By John Boyle Herald Writer
OAKLAND — The Seahawks offense has been described as inconsistent at times this year.
On Sunday, inconsistent would have represented a significant upgrade.
For the second time this season Seattle was held without a touchdown as the Raiders rolled to a 33-3 victory. The Seahawks were also held to a season-low 162 yards and didn’t gain a first down until the final minutes of the second quarter.
The tone was set on the Seahawks’ opening possession when Matt Hasselbeck was sacked on two of the first three plays. Seattle’s line, which played so well two weeks ago in Chicago, yielded eight sacks after allowing five last week.
“They set the tone for the pass rush for the day, and they didn’t really let up,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “… That’s a miserable day for us up front.”
Amplifying the lack of pass protection was the inability to run the ball. The Seahawks rushed for a season-high 111 yards two weeks ago, then bettered that total with 144 yards in last week’s win. On Sunday, the Seahawks had 47 rushing yards, averaging 2.5 yards per carry.
“Anywhere you look, we didn’t run the ball well, we didn’t protect,” Carroll said. “There were issues.”
The biggest issues were on the line. The Seahawks were without rookie left tackle Russell Okung, who suffered a high ankle sprain last week, then lost left guard Ben Hamilton to a concussion in the first half. Tyler Polumbus, Okung’s backup, briefly left the game with a leg injury, but was able to return.
Things got so bad that Carroll admitted to getting excited at one point when Marshawn Lynch had a two-yard run. Lynch, who had 87 yards last week, finished with 7 yards on nine carries.
“He just didn’t get started, and that had nothing to do with him,” Carroll said. “The line of scrimmage was there, and he couldn’t get going. He was battling like crazy. … It wasn’t a day where he even had a chance to get started.”
Despite the offensive line woes, the Seahawks were within striking distance in the third quarter when they finally put together a promising drive, aided by a pass interference call. Mike Williams, who had 21 catches for 210 yards in the last two games, dropped a likely touchdown, however, and a missed field goal ended the threat.
Williams battle a bruised knee throughout the game and finished with one catch, but said that had nothing to do with the drop.
“It didn’t affect me dropping that ball inside the 10,” he said, adding that the receivers could have helped the struggling line. “My hands were fine. It was just one of those days where we were challenged on the outside, and we didn’t get it done. We had some plays out there that were difficult to make, but this game is difficult. The level we want to play at isn’t easy. .. We left more than enough plays out there today that could have helped the offense.”
“We could have done our part. The defense was out there a lot, the special teams did a great job. This is one that our group is going to have to learn from.”
Herald Writer John Boyle: email@example.com. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog