Half, and half not

Posted Oct 3, 2011

After four games of slow starts, the Seahawks will look to push the tempo earlier as they prepare for Sunday's game against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands.

Pete Carroll’s theme for this week as the Seahawks prepare for the tough task that will be playing the New York Giants in the Meadowlands is as obvious as the contrast between his team’s performances in the first and second halves.

“It’s just so different first half to second half that it’s surprising that the game could be so different,” Carroll said Monday during his weekly day-after news conference. “We’re not creating much offensively to help us. We’ve been OK, at times, on defense. But I really think we need a spark offensively.

“We’ve got to get going.”

In Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks scored seven points and had 138 yards in the first half; while allowing 24 and 256. In the second half, however, the Seahawks scored 21 points and had 234 yards; compared to six and 156 for the Falcons.

A situation that had been apparent in the first three games became crystal clear in the game against the Falcons that was half very bad and half extremely good.

“Not enough happened offensively, which has become a little bit of a problem for us early in the game – both ways,” Carroll said.

The numbers not only support Carroll’s concerns, they scream his point:

The Seahawks have averaged 3.3 points and 96 yards in the first half; compared to 11.3 and 158 in the second half.

The Seahawks have allowed averages of 16.8 points and 197.5 yards in the first half; compared to 7.5 points and 144 yards in the second half.

What’s the answer? Starting fast, and better, obviously. But that’s also much easier said than done.

“It’s a little puzzling why the yardage looks so much more successful when we go no-huddle and speed the tempo up,” Carroll said. “It’s a big enough message that we have to up-tempo.

“I’m disappointed that it’s like that, because we like to be able to do whatever we want to do and right now we have not been able to get started quickly.”

So one thing to watch is how much no-huddle the Seahawks run against the Giants, after using it so successfully – and productively – in the second halves of the games against the Arizona Cardinals and Falcons. It’s not a hurry-up offense, but an up-tempo offense.

“It’s not like a two-minute drill, where we’re rushing,” QB Tarvaris Jackson said after Sunday’s game. “It’s no-huddle. We’re taking our time, we’re making sure that we get everything and get the calls out.”

As center Max Unger put it, “When we play fast, we play better.”

And the sooner they start, the better.