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Wilson and Seahawks' offense struggle

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By Rich Myhre
Herald Writer
Published:
  • Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tries to elude the Cardinals' Daryl Washington during the third quarter of Sunday's game.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tries to elude the Cardinals' Daryl Washington during the third quarter of Sunday's game.

SEATTLE -- Was it a particularly poor game by the Seattle Seahawks' offense, and by quarterback Russell Wilson in particular? Or was it simply an exceptional defensive effort by the Arizona Cardinals?
Most likely, it was a little bit of both. Regardless, Seattle's offense never got fully untracked on Sunday and Wilson suffered through one of the least productive outings of his young NFL career.
The result was a 17-10 loss to Arizona that kept the Seahawks from wrapping up the NFC's best regular-season record, which includes a first-round playoff bye and home-field advantage through the playoffs.
Those goals remain for another week as Seattle prepares for its final regular-season game against St. Louis, next Sunday at CenturyLink Field. But to beat the Rams, the Seahawks will likely need a better showing by Wilson and all of his offensive teammates.
Against the Cardinals, Wilson had a completion percentage of .407 (11-for-27), a yards-per-attempt average of 4.0, 108 total passing yards and a quarterback rating of 49.6. All are season lows for the second-year QB, and the yards-per-attempt and total yards figures are also career lows.
"It was one of those games where we were just an inch off here or there, for whatever reason," Wilson said. "Offensively, we were just off by a hair for whatever reason."
According to head coach Pete Carroll and several of the Seahawks, much of the credit should go to an impressive Arizona defense. Sunday's outcome was the seventh win in the past eight games for the Cardinals, and in five of those victories they gave up 14 points or less.
"They played really well on defense, and (they were) harder and tougher than we wanted them to be," said Carroll, who then gave particular praise to the Arizona secondary. "(Wilson) had plenty of time, but they were covering us up pretty well. For whatever reason, we just couldn't find guys open. So you have to give (the Cardinals) a lot of credit. They did a nice job."
"They played a hell of a defensive game," agreed Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin. "They disguised really well their coverages and where they were coming from in the blitz packages. They just did things we didn't expect, at least from my standpoint -- I can't speak for everybody else -- but it just felt like we couldn't get things going because we couldn't really figure out what they were doing."
Likewise, Seattle was unable to muster much of a ground game. Running back Marshawn Lynch had 46 yards on six carries in the first quarter, and then just 25 yards on 12 carries the rest of the game. In total, the Seahawks finished with 103 rushing yards.
Particularly galling to Carroll was Seattle's inability to score a touchdown after getting a first-and-goal at the Arizona 3-yard line after a Malcolm Smith interception late in the second period. Lynch ran up the middle for 2 yards, then was held for no gain on second down. A third-down pass fell incomplete.
Making matters worse, the Seahawks lined up to kick a field goal on fourth down, but were moved back 5 yards with a false-start penalty. Place-kicker Steven Hauschka then missed a 24-yard field goal, banging the ball off the left upright.
"We should be able to knock that one in," Carroll said. "We've been great in the red zone (inside the 20-yard line this season), we've been doing all kinds of good stuff, and today we just couldn't get in. We had trouble in all phases. ... They played great defense against us."
"I felt like they just played good defense," agreed Wilson, who lost a home game for the first time in his two-year NFL career. "They just made some plays here and there. They made some plays and we didn't make some plays, and normally we do. It wasn't our luck today."
Story tags » Seahawks

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