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Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll admitted after his team’s Week 3 win over the San Diego Chargers that the overly-aggressive execution at the end of the first half was his fault, writes Greg Johns of the Seattle PI.
“We didn’t handle the end of the half effectively and I was disappointed in that. I really didn’t do that well,” he said. "Honestly, I realized that after all those years at USC with our offenses being so dynamic and all, I got a little bold about our situations.
“We need to take care of business better. I need to do a better job and make sure we get our points when we get opportunities. They’re not always going to come back around again like it used to seem like it happened.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times sums up exactly what happened and how it went wrong.
To review, Seattle had the ball at the San Diego 2 with 19 seconds left in the second quarter. The Seahawks ran Matt Hasselbeck, who was tackled at the 1. Seattle tried to shuttle its field-goal unit onto the field to attempt a kick, only to have time expire before the ball was snapped.
It was aggressive. In hindsight, it was too aggressive.
“I like the thought … we stuff it at ’em and knock it in the end zone and get a touchdown right there,” Carroll said. “But we really, in that instance, we’d like to have had a fourth-down opportunity, too, and that eliminated it.”
That kind of execution is easy to laugh off after a victory. Had the Seahawks failed to get two Leon Washington returns? The joke, and the heat, would be on Carroll in a big way.
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Leon Washington returned a pair of kickoffs for touchdowns, including the go-ahead 99-yard burst with 6:24 remaining in the fourth quarter, as the Seattle Seahawks held off San Diego, 27-20, at Qwest Field.
Washington, who was traded to Seattle from the New York Jets in April, rumbled a team-record 101 yards for a score in the third quarter for the Seahawks, who forced five turnovers. Two of those were interceptions by rookieEarl Thomas, including a pick of Philip Rivers inside the Seattle 10-yard line in the waning seconds.
"It's important for us to show that we can play against a team like this," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "Leon was just magical today."
Rivers threw for a career-high 455 yards, going 29-of-53 with two scores and the two interceptions. Antonio Gates had seven receptions for 109 yards and a TD for the Chargers (1-2), who played a good portion of the game without star linebacker Shawne Merriman. He suffered a calf injury in the first quarter.
"Every team has issues, we have issues, we have to protect the football and cover kickoffs," Chargers coach Norv Turner said. "We have some young guys who have not been as consistent as they should be. We need to make some personnel changes. If you turn the ball over you are underachieving, we cannot make that many turnovers."
Thomas' first interception of the day led to Olindo Mare's 23-yard field goal with 11:27 left in the fourth quarter, expanding the Seahawks' lead to 20-12.
The Chargers then overcame a pair of penalties to tie the game. Rivers engineered a nine-play, 65-yard march, finishing it with a 12-yard TD pass to Gates in the middle of the end zone. The catch came after Gates made an end zone reception from two yards out, as offensive tackle Brandyn Dombrowski was whistled for holding. On the two-point conversion try, Legedu Naanee made the end zone catch, but was ruled to go out of bounds first. On the next play though, Rivers hooked up with Naanee in the right side of the end zone to even the score with 6:39 remaining.
Washington, though received the ensuing kickoff and stayed on his feet despite being hit by Jacob Hester while running up the middle. Washington then raced past defenders for his sixth career kickoff return for a touchdown.
The Chargers, though, forced a punt and got the ball back with 1:38 left. Rivers moved his team from the San Diego 45 to the Seattle 17, but the drive stalled. On 4th-and-15, Rivers threw toward the end zone for Naanee, but Thomas came up with the ball at the five and was tackled at the Seattle 26 to seal the outcome.
Naanee fumbled the ball away on San Diego's first possession of the game and Seattle broke on top early in the second on Mare's 23-yard field goal.
San Diego had another miscue, this time costing the Chargers points in the second quarter. David Hawthornestripped Mike Tolbert of the ball at the Seattle five and Red Bryant recovered for the Seahawks.
Deion Branch then scored on a 42-yard pass play from Hasselbeck with 1:38 left in the half, but the Chargers challenged the call as free safety Paul Oliver punched the ball away just as Branch was crossing the goal line. San Diego won the challenge and got the ball at the 20, as it went out of the back of the end zone.
After a punt, though, Seattle did expand its lead to 10-0 on Hasselbeck's nine-yard TD connection to tight endJohn Carlson with 53 seconds left in the half.
The Seahawks forced another fumble on the ensuing kickoff, but ran out of time for a field goal try while at the San Diego two.
After Washington ran back the second-half kickoff for a score, Rivers got the Chargers within 17-7 on a three-yard TD pass to Malcolm Floyd. It came one play after a Buster Davis 49-yard catch.
