Seahawks Insider

Carroll says Hawks offense coming together

Post by Eric Williams on Oct. 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm with 51 Comments »
October 17, 2010 4:42 pm

As you can imagine, there were a lot of happy faces in the locker room after the Seattle Seahawks 23-20 win over Chicago.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said his team finally took their game on the road and played like they do at home. They sacked Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler six times, control the tempo of the game offensively for the first time this season, holding a 34:23 to 25:37 advantage in time of possession, and for the most part Seattle limited the mistakes that had killed them in the past on the road.

Seattle did not turn the ball over, and although they did not force any turnovers defensively, Seattle did hold Chicago to 0 for 12 on third down conversions. The Seahawks had a similar performance on defense in the first game of the year against San Francisco, holding the Niners to 1 for 15 on third down conversions.

Carroll praised the play of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Although he did not post gaudy numbers, finishing 25 of 40 for 242 yards and a touchdown, Hasselbeck controlled the tempo of the game from the opening snap, completing passes to eight different receivers. Hasselbeck finally got into the type of rhythm we’ve seen in the past when he plays well.

Carroll said the reason for Hasselbeck’s success is Seattle is finally finding its identity on offense and playing a style that he envisioned when he first took over a team – a physical running style with a big, dominant receiver on the outside guided by an experienced quarterback who limits mistakes and can make plays in critical moments of the game.

“There is no question that Matt continues to grow,” Carroll said. “Frankly, Marshawn Lynch makes a difference to us and our mentality. He was a factor in the game. He helps the quarterback understand what we are trying to get done.

“You can feel it, because you know there is a chance for the running game to be there. That fits the mentality. We were able to play today in a style that we have been talking about. This is the first time. We should have an opportunity.”

The Seahawks have several firsts today. They scored points for the first time this season in the opening quarter. They scored on the team’s first drive of the game for the first time this season. Hasselbeck did not throw an interception in a game for the first time this season, and the first time in nine games dating back to last year.

Lynch and Justin Forsett played well off of each other. Forsett returned to his more comfortable role as a complementary back, finishing with 67 yards on 10 carries, including a touchdown. And Lynch totaled 44 yards on 17 carries and a score.

“Just the type of runners we are, I think we’ve got a good combination going,” Forsett said. “We kind of feel when each other is getting hot. He’ll look over and say, ‘Hey, come on in.’ That’s the type of guy he is. We’re both selfless guys, and we just want to be productive for our team. It’s like old times again, and it feel good.”

The Seahawks also got after the quarterback pretty well today, finishing with six sacks for 64 yards. Although they gave up 290 yards through the air, including three plays of 34 yards or more, Seattle still made quarterback Jay Cutler feel uncomfortable back there. 3.5 of the six sacks came on safety blitzes.

“Obviously on tape we were licking our chops a little bit seeing the way the Giants had success,” Milloy said. “We had to get up and jam the receivers and give the rush time to get there. Really sacks and stuff come from doing everything right on first and second down. We got them into some third-and-long situations, and we brought the kitchen sink and it paid off for us.”

“We were just mixing our looks,” Carroll said. “Gus (Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley) did a marvelous job today of mixing the calls and keeping them guessing with the rushes and all.”

Carroll said the drive of the game was Seattle’s 92-yard drive to put Seattle ahead 23-13 with 13:45 left. Seattle converted six first downs on the drive.

On the 89-yard punt return by Devin Hester, Seahawks punter Jon Ryan was directed to kick the ball out of bounds, but obviously didn’t get it there. Hester tied a league record for kick returns with nine in his career.

Ryan took a vicious-but-clean hit when receiver Earl Bennett peeled back and decleated him on the return, opening up the sideline for Hester.

Ryan suffered a rib injury on the play but seemed okay in the locker room afterwards.

“It’s sucks when you get one returned on you like that, especially when you don’t remember it,” Ryan said about the play.

Both CB Kelly Jennings and DE Dexter Davis suffered hamstring injuries in the first half and did not return.

Some tidbits

* Deon Butler finished with four catches for 47 yards in his first start with Deion Branch gone.

