Seattle finds many ways to end up 2-6

Whether it was offensive ineptitude, defensive lapses or special

teams meltdowns, the Seattle Seahawks have found plenty of

different ways to end the first half of the season with a 2-6

record.

Ultimately it comes back to a lack of consistency, some of which

was to be expected with limited offseason work due to the NFL

lockout and another rollover of Seattle’s constantly changing

roster.

But for a team with ”Finish” as one of its mottos, the

Seahawks have done the opposite.

”There’s really two things – there is the consistency that

isn’t there and the lack of that, and also taking care of the

football,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ”Last week when you

go back, this is a very tight football game we’re in and we turn

the ball over once and we come right back and do it again and give

them 10 points and change the football game in a game that called

for really effective, efficient play.”

That 23-13 loss at Dallas last Sunday was another example of

Seattle’s maddening inconsistency through the first half of

Carroll’s second season. On a day where Seattle got its finest

effort running the football in the past two regular seasons and

Marshawn Lynch recorded his first 100-yard rushing day in nearly

three calendar years, the Seahawks committed three turnovers and

saw their own defense give up 163 yards rushing to the Cowboys.

They’ve been outscored 61-50 in the fourth quarter, and in five

of their six losses the Seahawks have been within one score early

in the final quarter before letting each game get away.

Seattle’s two wins were the only time that the Seahawks led at

the start of the fourth. But such are the headaches you live with

when the offensive line is almost completely new, three-quarters of

the secondary is different and no starter on the Seahawks depth

chart heading into the game this week against Baltimore has more

than eight years of experience.

Not to mention four rookies starting.

”We just have to demonstrate a patience in the sense, in an

impatient world, that allows us to make the right decisions and

stick with the stuff that we’re doing and not get us out of whack

so that we can keep growing and they can keep building their

confidence and their expertise in playing with one another,”

Carroll said.

While much of the focus has been placed on the offensive woes

that handcuffed the Seahawks at times during the season, at least

two of their losses can be put squarely on special teams problems.

In the opener at San Francisco, the Seahawks were within 19-17 in

the fourth quarter before giving up a pair of returns for

touchdowns – one kickoff, one punt – by Ted Ginn Jr.

In Week 8 versus Cincinnati, an early 63-yard punt return by

Adam Jones led to a touchdown, while Brandon Tate returned a punt

56 yards for a score in the fourth quarter to put the game out of

reach.

”Special teams is the group that usually tries to pick up both

sides,” Seattle running back and special teams captain Leon

Washington said. ”… All of it works together with each other and

I’ll be the first one to tell you that special teams hasn’t done

their part like we usually do.”

Carroll hopes that improvements running the ball against Dallas

will bring that needed consistency to the offense. Last Sunday was

the first time all season Seattle had at least 30 rushing attempts

and the third time it had more than 100 yards on the ground this

season.

”We have to throw the football, we know that. But it all starts

with attitude and with the commitment to the running game,”

Carroll said. ”It’s taken us this long to see the kind of results

that we needed to finally see in two of the last four weeks. So

there’s still not consistency there, but it’s the heart of good

football in our approach.”

Follow Tim Booth on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ByTimBooth