Omen for Seahawks?

  • By John Boyle Herald Writer
  • Sunday, October 9, 2011 12:01am
  • Sports

Turning point or two-quarter anomaly?

The Seahawks offense, which came alive in the second half of last week’s loss to Atlanta, hopes their performance was the former and not the latter. It hopes that the 21 points and 234 yards in two quarters were a sign of what is to come, and not just the

result of an opponent relaxing a bit after building a 20-point lead.

“Every time the defense got us the ball back we felt like we were going to score,” quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. “And I know I wasn’t the only one that felt like that. It was like no matter what the defense did we were going to find a way to score, so that’s a confidence boost for us as an offense. …

“We’re seeing growth as a team. It just felt great going on the field knowing that we expected to score, instead of hoping to score. Everybody expected us to go out there and score.”

For the Seahawks to have a chance in New York today, they’ll need that suddenly confident offense to pick up where it left off against the Falcons. Slow starts have been an Achilles heel for the Seahawks this season, and falling behind on the road against a good Giants team would likely be a recipe for another loss and a 1-4 record heading into the bye.

However, after scoring as many touchdowns in a quarter and a half as they had in their first three games, the Seahawks headed east feeling like their offense can be an asset, not a shortcoming that the defense and special teams have to overcome.

“It boosts confidence,” receiver Sidney Rice said. “We want to take things from the second half that we did so well and have them carry over for this game in New York.”

When it comes to expecting offensive improvement, the Seahawks have more on their side than a hope and a prayer. This is an offense that is built to get better as the season goes on.

The Seahawks are young on the offensive line, starting two rookies, and Jackson is in his first year with the team. Also, Seattle’s top two offensive coaches — coordinator Darrell Bevell and line coach Tom Cable — are new this season.

The idea all along was for the offense to improve as the season went along. The hope now is that what happened last weekend is a sign that improvement is finally happening.

“From the beginning of training camp and having problems with snap counts and different stuff like that, to where we were at the end of that game, that’s good for those guys,” Jackson said.

The key to Jackson’s success last week, he says, was an improved line, which didn’t allow a sack last week after giving up 14 in the first three games. With more time to operate, Jackson has been able to use more weapons in his offense. A week after he spent most of his time looking Rice’s direction, Jackson last weekend was able to spread the ball around, completing three or more passes to seven different targets.

In fact Rice, who had eight catches for 109 yards two weeks ago, went without a second-half catch last week. And while the Seahawks won’t ever go into a game looking to ignore their best receiver, it’s a good sign that they can have their best half of offensive football without Rice being a big factor.

“It was amazing to be a part of that,” Rice said of his quiet half. “I didn’t catch one ball in the second half, but I believe I had most fun in a half of football that I’ve had in the NFL. Everything was going so well, we were moving the ball up and down the field. …

“It was good all around. Everyone was doing well, doing what they’re supposed to do and executing.”

Indeed everyone was executing. Today, the team will get a better idea if that was a sign of things to come, or just one half of good offense in an otherwise difficult season.

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog

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