Seahawks' John Carlson sets tight end mark
Seahawks tight end John Carlson set season records for catches and yards by a Seattle tight end Sunday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
ST. LOUIS — Tight end John Carlson didn't have any records in mind when the season began.
He didn't even have a number of receptions in mind, either. As a rookie, he was so uncertain about what to expect this season that he didn't even know what he should hope for.
"Typically, I like to have goals," Carlson said. "Normally a goal needs to be specific. It needs to be measurable. But going into this year, I didn't know what to expect. My goal was to contribute to the team. I didn't know if that would be on special teams or on offense."
Not sure how his special-teams coverage grades out, but on offense, Carlson has been an unequivocal success. He caught five passes for 76 yards Sunday and he has 51 catches for 601 yards this season, both franchise records for the tight end position.
Itula Mili held the single-season record for receptions by a tight end with 46 in 2003. Jerramy Stevens held the record for receiving yards by a tight end with 554 in 2005.
Carlson said the result of Sunday's game trumped any individual accomplishment.
"We won the game," Carlson said. "First and foremost, that's what I'm excited about."
The Rams ran over the Seahawks for a good chunk of the first half as Steven Jackson ran for 81 yards and a touchdown. They ran around Seattle, too, with two end-around runs by receivers and quarterback Marc Bulger lined up at receiver once, catching a pass from receiver and Puyallup native Dane Looker and all that creativity helped St. Louis gain three times as many yards as Seattle in the first half. Jackson alone generated more offense than Seattle's entire team in the first half.
One problem: It wasn't accurately reflected on the scoreboard.
"It should have been 24-0 at halftime," St. Louis coach Jim Haslett said.
Instead it was 17-7 because of a pair of St. Louis fumbles. Seattle scored its only touchdown when receiver Derek Stanely fumbled the ball away on an end-around when he was tackled from behind by defensive end Darryl Tapp. Jordan Babineaux scooped up the ball and ran 24 yards for the touchdown.
A second fumble cost St. Louis points. Tight end Joe Klopfenstein fumbled the ball away at the Seattle 15 when he was tackled by Brian Russell and Julian Peterson. Marcus Trufant returned the fumble 32 yards.
In the second half, St. Louis scored only three points and finished with 99 yards of net offense.
"I felt they were just trying to protect the lead," linebacker Lofa Tatupu said.
Jackson rushed for only 10 yards in the second half and wasn't on the field for the Rams' final possession of the game because of a head injury. St. Louis threw three passes on its final possession, all incomplete. The possession consumed 37 seconds and Seattle got the ball back with 2:10 to play.
Tackle Sean Locklear didn't collapse to the turf in ecstasy after Olindo Mare kicked a game-winning field goal on the final play. The man was in agony after suffering a dislocated toe while blocking on the kick.
"They overloaded that side of the line," Locklear said. "You've got three big dudes coming at you, just bracing. It finally gave way."
Locklear stayed on the ground and was taken off on a cart. Coach Mike Holmgren came over to see who was injured, and when he heard what the injury was, a little incredulity got mixed in with his concern.
"Your toe?" Holmgren said, before patting Locklear on the head as he was taken off.
Locklear is the only lineman projected as a starter when the season began who is still active. The toe was put back in place, but Locklear wore a protective plastic boot after the game
"It's a little sore, a little throbbing," he said. "But I think it'll be all right."
Richie not so Incognito
Rams guard Richie Incognito isn't any more liked by his home fans than he is by Seahawks defensive players, who consider him a dirty player. All it took was a mention of Incognito's number — 68 — to elicit a rousing chorus of boos from the St. Louis crowd. There were a number of chances. Incognito was called for holding twice, once for a false start and once for being an ineligible receiver downfield.
Wide receiver Torry Holt thought he had a 20-yard reception in the third quarter. Instead, he was assessed a 10-yard penalty because an official decided he pushed off cornerback Marcus Trufant.
"He said he looked up in the JumboTron and saw that I pushed off," Holt said of the official. "I told him that I never extended my arm."
• Matt Hasselbeck was in uniform, but only as the emergency quarterback for Seattle. He missed his seventh game of the year because of a nerve condition in his back.
• Linebacker Leroy Hill missed his second consecutive game because of a neck injury.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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