* The Seahawks held Chicago to 61 rushing yards just a week after they rushed for over 200 yards against Carolina.

* The two teams combined for 18 punts.

* Marcus Trufant led the team in tackles for a second straight game with six. Trufant also had an interception that was ruled out of bounds.

* Lawyer Milloy is one sack away from joining the elite 20-20 club — 20 sacks and 20 interceptions. Milloy has 19 sacks after today’s performance and 25 interceptions. With one more sack he would become the 11 person in the 20-20 club, joining linebackers Tom Jackson, Seth Joyner, Wilber Marshall, William Thomas, Donnie Edwards and Ray Lewis, safeties Rodney Harrison, LeRoy Butler, Brian Dawkins and Adrian Wilson, and cornerback Ronde Barber

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Leave a comment Comments → 51
  1. The most important stat here is:

    Sacks – 0

    Dukeshire, I must admit, I was wrong about Okung. He kept hasselbeck safe all day.

  2. Lawyer Milloy might actually be the most important guy on defense right now, he seems to be just as important as Tatupu, and I’m glad we are actually using him this year.

  3. KelsoHawk says:

    The tale of two teams. I hope the team that showed up today is the one we get next week. The foundation that Schneider and Carroll have put on the field is very encouraging for the future and the end of the season,when we should be playing our best ball. Peppers was hardly a factor today and Cutler, once rattled, is a liability for Chicago.

  4. 0-12 on 3rd downs is an amazing stat for the defense. That is every bit as good as turnovers – kudos to the defensive playcalling on 3rd downs all game.

    I thought Cutler would hurt us more today, and 290 yds ain’t nothing, but you can’t argue with 0 for 12. And the Bears O put up just 13 points, that’s a good day for the D.

  5. resortdude says:

    RADEoN – who would have thought how well Okung would play after the injury and getting beat a couple times against the lambs? Today he stood up against the best in the business and came out on top. Awesome…still high from the win!

  6. I missed most of the first half. Will we see any AaronCurryIsBust posts this week? How did Curry do?

  7. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    I’m excited to see this type of game from our team. I was very skeptical of the move to hire coach PC, but he has me believing that he will get us into contention in the near future. I think he’s doing a good job with the talent we have. Nice work getting Lynch here, It seems like this gives us a different feel on offense, and teams have to prepare differently for us now. I had pencilled this in for a loss, this win gives us a shot at 8-8 or better.

  8. I hear Ben Hamilton broke his nose. Will that keep him out? Will it matter?

  9. Dukeshire says:

    RADEoN – Well in fairness, he surpassed all our expectations today. Great to see, wasn’t it?

    “We could feel him. You could feel him playing with us, his style is something we needed.” Carroll is right on the money. Just watching, I could “feel” a difference too. Marshawn and Forsett really are a perfect compliment to one another. (And besides, they’re really good friends. It might be silly, but it does just feel right.)

  10. Dukeshire says:

    Ocho – He looked pretty tough with blood running down his face after. Jerry Kramer style. Cool.

  11. bird_spit says:

    Curry had his typical over pursuit moments. The problem with Curry is he is not dominating as would be expected out of a second year, 4th player drafted. I won’t call him a bust cause I think he is a solid young player. I doubt his development is complete. I feel he is still learning the game, and getting better. One of these games, he will be the most dominating player. If/when that happens, he might just snap into the player we are expecting.

  12. variable575 says:

    Dukeshire-

    How ’bout those matchups!? That Lynch TD was awesome!! Power baby!!

    One thing. On Da bears long drive outa deep in their own territory, Cutler threw a pass that went for serious yardage and was reviewed to see if the receiver went out of bounds, remember? We lost the review but………….Did anyone else see that offensive line holding on whoever was rushing from the left DE spot?? Obvious hold with a no call right in front of Alovero…..or whatever his name is.

    Couple missed calls by the refs–not a fan of the zebras………..what do those jacks do in the off-season, probably nothing. It at least appears that way.

