Déjà vu: Pete Carroll made similar gamble that failed last season | Seahawks notebook
The coach admitted it was a mistake to go for a touchdown instead of attempting a field goal at the end of the first half Sunday against Cincinnati. Of course, he said the same thing a year ago, too, after he went for a touchdown at the end of the first half against San Diego in Week 3, only to have quarterback Matt Hasselbeck tackled on a keeper.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll admitted it was a mistake to go for a touchdown instead of attempting a field goal at the end of the first half Sunday against Cincinnati.
Of course, he said the same thing a year ago after he went for a touchdown at the end of the first half against San Diego in Week 3, only to have quarterback Matt Hasselbeck tackled on a keeper. Time ran out before Seattle could attempt a field goal.
"I got a little bold about our situation," Carroll said the day after the San Diego game. "We need to take care of business better. I need to do a better job and make sure that we get our points when we get our opportunities."
That didn't keep the Seahawks from trying a quarterback sneak on fourth down later that season, a play that resulted in Hasselbeck fracturing the wrist of his non-throwing hand.
It also didn't prevent Sunday's decision when it was fourth-and-two at the Bengals' 3 with 14 seconds left, and the Seahawks without a timeout.
The Seahawks called a play that was a run or pass depending on what the defense showed. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson called for the handoff to Marshawn Lynch, who was stopped just short of the goal line.
Seattle had gained the first down, but the clock kept running and the Bengals stayed on top of Lynch. At one point the ball was knocked away from the line of scrimmage. The Seahawks never came close to getting a play off to stop the clock.
Williams sits out
Receiver Mike Williams was inactive because of a sore hamstring. He participated in all the team practices so he was not included on the injury report, but Carroll said that late in the week, his hamstring began bothering him.
Williams warmed up before the game, but the decision was made not to risk further injury.
"He could run," Carroll said. "But we didn't feel like he was going to be able to sustain it and make it through the game."
Special teams were the Seahawks' strength last season, giving them a consistent advantage in field position.
But for the second time in seven games this season, the team's chances at a comeback evaporated with an opponent's return.
San Francisco's Ted Ginn Jr. scored twice against Seattle in Week 1, returning first a kickoff and then a punt to the end zone.
On Sunday, Seattle punted while trailing by five points with less than four minutes left in the game, only to watch the Bengals' Brandon Tate return it 56 yards for a clinching touchdown.
"I thought we had put those kind of explosive, game-change plays out of our play," Carroll said. "We had been feeling great about the growth of our guys, from about the third game on. The fact that showed up again is really disturbing."
The Seahawks had allowed three kick-return touchdowns in the previous five seasons.
Two members of Cincinnati's secondary felt almost at home in Seattle.
One was Taylor Mays, the O'Dea High School graduate who was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2010 and traded to Cincinnati this season. He had a special-teams tackle.
The other was Kelly Jennings, the Seahawks' first-round pick in 2006 who was traded to the Bengals after the emergence of Brandon Browner in this year's training camp.
"It was weird," said Jennings of the return to Seattle. "Just being in the same place for five years, and then coming back and standing on the other sideline. It was something I had to get over quickly, because if I dwelled on that it would have messed up my game.
Jennings, who finished with three tackles, said afterward he only had fond feelings for Seattle.
"I know there's a business side to this game and I ended up having to leave," he said. "But I have no negative feelings at all towards the organization."
• The Seahawks allowed four sacks, not an unusual stat for a team that has allowed the most sacks (24) in the NFL. "We knew that our pass rush should outplay their pass blockers," said Carlos Dunlap, who had one of Cincinnati's sacks.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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