Pete Carroll: Seahawks learning "hard, deep lessons"
As the Seahawks' downward spiral continues, their inconsistencies earlier in the year seem like the good old days. Now Seattle tries to correct course with a hot Atlanta Falcons team next up.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Atlanta Falcons @ Seahawks,
1:05 p.m., Ch. 13
RENTON — There was a time when Seattle's lack of consistency was a problem.
Those look like the good ol' days for the Seahawks. Like back in October, when Seattle failed to cross midfield in the second half of its loss at St. Louis in Week 4, then went on the road two weeks later and beat Chicago, which had the best record in the NFC at the time.
The issue is no longer that Seattle plays like two different teams; it's the redundancy of the problems that is most concerning. With three games left in the season, the Seahawks have struggled for more than a month now, allowing 30 or more points in five of the past seven games.
As the season has progressed, have the Seahawks regressed?
"I think we're going back and forth," coach Pete Carroll said. "I don't feel the consistency of growth that I wish we (had), particularly here at the end of the season."
Just don't expect Carroll to accept that the past month amounts to a downward spiral.
"It was seven days ago we were really pleased with the way we turned things," Carroll said of the comeback victory over Carolina. "Took the game over and executed in gorgeous fashion to finish a game and get a big win. That's one week ago. So it's one week away in the other direction as well if we do right."
But that comeback against Carolina is beginning to look like the exception for Seattle. The nine-minute stretch of the third quarter in which the Seahawks scored three touchdowns is all that stands between them and a four-game losing streak.
Any thoughts that rally would be a springboard were buried by Seattle's flurry of five turnovers in San Francisco on Sunday. The defeat caused Carroll to reference his first year at USC. The Trojans finished 6-6 after a Las Vegas Bowl loss, then reached the Rose Bowl the next year.
Carroll is not forecasting that sharp a turnaround, but he's hoping for it. The sooner the better.
"I don't know if that's going to happen or not," Carroll said. "I'd like it to happen this week. But I have seen this before. I'm hoping that I can do something about it before we finish it up.
"But these are hard, deep lessons."
There's no respite on the horizon. Seattle plays Atlanta this week, the Falcons coming to Qwest Field with an 11-2 record and the longest winning streak (seven games) in the league. Of the four teams in the NFC West, Seattle has the most difficult remaining schedule.
It used to be the Seahawks were like a different team at home. Not anymore. They've lost two of their past three games at Qwest Field, giving up more than 40 points in each of the defeats. Even the victory deserves a bit of an asterisk. The one-win Panthers, who had never led by more than seven points this season, were up 14-0 and still led by 11 at halftime.
But Seattle will play two of its final three games at home, and the Seahawks still hold control of their playoff possibilities. They have a chance to correct their course.
"We're trying to find our game and find it each week," Carroll said. "One week at a time and see if we can do it. So we'll take it head on, and look forward to a big weekend against Atlanta."
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or email@example.com
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