  13. variable575 says:

    Like the initials of our RB by committee, MF. Looked good on the cheek of Lynch. I’m thinking subtle name-calling to the opposition. :)

  14. “The problem with Curry is he is not dominating as would be expected out of a second year, 4th player drafted. I won’t call him a bust cause I think he is a solid young player. I doubt his development is complete”

    Completely agree with that. It doesn’t really do us any good to complain that he’s not as good as he “should” be – truth is that he’s a solid piece of the defense, and for stretches in some games, he has looked very very good. I think he’s our 2nd best pass rush threat after Clemons – so that’s a valuable guy.

  15. “Did anyone else see that offensive line holding on whoever was rushing from the left DE spot?? Obvious hold with a no call right in front of Alovero…..or whatever his name is. ”

    Absolutely – on the in-game chat, everyone called it out. It was pretty obvious, and as you said, right in front of the ref.

  16. RADEoN,

    You put your finger on the most significant thing about today’s win.

    Chicago’s offensive line is horrible, and Cutler has always had a tendency to go into a sulk, so it isn’t really surprising that our D had a good day against them.

    Their defense, however, was supposed to be the strength of the Bears team. Many of us were wondering if Hasselbeck would make it out of this game alive. But Okung kept Peppers in check, even when he had to do it all by himself. Zero sacks! Wow.

  17. variable575 says:

    pdway-

    Those so-called “missed” calls really get my blood boiling like nothing else.

    Wonder if the ref had a bet going…………..Or, maybe he decided to not throw the flag because his arm was tired. No other excuse.

  18. Dukeshire says:

    variable575 – Yes, Seattle won them. You still completely miss the point, but whatever.

    That hold at the goal line was on Clemons running around J’Marcus Webb. Webb got away with one, IMO.

  19. Not only was there the hold on Clemons, but the previous play was almost certainly intentional grounding which was also not called.

  20. variable575 says:

    Dukeshire-

    You’re impossible. Without losing our heads here, of course I get you your point, just a difference of opinions.

  21. variable575 says:

    Ocho-

    Back to the holds. There was another no-call that I can think of which was a screen to the right which would have been limited to a 2-3yrd gain by our LB(maybe herring–looked like a white guy)but being held, it turned into a 1st and more.

    I’m glad we won and all, I would have liked–and we all should expect–better balanced officiating.

    On another note…..how ’bout that NE/ Branch relationship? Something about it is slightly annoying/gay.

  22. A = Walt-like good in his prime. The absolute best of the best. No grade inflation here.

    B = Very Good. No shame in being “very good.” Pro Bowl level good, but not future Hall of Famer good.

    C = Average. You’re not good, but you don’t suck. A player who goes about his business and isn’t an asset or liability. He’ll make a good play here and there, but will get taken advantage of here and there too. It evens out.

    D = Below Average. You are an NFL player, so that counts for something, but you’re not an asset to the team. The team wins in spite of you, not because of you, yet every once in awhile you will do come up with a big play, but usually people are saying your name in vain.

    F = You start, but you suck. Think about the Rob Sims – Chris Spencer combination of ’06, ’07, ’08 (granted, Sims missed all but a half of ’08).

    Where we are at heading forward (not judging by today, juding by what he hope to expect moving forward).

    QB — C+… Can’t make the throws he used to make but he isn’t the washed up pile of dung that some make him out to be either. Looked better today with improved play around him (what a novel concept). More of an asset than a liability, no matter what some say.

    RB — B… I think we’re set. This group would produce at an elite level if they had a better OL.

    WR — C… It’s funny that losing a Housh and Branch made this unit better. With Williams, Tate, and Butler… this group is solid, but clearly there’s no reason for this trio not to play at a “B” level by this time next year. Experience is their only hinderance at this time. Stokley is a short-term fix that is valuable (I love Obo on ST).

    TE — C+… Carlson is so close to playing at a Pro Bowl level, but he needs to start making the harder catches that great players normally make. He’s close, yet that’s the frustrating part (hasn’t gotten over that elite hump that I believe he could/should). I like the rest of the group fine too.

    OL — C-… The only reason this group isn’t somewhere around a “D” is because of Okung. He’s for real, folks.

