Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll’s approach on the road might need a little tweaking.
Carroll refused to acknowledge Seattle’s recent history of dismal performances away from home, saying he would prepare his team like they were playing any other game. But despite Carroll downplaying his team’s road issues, the Seahawks performed much like they have before in the team’s first loss of the season, a 31-14 setback to the Broncos at Invesco Field Sunday afternoon.
Since the 2008 season, the Seahawks are now 3-14 on the road.
With the game temperature an unseasonably hot 90 degrees, the Seahawks wilted early, falling behind 17-0 by halftime, and never fully recovered.
Turnovers did Seattle in. Veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who played well in the opening game against San Francisco last week, regressed back to the way he performed late last season. Hasselbeck twice under threw receivers near the end zone that resulted in Denver interceptions. Seattle finished with four turnovers overall for the game, including three in the first half that led to 10 points for the Broncos.
The Seahawks also had seven penalties for 64 yards.
Carroll said the turnovers and the penalties are things his team needs to clean up if they want to win consistently on the road moving forward.
“We didn’t take our game on the road, and that’s what we have to do the next time we go,” Carroll said. “We had to do all of the right things – make the right decisions and the right choices and handles the issues on the road and play well.
“It was a tough lesson.”
Veteran safety Lawyer Milloy was blunter in his assessment.
“When you go on the road, it’s already hard having 53 men going against 70,000-plus,” Milloy said. “So you have to go out there and you have to be on your game. We were at home last week and we threw an interception and we had the crowd, and we stopped them and stayed in the game. But now we’re on the road and we have a couple turnovers, it doesn’t work the same. That’s why they call it home field advantage.
“But we didn’t play Seahawk football. That’s the bottom line. It had nothing to do with the atmosphere or the altitude. That’s not how we want to play.” Hasselbeck finished 20 of 35 for 233 yards with three interceptions and a 51.2 passer rating.
For the second time this season Hasselbeck threw an interception on the team’s opening drive. The Hawks got the ball first and marched right down the field. Seattle had a first and goal from the 1-yard line, but an off sides call on right guard Stacy Andrews pushed the Seahawks back to first and goal at the 6-yard line.
From there, a holding penalty on offensive tackle Sean Locklear negated a six-yard touchdown by Justin Forsett.
Two plays later, Hasselbeck under threw Deion Branch toward the sideline and Denver cornerback Champ Bailey came up with the interception.