Seahawks Insider

Carroll: “We fell apart in the kicking game”

Post by Eric Williams on Sep. 11, 2011 at 7:08 pm with 40 Comments »
September 11, 2011 7:08 pm

The game was within reach at 19-17 with 3:46 left when special teams lapses allowed a 102-yard kick return and 55-punt return by San Francisco’s Ted Ginn to put the game away, 33-17 for the Niners.

Check out the highlights and stats here.

“It felt really like we were right there to take this game over,” Carroll said. “And then we just fell apart in the kicking game. And Teddy Ginn did his stuff and had two, great plays, and took our chance of coming back in this game away.”

Carroll actually said that the team did not expect Ginn to play that extensive of a role on special teams today because he hardly played in the preseason.

It was a sloppy game overall for Seattle. The Seahawks finished with 11 penalties for 72 yards. The fumbled three times, losing two of them. And quarterback Tarvaris Jackson threw an interception late in the first half on a long heave to try and get the ball in the end zone.

But this game was really lost on offense and on special teams. The offense only crossed midfield one time in the first half and totaled 37 yards in the opening half, including just 12 yards on the ground.

Seattle’s special teams unit is playing with several new faces because of this organization’s commitment to getting younger, including rookies like Richard Sherman, Doug Baldwin and Malcolm Smith instead of veterans like Kennard Cox and David Vobora.

You also have to consider the fact that Mike Robinson and Byron Maxwell were not in there because of ankle injuries, and another good special teams player, Roy Lewis, is still on the PUP list rehabbing a knee injury from last season.

“We just had some breakdowns,” Seattle special teams coach Brian Schneider said. “We let him get around the outside on the kickoff, and I don’t know on the punt. But we’ll make sure we go look at it, and we’ll get it fixed.”

Seattle also had a new kicker out there that the team just picked up six days ago in Steven Hauschka, who took a bad angle on Ginn’s 102-yard kick return for a score. The result of all those changes was sloppy play on special teams, and it ultimately cost Seattle a win.

“We definitely miss those guys,” said Matt McCoy, one Seattle’s main special teams player. “Kennard Cox was a big part of our special teams unit, and he’s not here. I know we’ve got a lot of talent, as far as our young guys. Mike Rob got injured today, and the same as Maxwell, and those guys are big contributors on teams. And we need those guys back.”

Added Schneider: “That’s not an excuse for anything. We’ve got to go out there, and we’ve got to perform, and we’ve got to help our team get into position to have a chance at the end, ad we didn’t do that.”

Tarvaris Jackson finished 21 of 37 for 197 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He had a 78.3 passer rating.

Jackson and the offense struggled to move the ball in the first half. But down 16-0 at the half, the Seahawks scored 17 points in the second half and actually trailed just 19-17 with 3:56 left. Then Ginn’s heroics put the game out of reach.

Carroll said they didn’t do anything differently in the second half, but they were able to establish a rhythm with the game plan they wanted to implement at the onset of the game.

“I think that’s what we’ve seen from him – he’ll make plays if we give him an opportunity,” Carroll said. “And have to fight like crazy at the line of scrimmage to not let the leakage happen, and the pressure issues that presented themselves. I thought he did a lot of good things to keep us in the game, and was ready to bring us right back.”

Some tidbits

* The defense played well today, holding San Francisco to 209 total yards, including just 85 yards on the ground for a team that wants to run the ball.

Seattle’s defense also held San Francisco to 1 of 12 on third downs, and twice held the Niners to field goals on sudden change situations.

However, one thing Seattle still needs to improve on is pressure, with no sacks and just one quarterback pressure.

The Seahawks also did not force any turnovers.

“We battled our asses off,” said defensive end Red Bryant said. “But we know we have to get more turnovers Everybody knows offense needs rhythm,” Bryant said. “We’ve got some continuity on defense. And so we know what our recipe is going to have to be to win – a great defense, a great special teams, and the offense is going to come eventually going to come.”

Safety Kam Chancellor led the team with nine tackles, while Earl Thomas had eight and Aaron Curry finished with five. Rookie K.J. Wright finished with five tackles in his first career start.

