Seahawks Notebook | Wallace comes through
Losing the way the Seahawks did hurt, but Seneca Wallace took a few positive things from his team's 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Losing the way the Seahawks did hurt, but Seneca Wallace took a few positive things from his team's 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots Sunday at Qwest Field.
Individually, he played well, completing 20 of 28 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns, and leading the team in rushing on the day with 47 yards.
Collectively, Wallace said, the team played well, gaining 339 yards of offense. It was the Seahawks' best output since the 407 they racked up in a win over St. Louis in September.
"The offense, we did what we are capable of doing," he said. "It was one of our best outings so far this year on the offensive said of the ball."
Wallace darted in and out, around and through the Patriots on scrambles, runs and rollouts. He earned praise from his coaches and teammates for his play.
"He did everything you could ask of him to do," wide receiver Bobby Engram said.
"He played within himself. He made special plays," coach Mike Holmgren said. "It's the type of game you would like to have a quarterback play."
A key for Wallace was that he was playing pain-free. He was slowed by a calf injury that plagued him when he was starting games for the injured Matt Hasselbeck earlier this season.
"The calf thing is over with," Wallace said, "All of the little strains are over with. So I felt good."
The decisive play of the game, though, involved Wallace, who was sacked and fumbled when the Seahawks couldn't stop a safety blitz up the middle.
"They actually came out with that defense three times in the game. I called time out twice," Wallace said. "It's tough, because we don't have an answer for it."
Carlson ties record
With a career-high eight catches Sunday, Seahawks tight end John Carlson tied the team single-season record for receptions by a tight end at 46. Itula Mili had 46 grabs in 2003, and Carlson should surpass it with three games left to do so.
Carlson had 69 receiving yards to give him 525 on the season, leaving him 30 more yards from breaking Jerramy Stevens' 2005 mark for yards by a tight end. And he's two touchdowns from the tight end record, which Stevens owns with five.
"It's a function of the injury situation on our offense this year," Carlson said. "I was one of the guys that played the most games and got on the field the most, so if Bobby's healthy all year, Deion's healthy all year, Nate's out there, the numbers probably don't work out that way."
Carlson was referring to wide receivers Engram, Deion Branch and Nate Burleson, who have all been hurt or are out for the season.
"It's an honor," he said of tying the receptions record, "and I'm sure there have been a number of great tight ends to come through here. I've been fortunate to play with the guys around me."
New faces on o-line
The Seahawks' offensive line consisted of Sean Locklear at left tackle (for the injured Walter Jones), Floyd Womack at left guard (for Mike Wahle, out for the season), Steve Vallos at center (for Chris Spencer, out for the season), Mansfield Wrotto at right guard (for Rob Sims, out for the season) and Ray Willis at right tackle, in place of Locklear.
Jones hadn't missed a game because of injury since Nov. 9, 1997, because of a sprained ankle. He'd been held out of other games since, per Holmgren's decision, to rest him.
Wrotto, a second-year pro, made his NFL debut.
"If I messed up, I did it full speed," Wrotto said. "As the game went on, I was calm, collected and I had a good game."
Wrotto did mess up — he was penalized for holding and a false start — but overall held his own as the Seahawks allowed only one sack and moved the ball well.
Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu and Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel were teammates and close friends at USC, and they lined up against each other Sunday.
"We were talking trash back and forth," Tatupu said. "He was crying for calls a couple of times. I told him to get off my field. He was just laughing after they'd pick up a first down."
Cassel was 26 of 44 for 268 yards and touchdown. Tatupu led the Seahawks in tackles with eight.
Running back Julius Jones, the Seahawks' leading rusher, didn't play Sunday though he was healthy. Maurice Morris got the start and Leonard Weaver and T.J. Duckett combined for nine carries for 48 yards.
"We had a plan to play Duckett a little bit [Sunday] in a regular situation," Holmgren said. Duckett is typically used only for short-yardage or goal-line situations.
Jones has started 10 games this season, Morris the other three.
"It just worked out that way more than anything," Holmgren said. "Julius could start next week."
• Seahawks DE Baraka Atkins got his most extensive playing time of the season and had two sacks and two tackles for loss as part of his five-tackle performance. "I was happy for him," Tatupu said.
• Hasselbeck, inactive for the game, came out with the Seattle captains for the opening coin toss.
• Patriots WR Wes Welker was one catch short of his single-game career high, 13, with 12 for 134 yards Sunday. Welker became the NFL leader in receptions this season with 96. "He's a guy who you can rely on," Cassel said.
• LB Junior Seau, a multi-time Pro Bowler signed only Friday after injuries beset the Patriots LB crew, played and had one tackle.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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