    DL — C+… I know some may want to give this unit a “B” but being awarded that grade means you have guys who could/should be in the Pro Bowl. We don’t have a Pro Bowler, but we have some very solid play that is definitely above average. I love Red and Mebane and have been super impressed with Clemons. Cole is the definition of a good, solid player who isn’t going to make too many plays, but he’s good (like an exact “C” should be). The performance of the depth after losing a Mebane means I probably should have them at a B-, but I’m not going to kool-aid it too much until they can do that again and against a more respected OL.

    LB — B-… Lofa is the definition of a “B.” Curry will eventually get there, regarless of his inability to spell a word properly. Heater and to a lesser degree Herring, are fine but in no way are they consistent difference makers (although I do personally like Heater).

    S — B-… Milloy is having a very good year (being used to his strengths) and Thomas is going to eventually find himself earning B+ or A- type of grades in the near future.

    CB — C… Tru is good. Jennings is okay, but with obvious limitations. Thurmond will only improve but he still has, understandably, rookie issues. Lewis is coming around.

  23. variable575 says:

    Well done, Bk.

    Aside from other categories, I couldn’t agree more with your LB grade and elaboration.

  24. If it were just Lynch/J-Force at RB, I would have given them a “B-” but since Washington is also there, that’s a great 3-headed monster who deserves a “B.” I love the Pro Bowl ability of Leon, even if it’s more on display on ST. It’s still there.

  25. Dukeshire says:

    variable575 – Lol, it’s clear you don’t based on your responses.

    Bobby – Nice report card. Pretty fair across the board.

  26. and even worse, tied for 2nd best in QB hits… we’re blaming the O-line all the days but it seems our o-line is above average in this league (at least on paper)

  27. MadSweeney42 says:

    Variable- I was screaming about the hold before Cutler even threw it. Should’ve been a safety because it was in the end zone. Luckily the D held it to a 3 point drive and it didn’t cost us the game. Knox fantasy owners owe the refs on that one.

  28. MadSweeney42 says:

    Bobby- Carlson is a puzzler, he should be great but seems to flop when it’s his turn. One theory I have, and this goes double for Curry, is… look who they had coaching them last year! On top of one of the biggest idiots in the game as Curry’s first year coach, the OL woes made Carlson a blocker most of the year so he’s really not had the 2 years experience the roster says he has. PC knows how to use TEs so I expect him to improve as the passing game improves in general. The OL and RB moves are working that way and as Butler and Mike X emerge it will open him up. But no matter how you cut it, no matter how he played, JC made the one catch he absolutely, positively had to…the onside kick.

    Damn, I am flat out excited about this team. Carroll has breathed (brothe?) life into a dead team before they became annual doormats. A lot of the talent is already there and I’m looking forward to Seahawks/Rams games being battles again.

  29. RadeOn — there has been quite a bit of talk about stats and common sense lately. Just in the blog today, we were talking about how good Lynch looked and yet his stats would indicate he sucked today and would insinuate that J-Force should be the starter. We can tell this isn’t the case. Stats can be good, but there are times where they distort the truth. Our OL isn’t not an upper echelon unit. Most of us know this.

  30. The frustrating thing about Carlson is that he’ll have a catch like he did against SF in the opener. That was a great acrobatic catch that TEs simply should NOT make unless they wear a jersey that says something like Gates on the back.

    Yet, we get to the Denver game and he should have had a TD. Yes, Matt could have made a better throw, but if you’re a great player, you make that catch and you score. I saw Zach Miller make a great catch this afternoon where he went downfield and the ball got tipped and he still made that catch. What an amazing play. That kid is special. I want Carlson to be a bit more like Miller (yet he’s a Raider so nobody is going to know about him anyways).

    Same for him making that catch that should have turned into a huge gain today. That one wasn’t even tipped. He just needed to catch it and then hang onto it. I couldn’t do it. But that’s not the point.

    It should be that he makes most of those tough catches and every once in awhile can’t come up with one. Not the other way around.

    I don’t expect it from some of our other guys, but I see the potential in him so that’s probably why I’m being harder on him lately. It’s there. So close, yet so far away.

