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.
O'Neil also writes that coach Pete Carroll is seeing progress from rookie wide receiver Golden Tate.
"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.
Johns also writes that Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is trending the wrong direction.
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."
Christopher Smith of Chargers.com writes that Darren Sproles broke the game open.
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.