In what was his worst performance of the season, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson held himself accountable for not only the mistakes he made on the field, but for his team’s overall performance on offense Sunday in a 23-13 loss at Dallas.
Jackson finished 17 of 30 for 221 yards, no touchdowns and three costly interceptions that Dallas turned into 10 points. Jackson had solid protection most of the day. He was sacked just once, and finished with a 40.4 passer rating.
“I feel very sick about how I played today,” Jackson said. “I just made some stupid mistakes. You can’t do it. I’ve been staying away from those mistakes the whole season, and it’s just one of those games where you just do something stupid.
“So, I’ve got to watch the film. But I already know what I did wrong. But I’ll just watch it and try to get better.”
Jackson went through the three interceptions. He said on the first one he was trying to throw the ball away at the feet of tight end Anthony McCoy, who was running a shallow crossing route. But the ball deflected off a Dallas defensive lineman Jay Ratliff’s leg, and fellow defensive lineman Jason Hatcher corralled it.
There were only two men out in the route Jackson said, and he was still in the pocket, so that’s why he tried to throw it away at the feet of McCoy.
On the second interception, Jackson said he tried to lay it up for Sidney Rice to make a play and under threw him.
“The second one was totally my fault,” Jackson said. “I just tried to give Sid a chance, but I didn’t put enough on it. A horrible throw, and a guy made a pick on the ball.”
On the last interception at the end of the game Jackson said he was trying to get a play in the end zone, and it looked like Doug Baldwin managed to come down with it, but the official gave the interception to Gerald Sensabaugh.
Those painful penalties: Once again, penalties and turnovers led to Seattle’s demise. The Seahawks finished with 10 penalties for 88 yards – seven in the second half alone. They lost the turnover battle again 3-1.
Four of the 10 penalties were on the offensive line. Two (holding and a false start) were on offensive guard Robert Gallery, who appears to still be struggling after returning from groin surgery three weeks ago.
Carroll said the Seahawks may have to do some things in terms changing cadence to help the offensive line. But he also hinted that there could be some moves made there.
“I think we can fix the line of scrimmage,” Carroll said. “We need to make a move there. We have to do something, which we know what we’re doing. But that needs to go away. I’ve been saying that, and that hasn’t happened yet. And I’m disappointed that I’m here talking about that again.”
Asked to clarify what he means about making a move, Carroll seemed to hint it was more about scheme than personnel.
The Byron Maxwell penalties: Carroll addressed the two unsportsmanlike calls on rookie defensive back Byron Maxwell during Seattle’s punts. Maxwell was pushed out-of-bounds both times, but officials ruled that he did not make enough of an effort to get back in bounds on both plays and flagged the Clemson product, which resulted in Seattle giving up some costly field position.
“The first one might have been that he went out on his own but I do not know about that,” Carroll said. “I thought he got knocked out and he stayed out too long. The same exact thing happens again and he thought he made every effort to get back in and they said no.”
Hawks finally run the ball: The Seahawks finished with a season-high 162 yards on the ground. Marshawn Lynch finished with over 100 yards for the first time this season, totaling 135 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. Lynch averaged 5.9 yards per carry.
It’s the first time Lynch has rushed for over 100 yards during a regular-season game for Seattle.
“It’s something that our offensive line has been wanting,” Seattle offensive tackle Russell Okung said. “And we definitely got that facet of the game going today. We just made a little bit too many mistakes. And when you make that many mistakes, you’re going to lose the game.”
“I think we’re just starting to gel a little bit more,” Okung went on. “Week in and week out we’ve been challenged up front, and now we’re responding.”
“He’s good man,” said Dallas linebacker Bradie James. “I think he is one of the most underrated players in the league when it comes running the ball cuz we were on him. They do a good job of scheme running.”
What happened to the run defense? Seattle allowed a season-high 163 yards on the ground. Rookie running back DeMarco Murray finished with 139 yards on 22 carries, the first time Seattle allowed a 100-yard rusher this season
The last time someone rushed for 100 yards against Seattle was against Tampa Bay in the second-to-last game of the regular season when LeGarrette Blount ran for 164 yards on 18 carries.
“He was able to get on the outside of us,” Seattle defensive end Red Bryant said. “They were actually keeping the linemen tied up on us, and making it where I felt like our linebackers and skilled position players had to make tackles. And to DeMarco’s credit, he did a great job of stretching our defense.”
No pass rush: Tony Romo had yet another impressive game against Seattle, throwing for 279 yards and two touchdowns. Romo finished with a 112.2 passer rating, completing nine passes of 10 or more yards, and three passes of 30 or more yards.
But while Seattle’s secondary struggled to contain Romo, the real issue was the Seahawks inability to create a pass rush. The Seahawks finished without a sack for the third time this season (San Francisco and Atlanta), and just two quarterback hurries.
Defensive end Chris Clemons is a pretty good barometer at how Seattle rushes the passer, and he had no tackles and just one quarterback hurry.
“If you get that kind of time it is going to be a good day,” Romo said.
More red zone issues: The Seahawks effectively move the ball in between the 20s but struggled to put the ball into the end zone. Seattle now has just two touchdowns in three games.
“We’re moving the ball and getting it down there, but we’ve go to be able to put the ball in the end zone,” Jackson said. “It’s a big difference between three points and seven. We’ve got to be able to get seven. Just getting down there and moving the ball is not good enough.”