Seahawks puzzled by offensive struggles after beating 49ers
SEATTLE (AP) For the second straight season, the Seattle Seahawks are spending the first two weeks of the regular season wondering how an offense with the likes of Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham has only found the end zone once in two games.
New San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan would simply like to see his team score a touchdown after getting held out of the end zone again in a 12-9 loss to the Seahawks on Sunday.
It was as ugly as it sounds. After more than 112 minutes of game action, the Seahawks finally scored their first touchdown of the season on Wilson’s 9-yard strike to Paul Richardson with 7:06 remaining to take the lead for good. And it took some magical maneuvering from Wilson to even get in that position, a combination of his running and passing to finally lead Seattle to a score.
”Sometimes it’s good to win a game like that because it tests your composure,” Wilson said.
It got so bad that comedian Sarah Colonna, the wife of Seattle punter Jon Ryan, tweeted that she was tired of seeing her husband on the field after a sixth straight possession where the Seahawks punted. Even Wilson was greeted with a cascade of boos following consecutive third-quarter possessions where Seattle went three-and-out.
So yes, the Seahawks at 1-1 are probably where most expected them to be after opening the season at Green Bay. But how they got there has heightened concerns about how good Seattle can be potentially.
”Ugly as hell. Very ugly. But we did enough,” Baldwin said.
The Seahawks were quick to point out that they should have scored two touchdowns in the first half. C.J. Prosise had a potential TD bounce off his hands at the goal line on Seattle’s first drive, and Tanner McEvoy couldn’t pull in a high pass from Wilson in the end zone on the second drive.
San Francisco was never in the position to complain about missed opportunities. The 49ers accomplished something never done before in the long history of the franchise, starting a season with zero touchdowns through two games. And for the most part, the 49ers haven’t even been close. In 21 total possessions over two games, the 49ers only have three drives inside the opponents’ 20-yard line and only one inside the 10. They’re not just struggling to score, they’re not even threatening.
”We’re never satisfied. We need to get better in every facet,” Shanahan said. ”Even if we scored a bunch of touchdowns I’d be telling you the same thing.”
Here are other nuggets to know from the game:
RUNNING HIERARCHY: Seattle is making pretty clear for now the hierarchy of its running backs. And Eddie Lacy may not have a role to play.
Lacy was a healthy scratch on Sunday and then watched rookie Chris Carson rush for 93 yards on 20 carries, including 58 yards in the fourth quarter. Carson, a seventh-round pick, has impressed from the start of training camp. He received the bulk of the carries with Seattle wanting to limit Thomas Rawls’ load in his first game after missing time with a high-ankle sprain.
But with Carson impressing, Seattle knowing what it can get from Rawls when healthy and the desire to work in Prosise as the third-down back, Lacy’s role appears in question going forward.
HYDE AND SEEK: The one bright spot for San Francisco’s offense was the 124 yards rushing from Carlos Hyde. The running back averaged 8.3 yards per carry, including a 61-yard run in the second quarter that set up a field goal. It was the longest run allowed by Seattle’s defense in the regular season since 2012.
JIMMY’S ROLE: It didn’t seem possible for Graham to have a smaller role in Seattle’s offense after catching just three passes for 8 yards in the opener.
He was even more invisible against the 49ers.
Graham had one catch for 1 yard on a check down pass by Wilson. More concerning was Graham not even being looked at. Graham was targeted only two times. In the opener, Wilson threw Graham’s way seven times. He has 9 yards receiving on the season.
”That’s not what we would expect to have happen,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
HOYER’S DAY: San Francisco QB Brian Hoyer was never able to push the ball downfield. He threw for only 99 yards and his longest completion was 14 yards. When sacks are taken away, the 49ers had just 89 net yards passing.
”I’ve got to look at the tape and figure out what I can do a whole lot better,” Hoyer said.
DIVISION DOMINANCE: Seattle has won seven straight regular season games against the 49ers overall. At home, the Seahawks have not lost to the 49ers since late in the 2011 season.
Seattle also extended its win streak in home openers to nine. The Seahawks haven’t lost their first home game since 2008.
For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL