Seahawks can't get half a yard, drop to 4-4
Overtime, especially on the road, isn't the Seahawks' time. What was a good first half turned into a head-scratcher of a second half Sunday...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Extra work seemingly not in their contract
The Seahawks fell to 3-6 in their past nine overtime games, including playoff losses to Chicago and Green Bay.
L 33-30 at Cleveland
Jan. 14, 2007
L 27-24 at Chicago
Nov. 27, 2005
W 24-21 vs. N.Y. Giants
Oct. 2, 2005
L 20-17 at Washington
Oct. 10, 2004
L 33-27 vs. St. Louis
Jan. 4, 2004
L 33-27 at Green Bay
Nov. 23, 2003
L 44-41 at Baltimore
Dec. 29, 2002
W 31-28 at San Diego
Dec. 15, 2002
W 30-24 at Atlanta
CLEVELAND — Overtime, especially on the road, isn't the Seahawks' time.
What was a good first half turned into a head-scratcher of a second half Sunday, as the Seahawks were dealt a demoralizing 33-30 overtime defeat when Cleveland kicker Phil Dawson knocked home a 25-yard chip-shot field goal for the victory.
The Seahawks defense, while stronger than it had been all season against the run, never found a way to stop Browns quarterback Derek Anderson from completing passes, most noticeably to tight end Kellen Winslow, who caught 11 balls for 125 yards.
"They just made more plays," Seattle linebacker Julian Peterson said.
Offensively, Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had a great connection going with wide receiver Bobby Engram as the two combined for big numbers (14 catches, 139 yards, one touchdown). Receiver D.J. Hackett, who had missed the previous six weeks with a sprained ankle, made a successful return by catching a touchdown and five passes. And Maurice Morris provided a solid effort at running back when starter Shaun Alexander was limited by a sprained left knee suffered in the first quarter.
But when the Seahawks, who last won a road overtime game in 2002, needed their offense most, it failed them.
From the Seahawks' 49-yard line with 8 yards to go, Hasselbeck failed to convert on a third-down scramble in overtime after officials reviewed the play and changed the original spot of the ball. On the next play, from the Browns' 44, the Seahawks went for it on fourth-and-less-than-a-yard and Morris was stopped, ending Seattle's lone possession in OT.
"Whenever you've got half a yard and you don't get it, it's tough, no matter who you're playing or where you're playing or what part of the game it is," Morris said. "The ref reviewed it and they have the last say-so, so that's that."
To that point, Seattle had moved the ball well, including its effort for the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation. And the way Cleveland was picking up yards through the air, the Seahawks had to keep the ball away from Anderson. It didn't work.
Cleveland quickly got a 34-yard pass play from Anderson to running back Jamal Lewis in which Seahawks defenders were turned around and not close to making a tackle. Then Anderson's 10-yard scramble set up the winning kick.
"Give them credit, they had a good call on [the Lewis pass]," linebacker Lofa Tatupu said.
And so here are the Seahawks at 4-4, a team, that if nothing else, has been difficult to figure out all season long.
There have been games, even halves, when the offense is clicking and the defense isn't. Or vice versa.
"We haven't put up a whole, big team game," Peterson said. "Whatever it is, we just have to find a way to correct it. I don't know exactly what to pinpoint ... but obviously it's something."
With half the season over, the Seahawks still lead the lowly NFC West, where every other team is at least two games below .500. They have let at least two victories get away, however — the 23-20 defeat at Arizona in Week 2, and the game on Sunday. This time, the Seahawks took a solid lead, 21-6 in the first half, and simply lost it.
Engram opened the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown catch. But all the Seahawks could get in the second half were three Josh Brown field goals, including the pressure-packed kick on the last play of regulation that tied it at 30.
Lewis ran for only 37 yards, but scored all four Browns TDs.
There were positives for Seattle. Hasselbeck was on target most of the time and was in command. The offensive line, while it couldn't move the pile when the team really needed it, pass-protected well. And Nate Burleson, aka Mr. Electricity, had another return for a touchdown, his second in the past two games. This punt return, a 94-yarder, tied the team record for yardage.
But in the locker room after the defeat, heads were bowed.
"In our business, there's only one thing that matters and that's Ws," left guard Rob Sims said. "We could have had that win, and we should have had that win."
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or email@example.com
|Nate the great|
|Nate Burleson's 94-yard punt return for a touchdown Sunday matched the longest in Seahawks history. A look at the top returns:|
|94||Nate Burleson||at Cleveland||Nov. 4, 2007|
|94||Charlie Rogers||at Pittsburgh||Sept. 26, 1999|
|90||Nate Burleson||St. Louis||Nov. 12, 2006|
|89||Joey Galloway||N.Y. Giants||Nov. 5, 1995|
|Note: Each return went for a touchdown.|
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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