Brandon Siler sacked Hasselbeck in the end zone for a safety with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third and Nate Kaeding split the uprights from 29 yards away to get the Chargers within five points going to the fourth.
Mare extended his team record with his 24th straight made field goal...Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufantleft the game with an ankle injury, while Chargers guard Louis Vasquez departed with a knee injury...Floyd had six catches for 97 yards...Tolbert rushed 17 times for 73 yards, while Justin Forsett led the Seattle ground game with 63 yards on 17 attempts...San Diego had 518 yards of offense...The two kickoff returns for TDs ties an NFL record.
The Chargers fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting up the Seahawks deep in San Diego territory. In another moment of ineptitude, the Seahawks ran a quarterback draw on third down near the goal line with under 10 seconds left. The field goal unit rushed onto the field, but couldn’t get a kick off before the half.
It’s halftime in Seattle and the Seahawks lead the Chargers 10-0.
Deion Branch made a nice catch, turned the ball upfield and was headed in for the score just before the half. Instead, his careless ball security led to a fumble out of the back of the end zone, resulting in a touchback.
Huge swing in momentum for the Chargers as they were poised to go down two scores to end the half. It’s ugly in Seattle, with turnovers marring the play.
With just over a minute left in the half, it’s 3-0 Seahawks.
Mike Williams is back in the game after injuring his shoulder. Immediately after his return, Matt Hasselbeck woefully under-threw a jump ball to Williams, leading to a San Diego Chargers interception.
Aaron Curry is on the sidelines with an apparent leg injury. His status for the rest of the game is unknown.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Mike Williams is listed as questionable to return with a shoulder injury.
ESPN's Mike Sando also reported the San Diego Chargers' inactive list ahead of today's game at Qwest Field.
Chargers inactives: Ryan Matthews, Larry English, Stephen Cooper, Cam Thomas, Adam Terry, Vaughn Martin, Jyles Tucker. JT O'Sullivan 3rd QB.less than a minute ago via EchofonMike Sando, ESPN.com
Matthews is still nursing an ankle injury suffered in the Chargers' win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Without Matthews, the Chargers will rely on backup Matthew Tolbert to shoulder the load in the run-game.
Seahawks inactives: Nate Ness, Quinton Ganther, Leroy Hill, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Chester Pitts, Russell Okung, Anthony McCoy, EJ Wilson.less than a minute ago via EchofonMike Sando, ESPN.com
Leroy Hill is nursing an Achilles injury while facing another suspension from the NFL. Okung is making progress in his recovery from a high-ankle sprain suffered in training camp. Okung was on the field doing individual work ahead of today's game.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting Leroy Hill is facing a two- or three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Hill was arrested April 12, about two weeks after pleading guilty to a marijuana charge, after a late-night incident with his girlfriend at their home near Seattle. Hill later made a deal in court to have the charges dropped if he completed a domestic-violence prevention program and has no criminal violations in the last 18 months.
Blazers PR man Kris Koivisto sent out word tonight on Twitter that former Seattle Sonics great, and current Portland Trailblazers coach, Nate McMillan will raise the 12th man flag Sunday at Qwest Field.
McMillan spent all 12 of his playing years with the Sonics, before retiring and working his way up the coaching ladder in Seattle. After a successful tenure as head coach of the Sonics, he joined the Trailblazers following the 2005 season.
I'm sure many can't wait to see McMillan back in Seattle on Sunday.
The Seahawks take on the Chargers this Sunday at 1:15 p.m.
ESPN's Bill Simmons recommends betting on the Seattle Seahawks over the San Diego Chargers in their game Sunday afternoon at Seattle's Qwest Field. The Chargers are 5.5 point road favorites.
SEAHAWKS (+5.5) over Chargers
Redskins (-3.5) over RAMS
I thought the Redskins should have traded for Vincent Jackson. Why not? They're already spending $168 million this season ... what's another six-year, $42 million deal with a $20 million signing bonus and two picks at this point? The good news: Things became so contentious that Jackson's agent ripped Chargers GM A.J. Smith to shreds and claimed that other GMs derisively call Smith "The Lord of No Rings," which immediately moved ahead of Michael "'70s" Bush and Tim "Virgin Air" Tebow as the best name of the 2010 season. The Lord of No Rings. You're never shedding that one, A.J. It's like a tattoo.
950 KJR's Curtis Crabtree dropped a few Seahawks injury notes on Twitter. Russell Okung is still out, Leroy Hill is out with an Achilles injury and Sean Locklear and E.J. Wilson both were added to the report with knee injuries.
