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Originally published Monday, November 7, 2011 at 8:30 PM

A pattern is developing: Seahawks lack finishing moves

The Seahawks have yet to hold a halftime lead this season, but have been competitive in the final period.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Sunday

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RENTON — The Seahawks have had problems from the start.

That was true when Seattle took four weeks to score a first-half touchdown. It's just as true now as the only two touchdowns during the Seahawks' current three-game losing streak have been scored in the fourth quarter.

But it's the way the Seahawks haven't been able to finish off comebacks that has coach Pete Carroll concerned.

"It's killing me," he said.

The Seahawks have made a cottage industry out of finding new and innovative ways to lose. They failed to reach the red zone in Week 2, they missed a historically long field-goal attempt in Week 4. They have allowed three kicks to be returned for touchdowns and had their own scoring punt return nullified by a penalty. They have been penalized 29 times the past three games and committed three turnovers in Dallas.

But there is one common thread that's woven throughout this 2-6 tapestry: a consistent inability to get over the hump in the fourth quarter.

"There have been opportunities to win in the fourth quarter in all but maybe the Pittsburgh game," Carroll said. "Every one of these weeks seems very similar to us, and we have to find a way to close and close effectively."

The Seahawks have yet to hold a halftime lead this season, but have been competitive in the final period. Seattle has been within a touchdown at some point in the fourth quarter in all of its losses except the Week 2 loss at Pittsburgh.

That's the kind of opportunity Carroll relishes as a coach.

"That's something that I've taken great pride for years," he said, "that guys play like they're capable all the way through the finish and you outlast other teams."

In the season opener, Seattle trailed by two points with 3:56 left when the 49ers' Ted Ginn Jr. scored two special-teams touchdowns in the span of 59 seconds. Against Atlanta in Week 4, the Seahawks fell short on kicker Steven Hauschka's 61-yard field-goal attempt.

Seattle lost by three points in Cleveland and trailed by five points to Cincinnati before the Bengals scored 17 consecutive points in the final five minutes on Oct. 30.

Sunday in Dallas, the Seahawks trailed by seven points until quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was intercepted on consecutive throws, a pair of turnovers that Dallas turned into the 10 points that were the difference in the final score.

So is it a positive thing that a team as young as Seattle is putting itself in position to win, or a sign of concern that these Seahawks lack a finishing touch?

"Intellectually, I know that we're in position," Carroll said, "that we've played well enough to have a shot at it, but really discouraged we haven't played well down the stretch of it."

The Seahawks are trailing the division-leading 49ers by five games. It's how Seattle finishes that will be a barometer for the future.

"We just have to be settled and comfortable to be in that situation and execute accordingly," Carroll said. "When that happens, then we're going to be pretty tough."

Notes

• Linebacker David Vobora suffered a concussion in Sunday's game that could affect his status for this week.

• Wide receivers Mike Williams (foot, ankle) and Sidney Rice (undisclosed) also suffered injuries that might limit them in practice this week.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

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