Seahawks Insider

Bobby Wagner on Seahawks’ 30-21 defeat at San Diego: “We lost A GAME. It’s not the end of the world”

Post by Gregg Bell / The News Tribune on Sep. 14, 2014 at 5:57 pm with 47 Comments »
September 14, 2014 6:04 pm

SAN DIEGO — The team bus just left Qualcomm Stadium.

It only seems like the Seahawks’ defense is still on that field.

After running just 40 plays – 35 fewer than San Diego did in its pitch-and-catch, first-down fest between Philip Rivers and revitalized tight end Antonio Gates – Seattle’s offense was left more idled than inert.

The defense was just in exhaustion.

“We were trying to keep number three (Russell Wilson) off the field as much as we could,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy said.

Mission accomplished — for San Diego, that is, not Seattle.

“We weren’t on the field much,” Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin said, summing up San Diego’s 42:15-17:45 edge in time of possession and control of the game all day, which ended with the Seahawks losing 30-21 at roasting Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday.

Days after saying “I need the ball,” Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman saw Philip Rivers complete five passes at him for 60 yards. All the completions came on routes cut in front of Sherman.

“I’m not talking,” Sherman said as he walked the long tunnel from the Seahawks’ locker room to the bus.

San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates scores under pressure by Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellorrigth, Malcolm Smith during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates scores under pressure by Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor and linebacker Malcolm Smith during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

“Tough day for us,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.

The final two of San Diego’s 25 first downs that the Seahawks’ defense allowed pushed the ball to midfield late, and eventually pinned the Seahawks (1-1) at their own 11. On 4th and 11 with 1:46 and one time out left, down 27-21, Russell Wilson’s pass over-shot double-covered Jermaine Kearse by a few yards.

San Diego (1-1) added a field goal with 16 seconds left.

So ended just Seattle’s fifth loss in 26 regular-season games dating to the middle of the 2012 season.

“We definitely aren’t used to this,” middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said after he had 10 more tackles  . “But at the same time … we lost A GAME. It’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t mean we are out of it. It doesn’t mean our season’s over. It’s one game.

“That’s what we do. We lost this game. It’s, ‘What’s next?’ Next game is Denver.”

Chances are it won’t be 120 degrees on the CenturyLink Field next Sunday, as it was here. That’s not an excuse, as San Diego played in it, too. But it was the factor that made the Chargers converting 10 of 17 third downs and controlling the ball for more than 42 of the game’s 60 minutes decisive. And debilitating to Seattle’s worn-down defense.

Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Byron Maxwell, three-fourths of a starting secondary that was already thinned by injuries coming in, left the field during the second half to get intravenous fluids in the locker room before returning.

Wilson finished 16 for 23 passing for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch had just six carries for 36 yards, as Rivers, Gates and the Chargers controlled possession and thus the game.

River completed 28 of 37 passes for 286 yards and those three touchdown throws to Gates.

San Diego converted nine of its first 12 third downs into first downs. The last of those nine was a gift: Seahawks rush end Bruce Irvin chased Rivers to the sideline well short of the first down but then needlessly shoved the quarterback in the back beyond the boundary. Instead of a 44-yard field goal try, Irvin’s 15-yard foul got San Diego to the Seahawks 11. Then Rivers avoided a sack with a step up and flipped a pass over the head of linebacker K.J. Wright to tight end Antonio Gates. Gates caught the ball at the goal line ahead of late-arriving Kam Chancellor, who like fellow safety Earl Thomas got slowed by leg cramps with temperatures on the field above 100 degrees.

That touchdown put San Diego ahead 27-14 late in the third quarter.

But then Wilson put the Seahawks’ offense, which watched 33 of the game’s first 48 minutes on the sideline, into hurry-up mode on a 70-yard drive. Against a blitz Wilson flipped a pass out to ignored running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch just about walked into the end zone for a 14-yard score that cut San Diego’s lead to 27-21 entering the rockin’ final quarter.

Given the Seahawks had the ball for less than nine of the game’s first 30 minutes, that they had just eight of the game’s 23 first downs, they were probably OK with being down just 20-14 at halftime.

Despite Rivers’ 15-for-19 passing in the opening half and San Diego’s 15 first downs, two field goals and two touchdowns on its four drives, the Chargers’ lead was only six points because of Russell Wilson’s deft, 43-second drive to a touchdown that ended the half.

Doug Baldwin made a great, leaping catch to get Seattle from its own 31 to the 45. Then Wilson made a smooth, improvisational play, flipping a pass outside to backup running back Robert Turbin, who had initially stayed in to block. Baldwin’s downfield block got Turbin 10 more yards at the end of a catch and run to the San Diego 21. Wilson then avoided another sack and scrambled for a gain — which became 1st and goal at the Chargers 3 when the side judge called the Chargers for holding wide receiver Percy Harvin 50 yards away from the play on the opposite sideline.