T Sean Locklear and DE E.J. Wilson each added to injury report on Thursday with knee injuries. Each were limited in practice. #Seahawksless than a minute ago via TweetDeckCurtis Crabtree
Here's the NFL Week 3 television broadcast coverage map for the San Diego Chargers at the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle's Qwest Field on Sunday, Sept. 26.
Kickoff is at 1:15 PM on CBS. The CBS broadcasting team will be Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts.
Liz Mathews of MyNorthwest.com writes that Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll admits that the Seahawks did not play well during Week 2 because they were on the road at Denver.
“We didn’t take our game on the road, really is what was obvious,” he said. “I know that we can do the things that the philosophy is built around, about taking care of the football and playing tough defense and special teams and making great decisions, we need to recreate that again this week in the preparation and take it to game day.”
Carroll also said he hopes to bounce back in Week 3, as the team returns home to Qwest Field to host the San Diego Chargers.
“Coming back home to Qwest Field is a really big deal for us, obviously, and everybody around the league is facing different scenarios. We’re facing what we got to bounce back from what happened last week. We know that we can play good football, we can do good things, and we need to figure out how to get that done this week.”
Jeff Nusser of SBN Seattle writes that the Seattle Seahawks showed in their Week 2 loss to the Denver Broncos that they have the talent to compete this season if they executve properly.
So, while I wasn't real happy at around 4 p.m. on Sunday, I wasn't as despondent as a 17-point loss probably would have otherwise left me. The problems the Seahawks had were mental, not physical, and are thus correctable. Hasselbeck's interceptions? Correctable. Calling a 3-man front defensive alignment on a goal-to-go play from the 3? Correctable. Poor tackling? Correctable. Aaron Curry whiffing on a quarterback sack? Okay, never mind - we won't get carried away.
But you get the point. And based on what I've seen from this coaching staff already -- which is more than I saw cumulatively out of Jim Mora's staff last year -- I actually have some guarded optimism that the issues will be addressed and -- get this -- cleaned up.
What seemed like a minor calf strain turned out to be something more serious for Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill. Danny O'Neil reported on Twitter that Hill has an Achilles injury and will miss "significant time."
Danny Sheridan of USA Today has opened the line for Sunday’s NFL Week 3 game between the San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks in Seattle’s Qwest Field with the Chargers being 5.5 point favorites.
The Over/Under has been set at 44 points.
Both teams are 1-1 on the season.
Liz Mathews of 710 ESPN’s Seahawks Blog writes with updates on two injured Seattle Seahawks: linebacker Leroy Hill and rookie offensive lineman Russell Okung.
In team injury news, Leroy Hill was the only player who came home injured from the game. Carroll reported that it was a strained calf, and that Hill is in a boot and will be out for “a bit.”
Okung, Seattle’s prized first round draft pick, suffered a high ankle sprain during the preseason was initially expected back for Week 1 but is reportedly still in the recovery process, Mathews writes.
And as of this week, Russell Okung will be running “on land” instead of working out on the treadmill.
“This would mean if he handles it well this week, then next week he has a chance to start practicing with us and really get going,” said Carroll. “I can’t tell you what that means until we see him but that’s a good sign. So we’re feeling real good about it, he’s excited about it and wants to get going.”
Earlier this morning we noted some rumbling that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s interceptions were slowly revving up calls for him to be benched.
John Morgan of SB Nation’s Field Gulls writes that the excuses for Matt Hasselbeck’s poor play have already worn thin.
The Seahawks are not dependent on Matt Hasselbeck to win the NFC West. The formula, as it has been since this team was constructed, is: good run defense, an opportunistic secondary, good special teams and a functional offense. The Seahawks run defense has been superb, ranking third in yards per attempt allowed, 2.0, and allowing only nine first downs (11th tied) in 57 attempts. The secondary converted two interceptions into touchdowns against the 49ers. Marcus Trufant returned one pick for an instant score. Jordan Babineaux returned another pick to the 13, and Seattle scored on the next play. Olindo Mare is still booting them, and Golden Tate has the look of a superstar return man. The formula is in place, and the formula is in no way dependent on Hasselbeck.
Benching Matt Hasselbeck is not an admission of defeat.
Jennings was back to his old self on Sunday, being discarded like the paper weight he is by more physical receivers, tripping over his own feet, and failing to locate the ball in the air in the few instances he actually was in position. Rookie Demaryius Thomas - who, incidentally, didn't catch a single pass in the opener - made the third-year corner look positively awful.
With two years of evidence that tells us Kelly Jennings isn't good, it's probably wise that we remember that.