  31. variable575 says:

    MadSweeney42-

    Carlson is a puzzler. I have to say this. I was surprised with how well he did his first year. However, were there any other options? Plus, that was when Mike H. was calling the plays and he knows how to make TE’s look good, ie, Stevens.

    Carlson always appeared to be a big guy that lumbers around almost characteristic of a kid that grows to fast and looks to be a klutz. Not to say that’s what J. Carlson is, but his play as of late seems to suggest it. At the very least he’s suffering from a bad case of “Jim Mcllvaine Brick hands” and has been proven to be more of a liability.

    You guys remember when Stevens was dropping passes in 06, Matt was on a boot with Stevens open right in front for an easy conversion, yet he decided to throw to D-jack who was deeper and well covered. I thought I saw Carlson open a few times with Hass looking at him and going elsewhere. Could be happening again.

  32. guywhothinksheknowsitall says:

    Interesting stat:

    The Seahawks are the only team in the NFC West who have a positive points for to points against ratio.

    http://www.nfl.com/standings

  33. We are 3-2 and outscored our opponents 98-97.

    The Cards are 3-2 and have been outscored 138-88. That’s crazy that they have a winning record despite being outscored by 50 points in 5 games.

    No team in the NFC is undefeated OR only has 1 loss. Everyone is like us or worse — 2 losses (or more). Granted, I’d rather be 4-2 like some than 3-2, but it’s fun nonetheless.

  34. Nevermind. I got beat to the punch on that post. I hate it when that happens.

  35. It’s also odd how Seattle could THEORETICALLY be 5-0… the two losses are ones I feel we should have won. Oddly enough, two of the three wins are ones I felt we should have lost.

    Is this team legit? Or do we go from the 07 patriots to the 07 dolphins week to week?

    I do not know what to expect next week. We’ll beat the NFL all decade team one week, then lose to a local high school team the next.

  36. Seahawks2620 says:

    Many of the young players showed up today. Many things stood out today, but Walter Thurmond, Earl Thomas, and Okung looked phenomenal. Okung was very very impressive. He straight handled Peppers.

  37. Curry missed a sack and made a sack on the same play in the first half! He got juked by Cutler and went to the ground, then got up and sacked him.

    Go Go GOOOOOOOOOOO SEAHAWKS!

  38. Carlsonkid says:

    I can’t believe how well Okung played today ! The Forsett touchdown – Okung literally just bulldozes everyone in front of him into the End Zone ! Great effort on his part , I’m really happy for him to have played that well against Peppers .

    … you can just see that Lynch is going to make a major difference on this team . We stoled the guy for a 4th rounder ! Defense was terrific and excellent pass pressure , even Curry had a good day today . What a great victory ; FINALLY the road monkey is off their backs !

    GO HAWKS !!

  39. i am chugging the Kool-Aid after this weekend.

    that was an amazing victory on the road in a place that is historically tough to win in.

    GO SEAHAWKS!

    next Sunday, we should DESTROY the Cardinals at home. i really expect an asskicking of epic proportions. i wish i could be there to add to the noise at Quest, but eeing as how i am out here on the East Coast, i’ll just have to scream louder.

    also, welcome back Matt. it’s about f’ing time brother. let’s take this division by storm.

  40. One fact above that really helps illustrate how fundamentally sound this win was – we won with NO turnovers.

    We had not done that. Our D snagging the ball played a huge role in both our previous wins. Now, we won with no turnovers. This was a very solid defensive effort. The six sacks were huge. The great protection of Matt was huge. Okung was huge. Matt having extra time in the pocket was huge. BMW was huge. Lynch and Forsett were both huge.

    Oops, this wasn’t supposed to be a kool-aid blog.! ;-)

  41. GriffinNW says:

    Ocho-

    Ben Hamilton- I would imagine he wouldn’t miss time if I had to make a guess, didn’t they show him bloodied and bandaged, yet still playing? I feel like I saw him in a previous week all bandaged up too but still in… dude is giving his all, and I like that.

    Okung- Holy shit the kid came out and did what a lot of people thought he wasn’t going to be able to do, whether that was from an unsure ankle and/or just being a rookie, and that was shut Peppers down and hold it down at LT. Zero sacks says a whole lot, especially over on his side where you know they were pulling stunts and bringing heat. Great great game for all of them on the line.

