Seahawks look to get offense on track against Bills
The Seattle Seahawks are struggling on offense and Pete Carroll has seen enough.
The veteran coach uncharacteristically called out the unit after two consecutive poor showings and is hoping to see a much-improved level of performance when the Seahawks host the Buffalo Bills on Monday night (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Seattle (4-2-1) ranks 29th in points per game (18.7) and 23rd in total offense (339.9) after the consecutive sub-par efforts. The Seahawks have scored just one offensive touchdown in their last nine quarters and suffered a 25-20 road loss to the New Orleans Saints last Sunday.
“We need to get out of what we've been in the past two weeks,” Carroll said during a news conference. “This is not the way we want to play football. We need to fix this.”
Part of the offensive issues can be pinpointed to the health of quarterback Russell Wilson, who hasn't accounted for a single touchdown over the past three games.
Wilson has dealt with knee, ankle and pectoral injuries this season and the Seahawks have asked him to curtail his running and scrambling abilities.
But Carroll said Wilson made it through the New Orleans game without an injury setback.
“He's getting better,” Carroll said. “I'm really fired up about that and we're going to keep progressing as he is able and do what we can to get back to the kind of mix that we like.”
Wilson doesn't feel the Seahawks are far away from getting the offense back on track.
“Just needs to continue being consistent,” Wilson said. “Just takes one or two plays and we'll (get going). I believe that and I believe we'll make those plays happen.”
The Bills (4-4) made a bold move by luring receiver Percy Harvin out of retirement and the reaction in Seattle could be interesting if Harvin suits up.
He was a ballyhooed acquisition by the Seahawks prior to the 2013 campaign and played in just six regular-season games over two seasons before being dealt to the New York Jets. However, Harvin returned a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown in Seattle's 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Harvin played in just five games for Buffalo last season and retired last spring as hip and knee injuries wore him down both physically and mentally.
“Percy is a guy that worked so hard,” Bills coach Rex Ryan said. “It's either full speed (or nothing), and sometimes you try to back him down a little bit, but that's why last year he was so frustrated that he wasn't able to contribute more to our team. He just needed some time away from the game to get healed up. So hopefully we catch lightning in a bottle so to speak and Percy is back to himself.”
A healthy Harvin would be a big help for a Buffalo passing game that remains without standout receiver Sammy Watkins, who is on injured reserve with a foot injury. And Harvin said he is ready to help after the much-needed period of rest.
“It was time for me to just step back and let my body heal without training it, putting the time on it, and knowing I'm getting rest,” the 28-year-old Harvin said. “I just wanted to take time off for myself. I was able to relax with my family. At this time, I'm just kind of getting myself together. I'm refreshed and I'm ready to go.”
The Bills won't know until close to game time if standout running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) can play. McCoy is sixth in the NFL with 598 rushing yards despite missing last Sunday's 41-25 loss to the New England Patriots.
NFL sacks leader Lorenzo Alexander (nine) also could be limited due to a hamstring injury. Alexander plans to play with the Bills having a bye the following Sunday.
Buffalo ranks 16th in total defense (360.3) but is tied for first with 26 sacks. The Bills rank third in turnover margin (plus 8).
Seattle's “Legion of Boom” defense is again one of the top units in the league and ranks second in scoring defense (15.4) and third in total defense (319.4).
Veteran defensive end Cliff Avril is tied for third in the NFL with 7 1/2 sacks. Avril has been sensational over the past four games with 6 1/2 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner has a team-best 72 tackles while cornerback Richard Sherman and free safety Earl Thomas share the team lead with two interceptions.
The Seahawks trounced the Bills 50-17 in 2012 in Toronto in the most-recent meeting. Wilson rushed for three touchdowns and passed for one.