Milloy: Hawks squander golden opportunity

Published on October 4, 2010 by     Seahawks.Com News (Feed)

The Seattle Seahawks will be doing some soul searching heading into the bye week after a 20-3 loss to St. Louis today.

Seattle had a chance to take the NFC West division lead with a win today, but instead the Seahawks find themselves at 2-2 and likely tied with St. Louis and Arizona.

Still, veteran safety Lawyer Milloy knows his team let one slip away, and that they have to play better on the road.

Seattle is now 3-15 on the road since the 2008 season.

“The bye week is going to be big for us,” he said. “We’re 2-2. It’s very early in the season still, but we’ve got to figure this road thing out early. You can’t be two different teams. And in a sense this process is still ahead of us. And we’ve got to be more consistent. And to be a part of teams that are successful in this league, they are ones that can win on the road.

“It’s an opportunity that we lost, and you don’t know why. But it has to get corrected or you’re going to be 8-8, and that’s not acceptable. And hopefully everybody in this locker room doesn’t accept that.”

A week after saying he has to do a better job playing it close the vest, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll turned gambler again with bad results.

The two fourth-down plays Seattle went for were big momentum changers, and they swung and missed on both.

Early in the second quarter down 7-3, Seattle went for it on fourth-and-2 from the Rams’ 38-yard line. Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates dialed up a good play, with fullback Michael Robinson getting wide open in the flat. But Robinson turned up field before he had the ball and lost it out-of-bounds.

The Seahawks defense held tough again, including a sudden change situation when Hasselbeck’s tipped pass was intercepted by St. Louis defensive back Bradley Fletcher and returned to Seattle’s 3-yard line.

The Seahawks got the ball back two plays later when safety Earl Thomas picked off Sam Bradford in the end zone.

Seattle marched down field but was stopped at the St. Louis 33-yard line. Seattle lined up for what looked like a 51-yard Olindo Mare field goal, but instead holder Jon Ryan pulled the ball back and tried to run for the first down. The Rams were not fooled, and on fourth-and 10 cornerback Kevin Dockery tackled Ryan for a 9-yard loss.

“We had an opportunity to do it, we had a look that we liked and so we went after it,” Carroll said. “And they did a nice job. They adjusted a little bit. It looked like we thought it was going to look, and they changed. They did a nice job to counter it.”

The play ended up being a potential six-point turnaround, as the Rams drove down the field with just over a minute left until halftime and got in position for a Josh Brown 30-yard field goal for a 10-3 lead.

Carroll also called a risky double pass on third-and-1 on the same drive of the fake field goal that Robinson completed to Leon Washington for 28 yards.

“We need play opportunities to help us,” Carroll said. “And I think it’s pretty clear in that regard. We’re still looking for opportunities. … We’re just trying to create, and sometimes it’s okay and sometimes it isn’t. You’ve got to go for it sometimes try and give us a spark and make a play to change field position and all of that.”

Hawks not clicking on offense: One of the reasons Carroll is dialing up the risky plays is because Seattle continues to struggle on offense. Matt Hasselbeck finished 20 of 36 for 191 yards and an interception. Hasselbeck was sacked four times for 26 yards, and finished with a 58.9 passer rating.

Seattle’s offense did not cross the 50-yard line in the second half. They actually had a first-and-10 at their own 42 yard line at one point and went back one yard in three plays

This game looked similar to a lot of Seattle’s losses on the road last year, where they just had trouble protecting against a four-man rush.

Hasselbeck also had three tipped ball. St. Louis defensive players said they were aware that Seattle wanted to throw a lot of short routes and anticipated Hasselbeck trying to get the ball out quick.

Hasselbeck now has four touchdowns and six interceptions on the season, and has thrown an interception in eight straight games dating back to last year.

He understands he is not playing well.

“We didn’t play very well offensively, and I didn’t feel like I played very well. It’s just not acceptable. We’ve got to get better on offense. I’ve got to get better. I need to own this offense a little bit more, master it a little bit better.”

Carroll said Hasselbeck also faced more pressure than he had in the team’s three previous games. He was sacked four times for 26 yards.

But Carroll remains committed to Hasselbeck, saying that he never completing benching him for second stringer Charlie Whitehurst.

“No,” Carroll said. “Matt needs to fight though this with the guys and see if we can work our way through it, and we couldn’t get it done.”

OT Okung okay: The Seahwks took rookie offensive tackle Russell Okung out of the game midway through the second quarter. Carroll said Okung’s high-ankle sprain got sore, but he did nor re-injure the ankle and could have gone back in the game.

Carroll also said if he could do it all over again he would have done the same thing and not waited until after the bye week, and believes playing the Oklahoma State product on Sunday was part of the process of getting him back on the field full time.

“It just got to the point of ‘Let’s see how we do,’” Carroll said. “We got to the point where we got almost a half out of him, and that’s something he needed desperately as we move forward. I think he’s going to be all right.”

Injury update: All of he injured players coming into the game appeared to be okay, Carroll said. Defensive end Dexter Davis suffered a hamstring injury in the second half and will be evaluated on Monday.

Some tidbits

* Although he appeared hobbled and a step slow, Marcus Trufant led Seattle in tackles with eight.

* The Seahawks finished with four sacks for 28 yards, including two by defensive end Chris Clemons, who now has four on the year.

* After his two touchdowns a week ago, Leon Washington averaged 26.7 yards on kick returns today. The Rams even pooched kicked one time to keep the ball away from him.

* Looks like Hasselbeck has a new favorite target. Brandon Stokley, who just joined the team five days ago, led Seattle in receptions with four for 62 yards, including a 36-yard reception. Stokely was target a team-high eight times. “He’s just starting with us and this will be a nice addition to the offense,” Carroll said. “He obviously has got some good stuff.”

* Justin Forsett had trouble getting anything going on the ground, finishing with 65 yards on 19 attempts for a 3.4 yards-per-carry average.

* Running back Julius Jones was a healthy scratch on the inactive list for the first time in his Seahawks career.

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