That was plenty of time for Wilson to find Turbin wide open in the right flat for the touchdown that keeps Seattle within one score of the Chargers here at the break.

Rivers was wise in reading Seattle’s defense, which was reluctant early to play as much nickel as it did last week against Green Bay when San Diego goes to three- and four-wide receiver sets. That’s because the Seahawks had Marcus Burley, who’s been on the team for just two weeks, filling in for injured Jeremy Lane at nickel back. When the Seahawks have been in base defense against the extra wide receivers, that’s forced linebackers Bobby Wagner and Malcolm Smith to cover wide outs or tight end Antonio Gates. Rivers has also, as promised, gone at Richard Sherman, completing three passes in three targets for 31 yards, all to Keenan Allen. And when the Seahawks have gone to nickel, Rivers has checked into draw plays and screens.

Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Byron Maxwell all left the game in the second half with cramps.

Lynch had an issue with his helmet early in the game that cost him a few plays. That and San Diego controlling possession time has left Lynch with just three carries halfway deep into the third quarter.

Harvin had a 51-yard score on a sweep-toss left, a zooming sprint past flat-footed Chargers, for Seattle’s first score two drives into the first quarter.



Leave a comment Comments → 47
  1. this would be an interesting move for the NFL……

  2. The Chargers loss will be mostly forgotten after beating the Broncos next week.

  3. This game was ripe for a letdown, after the amazing super bowl win, and the great opening win last week.
    Everyone assumed we are invincible, and with master motivator Pete Carroll, super prepared Russell Wilson, and super intense Earl Thomas, that an emotional letdown couldn’t happen to us. San Diego was better prepared and more up for the game than we were. We were shown to be human after all.

  4. Percy’s fumble. Irvin’s penalty.

  5. freedom_X says:

    Except the Harvin TD should have been called back. The game could have been worse than it was.

    1) I hope Okung and Chancellor are still trying to get into form after missing so much of the preseason. Chancellor looked like he was stumbling around out there.

    2) Seattle didn’t lose because of Russell Wilson, and he did more than his share. But if he’s a franchise, $20 million/yr QB, he’ll need to be able to carry the team when the defense flops. Like he did in the Washington playoff game 2 seasons ago, and nearly did in the Atlanta playoff game (but really hasn’t done since then.)

    3) Give credit to Rivers – if he did some of the things he usually does (excessive confidence in his arm) they might have lost the game. But Rivers made no mistakes, even though there was decent pass pressure (Rivers had to move around a lot.)

  6. GeorgiaRay says:

    Would never think that we are invincible, however, this was not one of the “L’s” on my list this year…gotta make it up for home field…

  7. MoSeahawk12 says:

    Sherman proves what a poor sport he is.
    “I’m not talking,” Sherman said as he walked the long tunnel from the Seahawks’ locker room to the bus.
    Talk the talk then walk the walk Sherman. You looked “normal” today. Don’t be a baby and take it out on the guys doing their job. This dude needs to grow up. The leaders on D were invisible today.
    He wanted action and he gave up every pass that was thrown his way. Not even a speed bump today.

  8. DanielleMND says:

    RW isn’t a franchise QB. Sherman is a poor sport. Jesus. We’re 1-1 after two games, and some fans are overreacting as usual.

  9. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    @Rubydog-Agreed perfect statement.

  10. “Percy’s fumble. Irvin’s penalty.”

    yep . . . .

    and MoSeahawk, you know most people get on Sherman for talking too much, so one single time, after one loss, he does’t feel like talking, and you’re all over him? whatever.

  11. and Rivers was really on his game today. best player on the field in this game. even used his feet effectively. kudos to him.

  12. yakimahawk says:

    Can anyone answer a question as to what happened to ET? Or am I just over reacting to what i think was his worst game in the last 2 years?

  13. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    i too am down on Sherm for not talking.. Hey stand up and be a man, we got our butts kicked! Sherm should have at least said that.

  14. sluggo42 says:

    Percy, Irvin, game. That’s pretty close to reality

  15. Indy game last year was just as bad!

  16. sluggo42 says:

    Plaza level, row 16 and up will be in the shade for next time we play here

  17. If you are going to say Irvin you have to say Smith because with HIS drive extending penaly Irvin would have NEVER been in position to get his…… sure you think Irvin is a bust still doesn’t make him the only one to blame on the defense.

