BY Steve Rudman 06:30AM 11/29/2016

Seahawks vow fixes after debacle in Tampa

The Seahawks put up a brave front after losing to Tampa Bay Sunday and vowed to rectify their issues, which were numerous, especially in a historically bad passing performance.

Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston threw two TD passes in the first quarter Sunday. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

The Seahawks wore their bravest faces after laying a Haystack Rock-sized egg Sunday in Tampa Bay. The score – 14-5, Buccaneers – was palatable, the details indigestion-inducing. Seattle generated next-to-no offense, couldn’t protect QB Russell Wilson (six sacks), who experienced one of the worst passing games of his five-year career, and was made to look the fool defensively, especially in the first half.

“They outplayed us, and they beat us up front,” said coach Pete Carroll after the Seahawks played their third game this season without an offensive touchdown. “It’s such an oddity to be that far off in the throwing game and have trouble and (getting) fully shut down on third down. It just spells for a bad game.”

LB K.J. Wright: “We were in a funk throughout the game. It happens sometimes. We’ve got to find a way to stay focused, lock in and find a way to win.”

WR Tyler Lockett, “Everybody needs these types of games. It’s not like something where we’re just going to put our heads down and give up. Everybody needs those games.”

Tampa Bay bulldozed the Seahawks early. The Buccaneers scored two touchdowns, both passes from second-year QB Jameis Winston to WR Mike Evans, among their first 19 plays and led 14-0 as Seattle responded with a single three-and-out.

This was how unusual that was: Never in the Carroll era (since 2010) had an opposing quarterback — not Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees —  thrown two touchdown passes against the Seahawks in the first quarter.

Going back 20 years, only six quarterbacks besides Winston hit two TD throws against a Seattle team in the first quarter:

Year Date Opp. QB Receivers (Yards)
1996 Sept. 15 KC Steve Bono Chris Penn (9), Dale Carter (46)
1997 Aug. 31 NYJ Neil O’Donnell Wayne Chrebet (35), Jeff Graham (26)
1997 Dec. 14 Oak Jeff George Olando Truitt (19), James Jett (37)
1998 Oct. 11 Den John Elway Rod Smith (50), Shannon Sharpe (29)
2000 Dec. 23 Buff Doug Flutie Shawn Bryson (11), Peerless Price (18)
2009 Nov. 8 Det Matt Stafford B. Pettigrew (7), Bryant Johnson (29)
2016 Nov. 27 TB James Winston Mike Evans (3), Evans (23)

The Seahawks won only two of those games, 22-21 over Oakland Dec. 14, 1997, and 32-20 over Detroit Nov. 8, 2009.

“He made some unorthodox throws. He also made some throws that we should have capitalized on,” CB Richard Sherman said of Winston, who completed 21 of 28 and finished with a 106.3 passer rating. “It wasn’t like there were any big bombs over the middle of the field or anything. Our tackling was good. They got a couple (touchdown passes) in the first quarter and they didn’t get another.”

True, but the damage was done because the Seahawks could not retaliate. they blew the majority of their drives on third down. They went 1-for-11, the 9.1 percent conversion rate the second-lowest of the Carroll era and one of the six lowest in the past decade:

Year Date Opp. Att. Convt. Pct. Result
2009 Oct. 18 Ariz 11 0 0.0 Arizona 27, Seattle 3
2010 Oct. 31 Oak 16 1 6.3 Oakland 33, Seattle 3
2009 Dec. 13 Hou 14 1 7.9 Houston 34, Seattle 7
2008 Oct. 5 NYG 11 1 9.1 New York 44, Seattle 6
2016 Nov. 27 TB 11 1 9.1 Tampa 14, Seattle 5
2009 Nov. 22 Minn 10 1 10.0 Minnesota 35, Seattle 9

The Seahawks are converting 35 percent of their third-down opportunities this year, which ranks 25th in the NFL. Since Carroll has been the coach, the only year when their conversion rate was lower was 2011 when, with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback, their number was 33.8 percent.