* Seattle punter Jon Ryan had another strong game, finishing with a 48.0 average on seven punts, including a boomer of 77 yards.

* The Seahawks again struggled to run the ball, finishing with 64 yards on 22 carries for a 2.9 yards per carry average. Marshawn Lynch totaled 33 yards on 13 carries.

* Rookie Doug Baldwin led the team in receiving with four receptions for 83 yards, including the long, 55-yard touchdown reception that closed the game to 19-17.

* No major injuries for Seattle. As I mentioned earlier, Mike Robinson and Byron Maxwell had ankle sprains, and Ben Obomanu appeared to suffer a shoulder injury late in the game, but said he was okay in the locker room.

Game coverage
Leave a comment Comments → 40
  1. Seahawk Fans get used to this as The Seahawks are garbage at worst and Mediocre at best!

  2. For this year. I agree. But wait until the youngsters grow up and we get a real QB and then we’re gonna kick the ass of whoever your team is (and I don’t care who it is).

  3. IMOHA, the Hawk playcalling in the first half was lame… But special teams were the deal breaker….

  4. “Garbage” is not the term I would use. It’s actually pretty insulting. Are they a top 10 team? No, of course not. But they aren’t garbage. They need some experience, some continuity, and a few more position improvements, but you can hardly expect a team to be rebuilt from where we were 2 years ago into a champion this quickly.

  5. Will our sports teams ever get their act together? So tired being a national laughing stock every year, every decade.

  6. MadSweeney42 says:


    I guess you missed that 5 year stretch where the Hawks were the winningest team in the NFC.

  7. bigsmooth says:

    Ha, nice call MadSweeney….but isn’t it much more fun to complain.

  8. bulldog80 says:

    Jackson isn’t even the best QB on the roster. Listening to this crap about him playing well is absurd. You can tell me all day that the sky is red but I can see for myself that its blue

  9. bulldog80 says:

    I guess many of you are ok with 37 yards of offense per half.

  10. Ewalters7354 says:

    I see we have some people coming and calling the Hawks garbage huh?Some people are just bandwagon fans.Y’all can go root for the team that’s winning.Peace.

  11. bigsmooth says:

    No bulldog80 I’m not happy with 37 yards of offense. I’m also not sure what I can do about it? I’ll probably not expect too much from this team early on and hope for obvious signs of growth as the season progresses.

  12. Some aspects of the game weren’t great, but I wasn’t expecting a 16-0 team this year. I’m choosing to focus on the development of our young players, and today some of them did pretty damned well. Chancellor and Thomas were all over the place, and Wright did a good job. On offense, Baldwin was fantastic. Even Curry made a few good plays.

    This year is all about the future. But I am pleased our defense is kicking a$$ right now.

  13. “I guess you missed that 5 year stretch where the Hawks were the winningest team in the NFC”

    During the game the commentator noted that we had made the playoffs in 6 of the past 8 seasons – and the Niners had not made the playoffs for 8 yrs now.

    Really – the game was a two-part story, if we play the whole game the way we played in the 2nd half, we’ll be competitive against the average and below-average teams we face this year (I include all the NFC West in that). The good teams will be a different story, but we all knew that coming into this year.

  14. boucherm says:

    I thought John Lynch said it well in the game with “they were willing to take a step back in the short term to build for the long term”–referring to letting Matt walk, primarily, but I think this applies to the -oline very clearly, as well as to the defensive secondary. We are not a player or two away from being a contender.

  15. bsinnitt says:

    Obviously would have liked to have won but there were some definate positives to take away today. Namely, our run defense is stout and our secondary is finally legit. Baldwin continues to look like B-easy (Ingram) 2.0. Tavaris and the O-line finally showed some cohesion in the 2 nd half. Points of concern were definitely evident as well. Run blocking, kicking game coverage, play calling that doesn’t take advantage of hot routes to your pro bowl tight end to name a few. All in all we look like a young team that needs a bit of time but will win 6-7 games along the way and be a force toward the end of the season barring crucial injuries.