    Kam and KJ couldn’t cover Gates and gave up multiple big plays. We missed many tackles over the day. Played VERY sloppy in the first half and let them score 20. 2 singular plays did NOT lose this game – it was a total team effort

  18. Vegas_heat_in_SanDiego says:

    At the end of the day here, looking out over Mission Beach, I can’t blame any team for laying an egg in these conditions. You HAD to be there to know. I live in Vegas now, for eight + years… And I have never felt this kind of heat before. Certainly not in a football game. Even with ocean 200 feet away and the sun long gone, it’s still too warm.

    The Chargers wanted this in the worst possible way, and for us to perhaps mail-in a dog of a game…well, I was in that damned Hell’s Kitchen of a stadium today (the Charger fans were suffering too) and I can forgive it. How anyone played effectively on that field today was truly remarkable.

  19. sluggo42 says:

    C’mon shitcago!

  20. Vegas_heat_in_SanDiego says:

    Sluggo, I was in Plaza, row 4, in the sun all day…thermometer down there was 120.

  21. yakimahawk says:

    Can anyone please answer my question from above…

  22. yakimahawk says:

    Or it is just me viewing ET in a microscope?

  23. FleaFlicker says:

    yakima: “What happened to ET?” The heat, that’s what. 3 of 4 Legionnaires had to get IV’s to rehydrate. Obviously, they were physically struggling well before that.

    Or maybe ET just decided not to play hard this game. You make the call.

    Any given Sunday, people. Keep this statistical nugget in mind: even if you had a 90% chance to win each game of the season, the odds of putting 16 wins together (in a row) is less than 18%.

    Another random thought. The botched TD call that gave Percy a 51 yard score actually ended up hurting us. Defense right back out onto the field and just got worn the hell down. A methodical 10 play drive instead of the quick score might have created a much different outcome.

    Regardless, onwards…

  24. Vegas_heat_in_SanDiego says:

    Yakima, best I can tell you is no one in the backfield seemed to play well…the D Line almost got Rivers a number of times…hit him and still he made completions…the linebackers played the run pretty well, but there was always, always an open uncovered outlet. And Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates were getting separation on third down all day long. The corners and safeties were beaten all day long…like they wanted to be anywhere else but on that BBQ grill of a field.

  25. sluggo42 says:

    Vegas , I was row 1, section 13 plaza

    I believe you, my wife was close to heat stroke…

  26. MoSeahawk12 says:

    pdway, I’m not the only one. He talks plenty when things are going well, but dismisses his obligation after a loss? That is poor sportsmanship, a lack of maturity and leadership. His unit was the weak link today. He’s lighting up Twitter with his “they didn’t score a TD on him” comments. They didn’t score directly over him, but there was plenty of bad to go around. He stands up and says they played bad as a unit and doesn’t keep posting individual stats and I wouldn’t care. He is all about his stats and not the team stats. Poor display. I understand him being disappointed, but damn, be a professional.

  27. Vegas_heat_in_SanDiego says:

    Yeah Sluggo, my wife had to go into the concourse shade midway in the third…I drank 10 bottles of water at five bucks apiece.

  28. They are not required to talk every week…… if he is grumpy and wants to miss one week when being overly available after wins and losses in the past who cares!!!

  29. sluggo42 says:

    Guys, let’s not over analyze it. Tuff game, extreme heat, a few plays made the difference. We didn’t get blown out

  30. Tough game to watch, but if there’s a silver lining it’s that they got humbled. And so did those of us who predicted a blowout the other way. The heat was no doubt a factor, and that the team had the ball with over three minutes to play and only a touchdown to get the lead shows that they have a lot of pride and strength. Gates and Rivers are great players. But if we’d stopped their run game and didn’t let them extend their short passing game (e.g. as in Super Bowl), Gates and Rivers would have had fewer chances to connect. We didn’t tackle well for much of the first half. I was surprised at how inept our pass protection was, and SD had some pretty good moves to contain RW when he tried to get out of the pocket. SD had a good game plan, good players, a positive attitude. Give ‘em credit. GO HAWKS!

  31. This is on the coaches. After the first 2 TDs by Gates, let’s just keep aLB on him. Well, on 3rd in long lets put a L b on him too. Also, well, I drink when I watch the Hawks, but was Percy lined up as a receiver on passing plays? I don’t think so, but hey hey, we’re pinned back with 2min to go and Percy is in, I wonder what the play is? Also again, the drive before, we are down by 6, not 16, where is Lynch, I don’t know. Who the F game planned for this? Even on our first drive when we were mashhin’, we went away from Lynch to punt it and I’ve been drinkin’ all game. WTF. Straight garbage play calling. Carrol and Bevell, disgusting.

  32. sluggo42 says:

    Wow, did you see that int?

    Btw, we got no breaks this game either, they had a couple fumbles that went their way, and we lost 2?