While it seemed like everything went right for the Seahawks during Week 1, things went haywire on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, as interceptions, muffed punts and red zone penalties combined to make life more difficult than it needed to be for Seattle. The result? A convincing 31-14 defeat at the hands of the Broncos, leaving the Seahawks waiting another week to find out who they are as a football team.
John Morgan of SB Nation's Field Gulls writes that the loss was disappointing but not back-breaking.
I want to be optimistic. I feel optimistic. I don't feel beat down by this game. So I am going to be optimistic.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times writes that Seattle's loss to Denver was different than last year.
Seattle spent a good chunk of last year resembling roadkill. All seven of the Seahawks' road losses were by double digits, the last four by more than 20.
This was something different entirely. Seattle had a chance in this game. Actually, the Seahawks had more than one. They finished the game with more rushing yards than the Broncos, and if Seattle hadn't wasted all those scoring chances, the outcome might have been different.
"Going through (training) camp, he was still a little bit behind, doing things right and trying to clean his game up," coach Pete Carroll said. "He's working real hard at it, and he's going to get it done. It's not far away, but he did show. He did show the stuff that we've seen all throughout camp.
"He can make plays. He can make things happen."
Greg Johns of the Seattle PI points to the Seahawks pass defense as an area for improvement going forward.
Even against an injury-ravaged Broncos' offensive line, the Seahawks mounted almost no pressure against Kyle Orton and paid the price as he ripped them up for 307 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The positive news? Seattle's run defense appears legit, holding Denver to 70 yards on 35 carries or just 2.0 yards a crack.
The more significant stat for Hasselbeck was three interceptions. Seattle won't win games when that happens.
No, I'm not calling for Charlie Whitehurst, but that is 13 picks by Hasselbeck in his last five games. Not a good trend.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune is holding Pete Carroll accountable for the poor play.
This team was chased off the field. Lots of reasons for that. But whatever preparations were made this week were ineffective, and adjustments made during the game had no effect.
One of the game-changing mistakes mentioned above was a muffed punt by Seahawks rookie Walter Thurmond. Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune writes that Thurmond was apologetic afterwards.
Thurmond made no excuses for his miscue.
"I just dropped the ball, just poor technique is all it was," Thurmond. "I mean, I could have said the ball went into the sun. I could have said a whole bunch of things. But it was poor technique, that's all it was."
Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times writes that the miscues were unavoidable given the organization's vast roster restructuring.
A team can't turn over half its roster in one year and not expect to commit turnovers early in the season. A team that won a total of nine games over the past two seasons can't build without bobbles.
Heck, the way the Seahawks have been adding to and culling from their roster this summer, there could be a half-dozen more waiver acquisitions this week.
Now, the Seahawks turn their attention to the San Diego Chargers, who will visit Qwest Field on Sunday, Sept. 26, for a 1:15 PM kickoff during Week 3 of the NFL.
The Chargers, like the Seahawks, are 1-1 after two weeks but they are coming off of a big home win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The Chargers ran up 38 points of offense and held the Jaguars to 6 first-half points and 13 for the game.
John Gennaro of SB Nation's Bolts From The Blue says the Chargers looked great on both sides of the ball.
That was the San Diego Chargers team I was expecting to see. Philip Rivers looked like himself (75.9% completion rate!), Ryan Mathews looked great before his injury (and looked healthy standing on the sideline in the second half), Mike Tolbert looked like a suitable replacement at RB,Antonio Gates looked like an all-world TE and the WRs looked good enough.
In addition to that, the Chargers defense (Brandon Siler and Antoine Cason in particular) looked fantasic and kept the Jaguars from scoring any meaningful touchdowns. They were also able to knock David Garrard out of the game with a bunch of interceptions and a consistent pass-rush.
Mark Lamport-Stokes of Reuters writes that Chargers coach Norv Turner praised his defense .
"It was a great defensive effort," Chargers head coach Norv Turner said. "Every time we had a negative situation, defensively we stepped up and created a negative situation for them.
"The things I wanted to see from our team were a physical presence and the ability to pressure contact the quarterback, and create turnovers.
"If we can do those things, we can be the type of team I have been talking about."
Darren Sproles secured a dump pass, shirked a tackler and skittered down the sideline for a 43-yard gain that jump-started a two-minute drive. Gates finished it with his second touchdown catch as San Diego snatched a two-score lead seconds before halftime.
"We did find a way to score points obviously," Turner said. "We got in a rhythm. We had a great two-minute drive at the end of the half."
Clearly, a major test awaits the Seahawks at home on Sunday.
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