  16. ljarllrajl says:

    The thing that irritates me the most is that we are obviously in rebuilding mode. Pete won’t say straight out that we’re ‘rebuilding’, he always uses some other type of coach speak.

    And nobody in the media seems to notice because we don’t have the QB to build around. They just say they don’t know what we’re doing/thinking, they just rate us as a bad team. They are right, we are a bad team….but ‘rebuilding’ teams always are.

  17. williambryan says:

    I was expecting the offense to not be that good but I didn’t realize how frustrating it will be… Ugh… Bevell’s playcalling is an issue (one game I know…) I’m okay if the team loses as long as it is competitive (because I know better days will come soon) But it’s the stupid play of Jackson and the Stupid play calling that gets me. BMW was targeted maybe 3 times. 3 times!!! With Rice out he should have had 10 targets at least. Just throw the ball up for crying out loud and he will come down with it the majority of the time. Jackson (and the offense) did much better in the second half but I still found myself shaking my head most of the time.

  18. bsinnitt says:

    I hope Bevell is smart enough to figure out that we need to throw a few 3 step drops to the tight end to prevent the opposing linebackers from creepin’ on our young O-line before we get to Pittsburg next week. We signed a young pro bowl tight end in Miller, let’s kick the tires a bit.

  19. williambryan says:

    The defense was impressive but the strain that this offense will put on them will be to much to bear and they will have to suffer because of it. But I like the talent on the team alot. Bevell concerns me and Tjack concerns me.

  20. MadSweeney42 says:


    I wouldn’t call our O-line “a step back from last year’ as it was tragic in it’s own right. At worst, this new, young line is a lateral move that actually has upside as compared to the misfits and pickups we had in there last year.

  21. BobbyAyala says:

    Patience is key.

    Just watch Earl Thomas every down and forget we have to play offense.

  22. Man, the game I saw had a defense stuff the 9ers at the goalline how many times? After a bogus ‘tripping the kicker’ call on Browner, I saw SEA continue to stuff the run. And they’re just gonna keep get better and better. 1 out of 12 on 3rd down conversions, with Gore in the game? I’d suggest SEA’s D always be in 3rd and 1 situations until our young secondary gets better, along with improving our pass-rush. Till then, this defensive front 7 is STOUT against the run. Kam’s-the-Man, Browner’ll do (once he gets over playing by CFL rules), and Tru is back to form. ET was all over the place – I LOVE THIS DEFENSE!!!

    boucherm, this team could well be one A.Luck away from being SB champs plus a few years experience and integration as a team.

  23. It would also be good to get a kicker (or STs coordinator who tells the kicker) who does not kick the ball directly to Ginn.

  24. boucherm says:

    I guess I meant the team in general takes a step back from last year, and that we can see this in the o-line by their decision not to get some patch of a player (like andre grurode), but to be willing to to take our lumps with the inexperience of the youth movement in the hopes of being better long term.
    I do think there is a little step back from last year–as bad as Locklear looked last year I believe he’s a better player for a game TODAY than Giacomini, and I think the same could be argued for Spencer vs Unger. However, I totally agree with the FO decision to move on from those guys and their limited upsides and see if we can build something with the youngsters.

  25. boucherm says:

    klm008–totally agreed about being Luck and time away from contending, and drafting a franchise QB is really exciting to me, especially with this upcoming draft.
    The key ingredient you mention is the couple years experience and growth as a team, and I love what appears to be their commitment to that.

  26. AaronCurryIsBUST says:

    The thing that makes me furious is how easily this game would have been one had we started WHITEHURST. BobbyK is right, Tarvaris is absolutely awful. I can’t believe we went out and signed the worst starting QB in the NFL that his old team couldn’t wait to get rid of.

  27. williambryan says:

    BobbyAyala, I like the way you think! ACIB, I think you’re right. I think Whitehurst would have had the common sense to put some balls up for BMW to grab. Also, based on the evidence we have, it is my belief that Bevell would call a better game if Whitehurst was in. What the heck does it matter how much TJ knows the playbook if he is afraid to throw the ball more than 3 yards downfield? When Whitehurst was in in the preseason, he hit his drop and let the ball go. When he had to make multiple reads, he did. When he had to escape the pocket to buy time or gain yards, he did.

