Tuesday in Hawkville: Seahawks 3-0 start tied to turnovers

Posted Sep 24, 2013

Looking for the secret to the Seahawks’ 3-0 start? Look no farther than turnovers. They have won the turnover battle in each game and are plus-6 in turnover differential.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 24, when the players were “off” and the coaches were compiling the game plan for Sunday’s matchup against the Texans in Houston:


Actually, it’s the word every day – as the “It’s All About the Ball” sign that hangs in the defensive meeting room at VMAC reminds the players.

In looking for a reason to the Seahawks’ 3-0 start, turnovers also are a good place to start. They have won the turnover battle in each of their three victories, and now are 20-3 under coach Pete Carroll in games where they have generated more turnovers than their opponents.


“The Seahawks' pass defense leads the league with a minus-4 TD-Interception differential. Only 12 teams even have four interceptions this year. Good road challenges await in Houston and Indy.” in listing the Seahawks at No. 1 in their weekly power rankings

This season, the Seahawks have 10 turnovers and are plus-6 in turnover differential, which ties them for second in the NFL in both categories.

“It’s how we want to play,” Carroll said. “We want to play taking care of the football and we want to play getting after it. To us, it’s the biggest factor that determines winning and losing. So that’s why it’s the No. 1 emphasis in our program, and always will be.”

And has been since Carroll first met with his new players after being hired in 2010.

“It’s the personality of our football team,” he said. “We have preached it from the very first thing I ever said to these guys the first day I walked in here. They hear it every week and, hopefully, with emphasis that makes the point that you’ve got to be great at taking care of it and you’ve got to go after it if you want to determine wins. It usually works out that way.”

It certainly has this season. In the 12-7 victory over the Carolina Panthers in the opener, All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas forced a fumble late in the fourth quarter that defensive tackle Tony McDaniel recovered at the Seahawks’ 8-yard line. In the 29-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the home opener, cornerback Walter Thurmond deflected a pass at the goal line in the first quarter that Thomas intercepted, and strong safety Kam Chancellor and All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman also had picks in that game. In Sunday’s 45-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner made a lunging interception of a pass he tipped to setup a touchdown just before halftime that made it 24-0 and nose tackle Brandon Mebane recovered a fumble on the fourth play of the second half to setup a TD that made it 31-0.

“It’s the deciding factor so often that we just are going to continue to champion that as our No. 1 emphasis,” Carroll said.


Defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith has been released. The club did not announce a move to replace him on the 53-man roster.

The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Smith was acquired in a trade with the Jaguars on Aug. 31. He played in the first two games and was credited with five tackles. But Smith was inactive against the Jaguars and became expendable because Clinton McDonald has played so well since being re-signed on Sept. 14. McDonald has 1.5 sacks included in his five tackles.



All that talk about how “It’s all about the ball,” isn’t just talk. As we mention above, in three-plus seasons under Carroll the Seahawks are 20-3 when winning the turnover battle:

Differential in wins
2010 4-0 plus-9
2011 6-2 plus-15
2012 7-1 plus-17
2013 3-0 plus-6
Total 20-3 plus-47

Russell Wilson’s passer rating of 109.2 leads the NFC and ranks third in the NFL, behind the Broncos’ Peyton Manning (134.7) and Chargers’ Philip Rivers (116.2). Wilson also is first in the NFC and second in the league in fourth-quarter passer rating (148.6) – unchanged from last week because he didn’t play in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Jaguars.

Chancellor has two interceptions, which ties him for second in the league.

Steven Hauschka is tied for second in the league with 14 touchbacks on his kickoffs and tied for eighth in scoring among kickers with 24 points. Golden Tate is fifth in the league and first in the NFC in punt return average (11.2).

As a team, the Seahawks’ defense leads the league is points allowed (27), average yards allowed (241.7) and average passing yards allowed (146.7). The offense rankseighth in average yards (379.7) and rushing yards (132.7).

With five catches against the Jaguars, Tate has a team-leading 10 receptions in three games – one more than Doug Baldwin. Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner continues to lead the team in tackles (24), while 15 of Thomas’ 19 tackles have been solo stops.


The players return from their “off” day on Tuesday to begin practicing for this week’s game against the Texans on “Competition Wednesday.”

Also, Wilson will be featured in “Man to Man” on the NFL Network at 7 p.m. on Wednesday as Hall of Famers Marshall Faulk, Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin conduct one-on-one interviews with Wilson, Colts QB Andrew Luck and Eagles QB Michael Vick. During his interview with Irvin, Wilson discusses the lessons he learned from his late father; how he won over Carroll and his teammates after being selected in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft; and playing this season with heightened expectations.