SEATTLE — One week after a near-flawless offensive display, the Seattle Seahawks were historic in their haplessness.
In Sunday’s 27-3 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at Qwest Field, the Seahawks managed a mere 14 rushing yards. It was the lowest single-game rushing total in the team’s 34-year history.
Seattle had just 128 yards of total offense, and 42 of those yards came on one play — a fake-punt pass completion from punter Jon Ryan to tight end John Carlson. The 128 yards matched the seventh-lowest total in franchise history.
The Seahawks finished with seven first downs, tying for the sixth fewest in team history. And Seattle failed to get a rushing first down, the fourth time that has ever happened.
All this offensive futility came one week after the Seahawks routed Jacksonville 41-0 with 379 yards of offense. On that day, Seattle looked like a probable contender in the NFC West.
On Sunday, the Seahawks simply looked feeble, particularly on offense.
“Some weeks we play well, some weeks we don’t,” said Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. “You don’t know which team is going to show up.”
Many of Seattle’s other offensive numbers were equally bad. The Seahawks were 0-for-11 on third-down plays.
“We stunk on third down,” Hasselbeck said.
The Seahawks were dominated in time of possession, 42:50-17:10. After one quarter, Seattle had the ball for 43 seconds and trailed 14-0.
“It’s not my job to make it a blame game,” Hasselbeck said. “I’ve got plenty that I could’ve corrected from today. … Just for me, looking at myself and what I can do better, there’s a whole bunch.”
Several of Seattle’s offensive players seemed dazed after Sunday’s game. One, offensive tackle Kyle Williams, stayed in uniform for several minutes afterward, even as some teammates were leaving the locker room.
“It’s hard to put a finger on (one thing),” he said softly. “It was just one of those days. … We had chances to make plays and we know we can make plays. We know we’re good and we’ve got the manpower to do it. So it’s more frustrating than discouraging.”
Seattle head coach Jim Mora, who remains resolute despite his team’s 2-4 record, said there are “reasons” and not “excuses” for the team’s offensive travails.
For one, he said, the Seahawks have suffered a series of injuries, particularly on the offensive line. The team’s starting lineup on Sunday was the fourth different combination of offensive linemen in six games this season.
Also, Mora said, the Seahawks are still adjusting to the schemes of first-year offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.
“We’re just inconsistent,” Mora said. “And there are reasons that we’re inconsistent. We’re inconsistent because we’re not able to field a consistent lineup week after week and we’re installing a new scheme. Those things are having an effect. They’re absolutely having an effect.”
Seattle’s offense barely got on the field in the first quarter because the Cardinals opened with a time-consuming drive for a touchdown, then recovered a pooch kick at the Seahawks 23-yard line, leading to another touchdown.
And when Seattle’s offensive finally did take the field, a fumble on the third play gave the ball back to Arizona. Minutes later, the Cardinals led 17-0.
“It’s hard to come back when you’re down so early in the game,” said Seattle wide receiver Nate Burleson. “Once you’re down that much early, you’re kind of predictable offensively. You’ve got to get down the field and put points on the board, and (the defensive players) know what to expect. … I realized the position we were in early and it wasn’t a good one.”
“We really just didn’t get our rhythm and we made it really, really hard for ourselves, which was frustrating,” Hasselbeck said. “(Being down) 17-0 in the second quarter really made us one-dimensional and really made it tough on our guys up front.”
“Today was very disappointing for us, and hopefully we can fix that problem,” said Seahawks fullback Justin Griffith. “It’s very frustrating when you’re not putting up the numbers you want to put up.”
The good news, Griffith added, is that Seattle now has a bye week on its schedule.
“We’ve got to get healthy,” he said. “We’ve got a bye week, and now we have to take some time to reflect and figure out what kind of football team we want to be.”