  28. Tarvaris isn’t the worst starting QB in the league. He’s better than Kerry Collins and Donovan McNabb. So he’s in the Top 30 at least!

  29. freedom_X says:

    What we saw from Tarvaris Jackson is about what I expect – an average performance. Given the abysmal protection, those average numbers are reasonable. He aint Peyton Manning. If the other pieces of the team shape up, that level of performance will be enough to make the playoffs in the weak NFC West, though they may not be a contender.

    Frankly, Jackson’s performance was better than at least a half-dozen Hasselbeck performances last year. So I don’t put him on the crucifix. Time will tell if Jackson can have the 2 or 3 great games Hasselbeck had last year. Given the level of pass protection, Hasselbeck did little better.

    Jackson’s most obvious flaw is that he still holds on to the ball too long – I would say he doesn’t have that pass pressure clock/radar top QB’s have. I would rather have him take a sack than throw an interception. But those fumbles caused by getting hit when throwing are as bad as a pick. For now, I’ll say those are flukes, since I don’t believe Jackson has a reputation as Dave Krieg reincarnated. :)

    Giacomini was getting killed by Mcdonald. I didn’t feel he played well in any way, shape, or form. He even missed a downfield block that could have sprung Forsett for a huge gain on screen, but ended up being held to 8 yards.

    And, I still don’t see the supposed run-blocking power of this unit. Granted, the 49ers appear to have a tough front and were stacking the box, but once in a while you would think you’d see them clear some lanes. I didn’t see it at all until they got a bit of run-pass balance in the 2nd half.

    The three-step drop works if you have receivers that can get open. My biggest fear is that these “huge” Seattle receivers lack the agility and nimbleness to get open, especially for quick throws. We’ll see if the sainted Sidney Rice changes this, though I didn’t see that either in the preseason (not that we saw much of him at all, since he’s gimped.)

    Usually, a QB that throws the ball up for grabs is considered a pretty bad QB. Only Brett Favre gets away with doing that. If Jackson or Whitehurst try that, they’ll be crucified.

    I’m skeptical that Rice and Williams (especially Rice) have so great an ability to pull in off-target balls that you can build a passing attack around that. Hopefully Rice will live up to the billing, but Williams has not really shown that (look at Williams’ red-zone stats from last year.) He can get some of those, but not so much that you just heave the ball in his general direction. The smaller guys (Baldwin and Tate) were the guys that managed to shake free for short, quick throws that turned into scores.

  30. AaronCurryIsBUST says:

    Speaking of Baldwin, what a wonderful acquisition he has been!

  31. Stockton kept saying “ObamanO” even after his partner pronounced it correctly. I they were afraid to correct him.

  32. I am not gonna be negative or positive…..IT is what is…..but I will say it is going to be a Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong season……someday, someday we will win it all in superb fashion and shut the rest of the sports fans up across the country,,,,someday….

  33. Palerydr says:

    I saw a lot of what I expected to see. My key to the game was getting off the field on third down SF was 1-12 there so mission accomplished. I watched the game with little emotion until that blown call on the field goal attempt then I got a bit “testy”. McCoy dropped gore just the way you want to see it just stuffed him and in the replay there were at least 3 other hawks ready to do the same thing. Absolutely loved the play of the Defense even Curry was flying around and making plays. Then they had to actually get close and I started to think Wow we can win this what a letdown to see the blown coverages on the kicks I didn’t tape the game so I don’t know who had outside responsibility on the Kickoff but they blew their lane assignment. I do remember it was ET chasing Ginn all the way to the endzone It’s gonna be easy to cheer for that guy.

