4 percent of his passes and averaging 5.3 yards per carry; Johnson the receiver, as he also leads the team with 47 receptions and is tops in the league in total yards from scrimmage (2,355) and first downs produced (88); Rod Bironas, one of 12 kickers in the league who has scored more than 100 points; Pro Bowl cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who is tied for 10th in the league with five interceptions; seven-time Pro Bowl center Kevin Mawae, who was the Seahawks’ second-round draft choice in 1994; and Michael Roos, the Estonia-born Pro Bowl left tackle who played at Eastern Washington University and Mountain View High School in Vancouver.