CINCINNATI – If the Seattle Seahawks were going to preach perfection, they would have to take a time machine back three weeks and erase their only loss of the season.
So what the coaching staff preaches is for the team to at least strive for perfection. Especially on offense. And especially this week.
With the Cincinnati Bengals (2-4) on tap for today, the Seahawks see an opportunity to get their offensive groove back.
”Our schedule favors us; we’re playing teams with losing records,” running back Shaun Alexander said of the next six games. ”So the fact that we have to concentrate on ourselves performing and playing the perfect game is something that keeps us motivated.”
It wasn’t so long ago that a Cincinnati-Seattle game featured two teams that featured largely imperfections. But today’s contest leaves the Seahawks (5-1) hoping to fine-tune an offense that hasn’t performed up to expectations.
Despite three impressive game-winning drives already this season, Seattle’s offense has also seen its share of forgettable performances.
The most obvious breakdowns have come in third quarters, during which Seattle has scored a total of 13 points in six games this season. That quarter has provided just six first downs and two turnovers over the past three weeks.
”Striving for consistency is learning how to discipline yourself, coming out of the locker room with a lead, coming out of the locker room with your backs against the wall,” coach Mike Holmgren said. ”You have to learn to play at a certain level, regardless of your opponent, regardless of the time of the game. We’re still learning that a little bit.”
A big lead against an inferior opponent can be dangerous, as the Seahawks found out last week with a last-minute win over the Chicago Bears. While they refuse to look at that game as a wake-up call, it certainly showed Seattle that overlooking the Chicagos and Cincinnatis of the league can be dangerous.
”I think (the players) know where we are, and they appear to be ready,” Holmgren said. ”The team is playing hard and going well. I always tell them if something happens and you lose a football game, let it be because the other team is better and they outplayed us. Don’t let it be because we’re flat, we’re executing poorly, getting a lot of penalties or we haven’t played smart.
”They’re still listening to me, I think, but we did hammer (that message) a lot this week.”
While he’s always looking for a balanced team effort, Holmgren has undoubtedly been pushing the offense more than the defense this week.
For as much talent as Seattle has on the offensive side of the football, the consistency just hasn’t been there.
”I’m not down on them,” Holmgren said. ”I just think things happen and we can play better.
”Which is encouraging to me. We’re 5-1 right now, and I really believe we can be much more efficient on offense.”