  34. seahawk44 says:

    From my observations of the game here is what needs work and improvement :

    1) special teams. This unit blew the game allowing bill returns and way to many penalties.
    2) offensive line. Run blocking and pass protection across every position. Improved play here will fix many things.
    3) quarterback. Jackson must make quicker decisions with throws and take a few more chances down field. The jump pass is not helping his accuracy. He could
    make more plays with his feet too.

  35. letsworkitout says:

    Seahawks are all potential right now. Russell Okung is supposed to be your stud oline guy of the future, right? He was so bad that they kept the 17 million dollar receiving te in to help block 4 rushers. Jackson was hit and sacked on plays that weren’t blitzes at all. That o line is terrible! SF def is a good def but not THAT good.

  36. letsworkitout says:

    One thing about Carroll’s attitude that rubbed me the wrong way is when he says our special teams gave the game away. Really? For one, the Hawks NEVER had the lead in this game and there is no guarantee they would have taken it on the next drive. Second, how many times do you hear coaches say we would have won it but the offense gave them the game or the defense gave them the game. Special teams is part of the game man. It is just as important. It is the 3rd leg. I don’t remember him saying that San Diego gave the Hawks the game last year when Leon had 2 td returns…lol

  37. seahawk44 says:

    4) offensive playcalling. The coaches have to design plays that take advantage of the skills that are obvious. Roll outs…bootlegs. where was Leon Washington in the offense? More gadget plays may help this team.
    5) defensive pass rush. Although the defense played very good, they need to get to the qb.

  38. mojjonation says:

    Curry may have been running around making a few plays but nearly every time the Niner’s needed yards (even though they were 1-12 on 3rd down), there was Curry getting spun around by Vernon Davis. I swore that happened two or three times in the first half.

    Gore had one or two good runs and they have to throw the stat up that his two best games are against Seattle. Two or three years ago!! Way to go stat guys. A stingy defense and a lame duck offense will lead to 4-12. I’ll change that if the o-line ever gets an identity and Rice actually gets on the field. And yeah. What’s up with no slants or 3 step drop throws. You want to slow down a defense? Use those. If Tate is coming in to his own finally, then use the friggin guy. 6-5 receiver who can out jump anyone and he gets three throws. THREE THROWS! Come on man! I know the playbook is vanilla due to some key injuries, but you have to put a little faith in your backups and the regs who are in there. I was jumping up and dow in the first half for the entire second offensive unit to be placed on the field to see if they could do anything. CW would have probably made a few more throws, but who knows.

    TJ has a horrible YPA. Under 5. The guy will be Captain Checkdown and still manage to hang on to the ball entirely too long. What was up with our screens? How many of them were blown up? Along with slants, isn’t that supposed to keep a defense honest?

    Pittsburgh is up next. After the beating they took from Baltimore yesterday, Tomlin will have them licking their chops for Seattle come next Sunday. 0-2 on the way.

  39. What`s Jeff Reed doing maybe call-back time..the other dude had no kick-offs land in endzone…..

  40. FreedomX, I almost completely agree with you on your post. Take away the hail mary int at the end of the first half and Jackson has a 85 or better QB rating. The major problem with him is that he holds the ball too long sometimes, like you said. I would say that I don’t believe that his fumble in the first half was his fault. He was actually trying to get rid of the ball there pretty quickly but, McCoy completely whiffed on his block and let TJ get blindsided. You can’t expect your blocker to let someone in THAT quickly. We would’ve been better off with a HURDLE there than McCoy on that play.

    ACIB, you are just the KING OF HYPERBOLE, aren’t you?????? Jackson actually played pretty well, if you actually watched the game. I see ZERO evidence that CW would’ve done any better. I’m not against giving Charlie a shot if/when TJ REALLY struggles but at least wait until he does. I bet you’re one of same people that were talking about how much of a bum CW was after the Giants and TB games last year. At least with your hate of AC I can see more of your point. I think that you EXAGGERATE how bad he is but, he hasn’t lived up to the money he gets or his draft status. TJ is only getting 4 mil, a pittance for a starting QB. Therefore, I don’t think that you have the right to be up in arms if he doesn’t play like Tom Brady. And I doubt that Tom Brady would look like a superstar if he had our offense right now.

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