Seahawks hoping for some home-field magic
Seattle hoping offense gets untracked against Arizona
Seattle Times staff reporter
It wasn't all that long ago that the Seahawks shook the earth in their home finale.
Just nine months, actually, since Marshawn Lynch ran around, over and through most everyone and the largest home underdog in NFL playoff history defeated the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.
So much has changed since that game. Everything from the quarterback to the name of the field, which has corporately merged from Qwest to CenturyLink.
Now, any thought that the playoff run last season would be the springboard for Seattle's return to the league's elite has been squelched by an 0-2 start that has the Seahawks being listed among the league's worst teams.
"I'm really disappointed by it," coach Pete Carroll said. "I'm disappointed that we had to go through two games not playing the way we want to play. It is what it is. It's already gone and dead, so we're on to this week and looking forward to what we can do about this."
For two weeks, Seattle has seen just how bad this team can be. The Seahawks have failed to score a point in six of the eight quarters they've played and haven't forced a turnover.
Now, it's time to see if they're any good at all.
The home opener Sunday against Arizona is the most winnable of Seattle's first five games in a front-loaded schedule. After this, the Seahawks play host to Atlanta, which had the best record in the NFC last season, before traveling to play a Giants team that has won its past two meetings against Seattle by a combined score of 85-13.
Lose to the Cardinals on Sunday, and the bottom very well might fall out of this Seahawks season.
That doesn't mean Arizona is easy. The Cardinals have won six of the past nine games against Seattle. They have a new quarterback in Kevin Kolb, one of the league's best receivers in Larry Fitzgerald and already have two touchdown plays of 70 yards or longer this season.
The uncertainty really involves the Seahawks, and whether this team can find a pulse on offense. That starts with getting traction in the run game.
"You've got to always try to run the football and get that done and get after it," Carroll said.
Trying isn't the same as doing it though, and after two weeks Seattle ranks last in the league in rushing. That isn't what Carroll and the Seahawks had in mind when they went about rebuilding the ground game.
Seattle will be starting its third different offensive-line combination this season as Paul McQuistan steps in for Robert Gallery at left guard, but offensive line coach Tom Cable said the Seahawks' rushing attack is getting close to a turning point.
"A breakthrough is really just around the corner for us," Cable said. "So I expect it soon."
Lynch rushed for 131 yards in that playoff game against the Saints last season. It remains the only time he has surpassed 100 yards as a Seahawk, but Carroll said he hopes that game and Lynch's unforgettable 67-yard touchdown run carry over into this home opener.
"Last time we were at this stadium the place went crazy," Carroll said. "That's our last memory. And we'd like to pick up where we left off."
That home finale was the exclamation point on Carroll's first season coaching in Seattle. This home opener is much more of a question mark.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or email@example.comBlankety blank
The Seahawks were shut out for the 11th time last Sunday at Pittsburgh, 24-0. The last time the Seahawks won after being blanked was in 1981, when they beat the Jets on the road, 29-24.
The Seahawks are 3-7 in games following shutouts but they're on a seven-game losing streak in such games. In 1992, they were shut out in consecutive games, by the Cowboys and Raiders.
Year/The shutout/Next game
1977/at New England, 31-0/win, vs. Tampa Bay, 30-23
1979/vs. Los Angeles Rams, 24-0/win, at Cleveland, 29-24
1981/vs. N.Y. Giants, 32-0/win, at N.Y. Jets, 29-24
1982/vs. New England, 16-0/loss, at Cincinnati, 24-10
1989/vs. Washington, 29-0/loss, at Chicago, 17-0 in 1990
1990/at Chicago, 17-0/loss, vs. Raiders, 17-13
1992/at Dallas, 27-0/loss, Raiders, 19-0
1992/vs. Raiders, 19-0/loss, at Giants, 23-10
2000/at Miami, 23-0/loss, vs. St. Louis, 37-34
2007/at Pittsburgh, 21-0/loss, vs. New Orleans, 28-17
2011/at Pittsburgh, 24-0/Sunday, vs. Arizona
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