  33. seatowntp says:

    Go Bears! lol.

  34. Crabtree is sorry. (Kap too)

  35. seatowntp says:

    That Crabtree is a mediocre receiver.

  36. Today’s loss ain’t so bad.. At least we didn’t lose the first game at our new stadium..

  37. TallyHawk says:

    Phillip Rivers might be one of the players I hate most in the league but he is a ball player. The last two tds to gates were great plays/throws by him. Gates made a great catch on the second one. The hawks didn’t play well at all but sometimes you have to tip your hat to the opponent.

    Thanks Chicago the sky might not be falling after all.

  38. I’ve been saying this since the preseason, our inability to stop the run is killing us. I know our defense was on the field almost non-stop but even early in the game we were not doing well against the run. I think we’re seeing just how big of a deal it was to lose Red Bryant and McDonald.

    It’s time for the “new” guys to step up and show they have what it takes to play in the NFL.

    And it’s time for Bruce Irvin to stop being a mental midget. His shove of Rivers out of bounds was boneheaded and a crucial mistake. Here’s hoping this will be a wake up call for the team. Every single team that plays them this year will be gunning for them. They need to be ready. We got out coached and out played today.

  39. PDXCOP80 says:

    Hey Mocarob, we did lose the first game at our new stadium (2002) to Arizona.

  40. I was in plaza section 9. Holy moly was it burning! Glad I didn’t have a helmet on. Pumping that music in during our huddles was a joke, but bottom line was that the conditions were extreme and we let one get away. Time to move on and take it out on the Broncos.

  41. I hope that the true SEA fans can meet the team coming back to SEA at the airport and show them that we love them! This is the time for the 12th man to step up!

    Who would I put this loss on? The equipment manager! I have been asking for years about why SEA doesn’t wear phase change cooling vests under their pads for conditions like this? Keep the body core of every SEA player like it is playing in 58 degree F weather instead of 120, and add only about 1 kg of extra weight. Noone has shown me any rule that says the cooling vests are not allowed? The SEA mascot wears one! If it is illegal to wear on the field, then wear them on the sidelines in-between time on the field. The big guys especially. The water spray on the fans does not work so good in high humidity/high heat like SD. Phase change vests last 3-4 hours and can be kept in ice chests on the sidelines along with accessories to wear on the arms, around the neck, etc. Evaporative cooling just isn’t good enough.

    Playing at their peak the biggest football players can burn about 6500 calories in a football game. If the body can’t shed the heat generated, like when the temperature is very hot and especially when it is humid, then it is like sticking a potato in a car’s exhaust pipe. The body’s muscles must stop producing heat or the brain will go into heat stroke and coma, and before that it will get cramped – the loss of fluid sort of stops the body from overheating by stopping the muscles from working. Fluids counter the cramps but does little to cool the core. So from the maximum number of calories to the number of useful calories available for the players to use on the field is pretty well directly related to the playing temperature of the body. At some temperature and humidity the efficiency of a player’s body will go to zero.

    I think PC had players at SC whose bodies got habituated to working in those temperatures/humidity. Players in MIA, NO, JAX, SD, and probably Hawaii have bodies that develop higher efficiency at evaporative cooling so maybe PC is not always aware of what that does to players based in Seattle. PC has adopted high-tech communication tools that help his players learn plays, why not a little higher tech cooling underwear? A similar thing happened last season didn’t it in Miami? Then back in Holmgren’s teams it happened often. SEA lost at JAX in ’05, – even when they went to PIT in ’06, SEA’s players wilted in their heat and humidity. AZ will close the roof of their stadium if they think it will give them a temperature advantage (and it seems to there too.)

    Somebody convince me that SEA couldn’t play way better with phase-change gel filled underwear for use in those conditions. Please?

    Oh, and it just seems wrong somehow that AZ is leading the NFCW already, and without Palmer?

  42. Hey PDXCOP, Nice of you to join the conversation. Are you a closet 9er fan?

  43. It is legal for NFL teams to wear gel (phase change) cooling vests. Do the Seahawks?

  44. Hope injuries are kept to a minimum as “fans” jump off the bandwagon.

  45. tealskin says:

    Dissapointing for sure but considering the conditions and Rivers’ play, the resulting score wasn’t that bad. Let’s face it, no team is unbeatable. This game showed that more work is needed on game planning as well. I’m still in the camp that thinks Bevell isn’t that great, especially at making in game adjustments.

  46. PDXCOP80 says:

    Hey Mocarob, Notice I said “WE”. I was at the game and the sun was blistering. Maybe I was still overheated too much to get excited about the Niners losing at home. Especially when you made me reminisce about being at our home stadium grand opening and losing.

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