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Shutouts R Us

Posted Oct 12, 2009

Look who has two of the NFL’s three shutouts this season: It’s the Seahawks, who last posted two in a single season 23 years ago.



Not much escapes Jim Mora.

Like in the closing seconds of Sunday’s 41-0 shellacking of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qwest Field. The Seahawks coach turned to defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and offered, “If you can continue this and get two shutouts every three games you play at home, that would be pretty good, pal.”

Mora laughed after he said that Monday. But the oddity that has been the Seahawks’ first five games – shutouts against the St. Louis Rams and Jaguars sandwiched around a three-game losing streak – is nothing to scoff at.

Nothing but zeros
The Seahawks have registered multiple shutouts in a season for only the third time in francise history:

2009

Rams 28-0
Jaguars 41-0

1986Steelers 30-0
Raiders 37-0
1984Browns 33-0
Chargers 24-0
Chiefs 45-0

The bookend performances actually are historic, because the Seahawks have pitched multiple shutouts in a season for only the third time in franchise history – and the first time in 23 years.

Granted, they came against the still-winless Rams in the season opener and a two-win Jaguars team. But as Mora said after the 28-0 win over the Rams, “They’re hard to get. They are just really hard to get. Hard to get at any level, really. So it’s rare.”

So rare, in fact, that there have been only three shutouts in the NFL this season – two by the Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers’ 35-0 win over the Rams last week. Talk about keeping it all in the NFC West family.

From the goal-line stand that ended the Jaguars’ second possession at the Seahawks’ 1-yard line to the 79-yard fumble return by rookie defensive end Nick Reed in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks’ relentless defense was unrelenting.

“I just liked how, when we got up on Jacksonville, when we got up on the scoreboard, we didn’t let up,” defensive lineman Cory Redding said. “Everybody kept the pedal to the metal.

“Everybody was just wanting to play for each other. You could feel the energy on the sideline. Somebody saying, ‘Let’s make a play,’ and ‘Keep going,’ and ‘This is how we’re supposed to play.’ The energy – everything – it was awesome.”

The Seahawks will need to be awesome and then some this week, because the opponent at Qwest Field will be the defending NFC champion Arizona Cardinals – and the league’s No. 3-ranked passing game.

Mora stressed having a dire sense of urgency with his players last week, because his goal is to reach the bye in two weeks at 3-3. With the first step complete, it’s the next step that already has captured his attention.

“I want it to be more dire than it’s ever been,” Mora said. “That’s what I told them today, too. I said, ‘A lot of times, you walk in after a game like that and your coach says, do it just like we did last week.’

“I don’t want it to be just like it was last week. I want it to be better in terms of our attention to detail, sense of urgency, all those things. We’ve got to elevate it every week. That’s why it was so important for me yesterday that we finish the game—like I said yesterday—the right way. With the right frame of mind. With a toughness. No letdown. I thought we did that. I didn’t want mistakes. I didn’t want it to be 41-7. I wanted it to be 41-0. Finish the way we wanted to finish, which was taking a knee three times.”

Nice stuff, indeed. But Lofa Tatupu, the team’s middle linebacker and a defensive co-captain, wants to see the Seahawks take this shutout show on the road.

“Everyone is big,” he said after the game. “I want to see us do this on the road. You can’t be inconsistent, doing this at home and then going on the road and just giving up points like we have.

“I am not going to be satisfied until we win on the road.”