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Originally published October 12, 2013 at 4:28 PM | Page modified October 12, 2013 at 11:22 PM

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Seahawks looking to rectify things on defense vs. Titans

It was the Seahawks themselves who set the high standard that they know they fell below last Sunday, having won their previous nine regular-season games, allowing no more than 20 points in any of those contests.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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On the field, from his usual perch 10-15 yards off the line of scrimmage, Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas is in the best position to take it all in, able to quickly survey everything going on.

Off the field, though, he’s trying more than ever to shut it all out.

In a change in routine from previous years, Thomas said he’s avoiding Twitter and has cut down on his television watching, attempting to drown out as many outside voices as he can.

“I don’t need no social media,’’ said Thomas, whose Seahawks return to action Sunday for a 1:05 p.m. game against the Tennessee Titans at CenturyLink Field. “When you are less distracted, you can really focus on what you have to do more clearly.’’

Still, some of what was said about the Seahawks defense after the team’s 34-28 loss at Indianapolis last Sunday found its way into Thomas’ world.

Sure, Thomas said, the Seattle defense made a few mistakes it shouldn’t, which resulted in the most points the Seahawks had allowed in a game in the past 30 regular-season games.

The miscommunication that led to a 73-yard Andrew Luck-to-T.Y. Hilton touchdown pass, Thomas said, “was a base coverage’’ — something the team puts in the first day of training camp.

“We should have been on it and we just weren’t,’’ he said.

Thomas, though, is also quick to point out that “he threw for like 220 yards (actually 229). That’s what people don’t understand. It’s not a great day. But it’s a great day, I guess, when you are playing us.’’

Indeed, it was the Seahawks themselves who set the high standard that they know they fell below last Sunday, having won their previous nine regular-season games, allowing no more than 20 points in any of those contests.

As the week progressed, they made it clear they don’t intend for what happened against the Colts to happen against the Titans.

“What we did last week was very uncharacteristic of us,’’ said K.J. Wright, who will play middle linebacker against the Titans with Bobby Wagner nursing a high ankle sprain. “We allowed too many points, too many explosive plays. So we corrected all that stuff and we get back here to the 12th Man, in front of our home crowd. It should be 100 times better than it was last week.’’

Throughout the locker room, there was little real worry that the loss will create any sort of hangover.

“It’s the NFL,’’ cornerback Brandon Browner said. “Things happen.’’

Despite the loss, the Seahawks are 4-1 and in first place in the NFC West. And a point spread that has them as 13.5-point favorites indicates that the high expectations that the first month of the season created are still in place.

“We just move on,’’ said cornerback Richard Sherman, who was the primary defender on the Luck-to-Hilton 73-yarder. “We didn’t play a very bad game. It’s not like we gave up 500 yards passing.We went over the couple of plays that we needed to fix and we move right on. It’s no different than after a win — you correct the mistakes and move on to the next game.”

That task could be easier with Ryan Fitzpatrick replacing the injured Jake Locker — the former Washington and Ferndale High star — at quarterback for Tennessee.

The offense also had issues in the loss to the Colts. While Seattle gained 423 yards — its second-highest total of the season after the 479 against woeful Jacksonville — it was just 2 for 12 on third downs.

Coach Pete Carroll attributed those struggles largely to issues with pass protecting, noting that many of the third downs were obvious passing situations.

The protection should improve this week with the return of starting center Max Unger, who missed the last two games with a triceps injury (during which Seattle was 5 for 26 on third downs).

Reinforcements up front will come in handy against a defense that has been the real key to the Titans’ 3-2 start. Tennessee has forced 11 turnovers while losing just three, with cornerback Alterraun Verner tied for the NFL lead with four interceptions.

“Their defense is very aggressive,’’ said Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. “They kind of remind us of our defense a little bit just in terms of how they love to play man (coverage), how they love to be in your face and make a lot of plays. So you know there’ll be a lot of one-on-one matchups, a lot of things that we’ll have to make the plays.”

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com



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