Last year, the Seahawks converted 46.5 percent of their third downs. The year before they finished at 42.5. In Wilson’s first year, they went 80-for-199 on third down, 40.2 percent.

“It’s nothing we haven’t been through before,” said the perpetually upbeat Wilson “We’ve been through it all. Sometimes you’ve got to look forward to the challenges, and you’ve got to look forward to the struggle to see what’s on the other side.”

Speaking of challenges, Wilson’s six sacks were the sixth time in his career that he has been taken down six or more times in a game. In two  —  Oct. 28, 2013 vs. the Rams and Nov. 23, 2014 vs. the Cardinals – he went down seven times.

Wilson’s six, six-plus sack games ranks T2 in Seahawks history with Matt Hasselbeck, who played 138 regular-season games  (2001-10) vs. Wilson’s 75.  Wilson could tie the franchise career record for most games sacked six or more times, nine by Dave Krieg between 1980-91 in 128 games.

Since Wilson entered the NFL in 2012, he has been sacked five or more times in a game 20 times. Quarterbacks with the most such contests during Wilson’s time in the league:

Quarterback Team Gms. No. Sacked
Ryan Tannehill Miami 75 26 7 times in two games
Russell Wilson Seattle 75 20 6 games with six or more sacks
Alex Smith SF/KC 66 20 6 times in 3 games
Matt Stafford Detroit 75 19 7 times by Vikings Oct. 25, 2015
Philip Rivers San Diego 75 17 7 times by Chiefs Dec. 28, 2014
Andy Dalton Cincinnati 72 16 7 times by Jets Sept. 11, 2016
Colin Kaepernick San Francisco 61 16 8 times by Rams Nov. 2, 2014

Wilson and the Seahawks host the Carolina Panthers Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at CenturyLink Field. The last time Wilson saw the Panthers (Jan. 17, 2016), they sacked him five times for 41 yards in losses.


  • MrPrimeMinister

    I have come to the conclusion–after coming to the conclusion that this franchise should have 2 or 3 super bowl titles–that pete carroll is a better evaluator of the talent than he is standing on the sideline and making in-game decisions for that talent.

    • art thiel

      Conveniently overlooking the fact that Carroll is 30-7 in Nov./Dec. Superb conclusion.

      • MrPrimeMinister

        Titles aren’t decided in NovDec. A win in Sept has pretty much the same amount of value as a win in Dec, standings wise. He is good at finding those diamonds in the rough, i.e. the draft.

  • coug73

    The Hawks will make the playoffs with a mediocre OL because the Hawks play in a mediocre division. Any improved play from the OL will be a blessing.

    Go Hawks

    • art thiel

      Getting a two-seed means a bye and a home game. That’s worth a lot.

  • ll9956

    While it’s true that the O-line played OK or better against the Bills, Patriots and Eagles, I fear that the only real fix for their problems is to acquire players who are more talented than those presently on the team. I hope I’m wrong and they improve significantly.

    • art thiel

      Each year, the lines have improved with experience.

  • jafabian

    I love the “laying a Haystack Rock-sized egg” line. Only those in the Pacific NW can appreciate that. If the Hawks want to have the best record in the NFC they can’t afford anymore games like this and they’ll need some help and I’m not sure they’ll get that.

    • art thiel

      So you’re sayng, Steve rocks. Cool.

      Regarding Seahawks, keep in mind there’s a lot of seriously flawed teams out there.

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  • Effzee

    Until I see “Bevell fired,” I will not believe in any vows of improvement. I couldn’t be more out on Bevell. I’m done. I’m not even saying this is his fault. I just think his entire offensive premise is fatally flawed. Literally, the only times his plays have worked are 1) when BeastMode used to get more than was there by sheer force of will, 2) when RW makes makes actual magic happen, and 3) when the other team is bad enough to fall for each gimmick play that he throws at them. I know it’s up to the players to execute what he’s calling. I’m aware of this. But, my feeling on him has never changed since he arrived. We could win 5 more Super Bowls with him at OC, and I will go to my grave believing we did it all in spite of having to overcome his compete awfulness.

  • antirepug3

    It was the perfect ‘trap’ game with five more on the schedule.