    Lynch- Though stats don’t show it, I think he played a good game. There were a few plays that looked like loss of yards for sure, and he managed to fight it out and get back to the line or even gain a yard or two. Saw a few plays where I thought for sure it was a no-gainer, then I look at the screen and we gained 4-5 yards on it. Dude has the nastiness that this team needs. Him and Forsett played real well off eachother.

    Big Mike Williams- Him and Hasselbeck seem to be clicking. A bunch of times we needed that first or a big clutch catch, he was throwing it over to BMW, and more often than not, he was making the catch and moving the chains.

    Defense- Brought the heat all game, got sacks, gave them no 3rd down conversions- that is just about a turnover in my opinion. Sacks galore, the rush D showed up again, and for the most part the pass D shut em down, at least when it mattered most.

    I’m really excited for next week. We keep/get this O-line healthy, get them practicing and playing more, the run game is gonna come around even more, and doing so is going to make our pass much better and more dangerous, which will also open up the run game.
    After how last season went, I can’t believe how excited I am for the year so far. JS and PC are doing good things here. I’m in, the future is looking like it’s going to be alright :-)

    Sorry this was so long.

    GO SEAHAWKS!

  42. ruminator1 says:

    variable? what’s up with the gay bashing? (your comment:” how ’bout that NE/ Branch relationship? Something about it is slightly annoying/gay.”)

    branch is a good player, performed well here this year, had a lot of injuries and took a lot of abuse on this blog over the course of his stay. i wouldn’t care if he was gay, but wonder why you bring that up?
    just credit him with a good debut and leave the gay phobia at home.

  43. guywhothinksheknowsitall says:

    If there is 1 negative I would take away from this game it would be the penalties by Stacey Andrews. Seems like every game he has played in he has had at least 1 false start AND at least 1 holding penalty. The guy needs to start showing a little more dicipline, other than that I think he looks pretty decent. Still hoping Pitts gets healthy quick. Starting guards of Pitts/Hamilton with Okung at LT makes this o-line start to look scary again.

  44. ruminator1 says:

    mocarob slightly annoying/gay–i think it is a stretch to suggest he is talking behavior. had he left off the gay part, i guess you could say he didn’t feel so great about branch having success in NE. but including the gay part, it seems pretty clear to me that if he is talking about behavior, it is gay behavior.

  45. Snowflakes are delicate.

  46. “I don’t expect it from some of our other guys, but I see the potential in him so that’s probably why I’m being harder on him lately. It’s there. So close, yet so far away”

    I don’t know – I think what we see is what we get with Carlson. There’s really no reason I can think of that he’s going to suddenly get better. And, frankly, he’s really only good compared to what we’ve had recently at the position. In terms of league-wide comparison, he may not even be in the top half. I mean there are guys like Shiancoe, Finley, Keller, who are not even considered to be in the top 5, and I think they’re probably all better, more athletic tight ends than our guy.

    I’m disappointed too, I thought, after his rookie year, that he might turn into a pro bowl tight end, but now I’m not really sure what the strength of his game is – he’s not a good blocker, his hands are suspect, and he rumbles w/the ball, but it’s not like he’s making people miss or outrunning any safeties. He’s adequate, but that’s all, I’m afraid.

  47. variable575 says:

    lol, ruminator………….didn’t know we had daisies contributing to this blog.

    mocarob is correct in his interpretation of my statement. And anyhow, what’s wrong with it, far from “homophobic” as you put it. Although, looks like you’re just as good as I when it comes to name-calling, hypocrite.

    didn’t mean to get your panties in a bunch.

  48. Ruminator: who really cares if he said gay? Its 2010 people use it as a derogatory term when they don’t like something. Deal with it.

  49. ruminator1 says:

    it is insulting and prejudicial that is what is wrong with it. 2010 has nothing to do with it. would you say the same thing if someone used a racist comment? because in 2010, that happens too. and if you want more proof i was correct, what in the hell is the reference to daisies? my wife would find that funny, but my gay friends and political friends would not. i guess it is hard to improve on dumb.

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