After cranking out back-to-back victories the previous two weeks, things appeared to be looking up for the Seahawks Sunday as they began a rare three-game homestand Sunday against the reeling Redskins. But Seattle's hopes of winning a third straight game for the first time in four years went up in a smoke in a 23-17 loss that was demoralizing, to say the least. A 50-yard TD bomb on 3rd-and-19 from Rex Grossman to Anthony Armstrong, which was defended by Seahawks CB Brandon Browner, turned out to be a particular downer, as Armstrong's only catch of the game enabled Washington to storm back from a 17-7 third-quarter deficit to take the lead for good at 20-17.
While Grossman and the Redskins scored two TDs in a span of 3:33 in the fourth quarter, Seattle's offense shot nothing but blanks with a very ineffective Tarvaris Jackson under center. Despite increased practice time leading up to the game, Jackson appeared to still be laboring due to a strained pectoral muscle, completing only 14-of-30 passes for 144 yards. In Seattle's final four drives, the team could not pick up a single first down.
The PFW spin
So much for the Seahawks obtaining any semblance of respectability any time soon. Repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot with ill-timed penalties (an ungodly 35 flags in the last three games) and limited production from their receivers (six dropped passes, with neither Sidney Rice nor Mike Williams catching a pass), probably the best thing the Seahawks have going for themselves is the opportunity to very quickly forget this travesty with their next game only three days from now against the equally disappointing Eagles.
Dare I say that this shapes up as a game for the birds? Why not?
Probably the most disturbing problem at the moment is the recent rash of killer penalties that has the team on pace to shatter the franchise record of 128 penalties set back in 1984. Blaming so many yellow flags on the team's considerable youth has gotten old in a hurry, and head coach Pete Carroll and his staff must be held accountable for so many mental gaffes.
As for the defense, as good as it has been for the most part this season, especially against the run, its inability to stop the Redskins Sunday is a red flag that's hard to ignore.
As for the offense, show me the star power!
Aside from RB Marshawn Lynch, who went over the century mark in rushing for the third time in four games, and WR Golden Tate, who has come on a bit as of late, this is a team suddenly devoid of weapons. It's becoming increasingly difficult to count on Rice, who is extremely iffy for the short term after suffering his second concussion of the season, and Williams has regressed significantly after a breakout campaign last season.
After falling to 4-7, the error-prone Seahawks' margin for error has become increasingly miniscule. While a second straight debacle at home Thursday night against the Eagles would not qualify as a complete disaster, it would certainly come close.
Funny how quickly hopes can become so false.