SEATTLE — The ultra-optimistic view of the Seattle Seahawks‘ first two games was that they managed a 2-0 start despite not playing anything close to their best football. As Tyler Lockett wondered aloud after the opener: If they can win like that, imagine how dangerous they’d be when they’re at their best.
The flip side of that: No team could expect to continue to overcome mistakes like the ones the Seahawks were making.
They exceeded that margin for error Sunday at CenturyLink Field, losing 33-27 to a New Orleans Saints team with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. It was their first loss at home in September under Pete Carroll, having previously been 15-0 since he arrived in 2010.
Adding to the ugliness: Carroll coached with a bandaged nose after taking an errant football to the face during pregame warmups.
It was that kind of day for the Seahawks — and if you think they were looking past the Saints with Bridgewater at quarterback and not Drew Brees, consider what defensive captain Bobby Wagner said about that last week.
“Yeah, you definitely got to remind the guys not to let their guard down because in any day, you’re in this professional league and the guys behind those guys are professionals,” he said. “You can’t take anybody light because they can come out having one of their best games. It’s just part of letting the guys know we’ve got to stay locked in and it doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”
Troubling trend: Chris Carson fumbled for the third time in as many games — and that’s not even counting a botched handoff from last week. The Saints returned Carson’s latest fumble for a touchdown to break a second-quarter tie. Carroll doesn’t have much tolerance for running backs putting the ball on the ground, and he has to be nearing his breaking point with Carson. To make matters worse for Carson, he had continued issues keeping his footing on the wet turf Sunday. We might have seen less of Carson after that fumble Sunday had Rashaad Penny not been inactive.
Troubling trend, Part II: It’s a bad sign when committing seven penalties for 53 yards actually constitutes improvement, but that’s where the Seahawks are at. Two were particularly costly Sunday. They were flagged for illegal formation on what would have been a missed field goal, which extended a drive that resulted in a Saints touchdown in the third quarter. A muffed punt by New Orleans after Seattle’s next offensive possession looked like the break the Seahawks needed, but they were pushed back 15 yards after someone came off the sideline to celebrate. That drive ended in a turnover on downs.
Troubling trend, Part III: The Seahawks finished with zero sacks and only two official hits on Bridgewater. Both were by Quinton Jefferson, who continues to play well in a starting role that has him playing end and tackle. Ezekiel Ansah made his Seahawks debut but didn’t make any impact plays nor did he show up on the stat sheet. Not that it would have been reasonable to expect him to take over in his first game of any kind since last December. But the overall lack of pressure on Bridgewater was startling for a front seven that has a lot of pass-rushing firepower. Jadeveon Clowney had one tackle.