Watters is lone bright spot

  • SCOTT M. JOHNSON / Herald Writer
  • Sunday, October 22, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

By SCOTT M. JOHNSON

Herald Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. – If the finger-pointing begins, they won’t be cast in Ricky Watters’ direction.

While the Seattle Seahawks dropped their fourth consecutive game Sunday, Watters was the offense’s lone bright spot. The veteran running back ran for 95 yards on 17 carries, which doesn’t include a 70-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second half that was wiped out by a holding call.

“That’s kind of what happens when you’re not playing up to your standards,” coach Mike Holmgren said. “We finally get one, then there’s a penalty. That was too bad. It would have given us a little boost, I think. Whether we could have capitalized on it later remains to be seen. Right now, the way we’re executing, those things happen to you. It’s our own fault.”

Watters’ solid play on a struggling offense is nothing new. It marked the third time in four games when he has averaged more than five yards per carry. The problem is, Seattle has been behind too often this season and can’t get him enough carries. Nonetheless, he has accounted for more than one-third of Seattle’s offensive production this season and is among the AFC’s leading runners with 569 rushing yards.

Watters had several dazzling runs Sunday and added two 28-yard pass receptions out of the backfield.

  • Confused signal callers: Holmgren was in a bind during the first half of Sunday’s game, as Jon Kitna became the team’s second quarterback to suffer a concussion.

    Having already lost starter Brock Huard, Holmgren opted to let Kitna play despite his concussion. Had Holmgren turned to “emergency” quarterback Matt Lytle, he could not have gone back to Kitna – by NFL rule. Teams are required to select two eligible quarterbacks and give a third the “emergency” designation, which means he can come into the game only after injuries to the first two and must stay on the field for the remainder of the contest.

    “I thought about Lytle, but if I put him in in the third quarter, that was it,” said Holmgren, who eventually made the move in the final minute of the game. “We were running the ball OK, and I thought we could get away with that. Obviously, I was wrong.”

  • Quick slants: The Seahawks’ biggest margin of defeat last season was 13 points (16-3 against Tampa Bay). This season, Seattle has lost four times by at least that many points. In fact, the Seahawks entered this season having lost only two of their past 46 games by 13 points or more. … Seattle has lost at Miami, Carolina and Oakland by a combined score of 80-6, losing all three games by at least 23 points. The last time Seattle suffered three losses in a single season by 23 or more points was 1989. … Raiders wideout Tim Brown has five touchdowns in his past three games against the Seahawks. … Over the past two games, Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon has completed 43 of 55 passes, including five touchdowns. … In each of Seattle’s last three games, the opposing quarterback has completed at least 66 percent of his passes. … Linebacker Anthony Simmons led Seattle with eight tackles Sunday, the fourth game this season he has led the team in that category. … Before Sunday’s 31-3 win, the Raiders had defeated Seattle by 28 points or more only once: in the 1977 series debut (Oakland won 44-7).
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