SEATTLE - The Seahawks nearly had a magical comeback in them, but their attempt to erase a two-score lead late in the game came up just short, with Russell Wilsons’s pass to David Moore in the end zone getting tipped just before it got to Moore, who couldn’t corral the pass. The end result was a tough 25-17 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers that saw the Seahawks take an early lead, fall behind by two touchdowns, then nearly complete a wild comeback.
Here are five rapid reactions from a loss that dropped the Seahawks’ record to 4-4:
1. Paul Allen’s presence was felt.
In the Seahawks’ first home game since Paul Allen’s death, reminders of the longtime team owner were everywhere. Prior to the game, a tribute video to Allen played in the stadium, and fans responded with a standing ovation. A moment of silence was held prior to the national anthem, and when it came time to raise the 12 flag, there was no ceremonial flag raiser, but rather a video tribute to Allen, who raised the the 12 flag prior to all three of the Seahawks’ NFC championship-game victories at CenturyLink Field, was played while the flag was raised, then lowered to half-staff.
As was the case last week in Detroit, Seahawks players and coaches wore patches honoring Allen, and Allen’s initials were also painted on the CenturyLink Field turf between the 20 and 25 yard lines on both ends of the field. Throughout the game, some of Allen’s favorite songs were played during breaks.
2. Seattle’s defense gave up too many big plays, but improved in the second half.
The Seahawks defense has played very well this season, but facing an explosive Chargers offense, Seattle struggled to find its footing early in the game. In particular, the Chargers were able to move the ball in big chunks, including a 28-yard run by Keenan Allen on Los Angeles’ first play from scrimmage.
Particularly damaging was a two-play sequence in which the Chargers turned third-and-15 into a touchdown, first with Allen getting behind the defense for a 54-yard gain, then with Melvin Gordon scoring on a 34-yard run on the next play.
On a more positive note, Seattle’s defense played quite a bit better in the second half, with the Chargers’ only second-half score coming on an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Sunday’s loss also marked the first time this season the Seahawks defense has not had a takeaway.
3. Seattle’s offense started perfectly, but struggled to find its footing after an early touchdown.
The Seahawks opened Sunday’s game with what is just about an ideal drive for a Pete Carroll-coached team. Seattle drove 75 yards on 13 plays, taking 8:05 off the clock to take an early 7-0 lead following a Russell Wilson touchdown pass to Jaron Brown. On that drive, which began with Chris Carson gaining 15 yards on the first play from scrimmage, the Seahawks ran nine times for 45 yards, and Wilson completed three of four attempts for 30 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Unfortunately for the Seahawks, the offense wasn’t able to keep that level of play up the rest of the way, punting on six of the next eight possessions with a field goal and a missed field goal accounting for the other two possessions. After Wilson was intercepted for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, he and the offense did put together a touchdown drive late in the game to make it a one-score game, then another long drive with the Seahawks down by eight points that took them all the way to the 1-yard line, but after a false start penalty, Wilson’s pass to Moore on the final play of the game was incomplete.
4. Michael Dickson had a very good day.
Seahawks rookie punter Michael Dickson earned NFC West Special Teams Player of the Week honors for his play in last week’s win in Detroit, but with apologies to his very gutsy 9-yard run in last week’s game, he was even better against the Chargers on Sunday.
Dickson punted six times, pinning the Chargers inside the 20 four times, including twice inside the 10 in the fourth quarter. Dickson averaged 52.8 yards per punt, and despite some long kicks, the Chargers totaled just 17 yards on four returns.
5. Chris Carson and Bradley McDougald played, but had to leave the game early.
Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald and running back Chris Carson were both listed as questionable Friday, but both were active for Sunday’s game and started. Carson, in fact, began the game with a 15-yard carry, and ran for 40 yards on eight carries in the first half. Unfortunately for the Seahawks both players had to come out of the game early, McDougald because of a knee injury and Carson because of a hip injury. Carson didn’t return to the game, with Mike Davis taking over the lead running back role with Rashaad Penny also contributing.
McDougald did come back in the fourth quarter, but only after fellow safety Tedric Thompson came off the field with an apparent injury.
Offensive lineman D.J. Fluker also came out of the game late with a lower leg injury, with Joey Hunt taking over at right guard.
Seattle-area landmarks, structures, and buildings lit up blue in honor of Paul Allen, the Seahawks owner who died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.