Left agitated from their latest defeat, the Seahawks look to bounce back by sending the Rams to an 0-4 home start Sunday.
Seattle (3-2) never expected things to go as smoothly as they might have appeared during their 2013 Super Bowl-winning season, and Sunday’s 30-23 home loss to surging Dallas proved that.
Averaging an NFL-leading 167.3 rushing yards entering the contest, the Seahawks were held to 80 with Marshawn Lynch gaining 61 on only 10 carries.
Russell Wilson was 14 of 28 for a season-low 126 yards with an interception, and led a Seattle offense that went 5 of 13 on third down.
A Seahawks defense that yielded 249 rushing yards in the first four games gave up 162 to a Cowboys team that went 10 for 17 on third down. Dallas joined San Diego in reaching the 30-point mark against Seattle this season.
The Seahawks, who allowed an opponent to hit that mark once last year, hasn’t lost back-to-back games since October 2012.
“I think everybody was a little frustrated,” Wilson said. “We’re so competitive, and we all want to win. “When things aren’t going the way that you practice them all the time, or the way that you’re used to, or the way that you expect, sometimes you get a little frustrated.”
While coach Pete Carroll took responsibility for the performance, he’s pleased with his team’s understanding of the situation.
“We just have to get better,” Carroll told the Seahawks’ official website. “Players seem to be willing to accept they have to get better, too. So we’re working on that, and point the finger at me first.
“I think we’re still working at it. Sometimes it takes quite a while before you find it and we’re not quite there yet because we haven’t found the consistency.”
Carroll and the Seahawks might need to move on without more key performers.
The statuses of cornerback Byron Maxwell (calf) and linebacker Bobby Wagner (toe) are uncertain. Offensive tackle Russell Okung continues to play through a shoulder injury and tight end Zach Miller (ankle) is expected to miss a third straight game. Center Max Unger (foot) also could sit out a second consecutive contest.
Carroll knows Lynch will be on the field and needs to get the ball in his hands more.
In Seattle’s three victories, Lynch has 63 attempts for 270 yards and three touchdowns. He’s carried 16 times for 97 and no rushing scores in the defeats.
“We don’t ever want to play a game when Marshawn carries the ball 10 times,” Carroll said. “That’s not enough. That’s not our format that we’re trying to build from.”
Lynch has rushed for at least 97 yards in four of his last five games against the Rams (1-4), but was held to a season-low 23 on eight carries in a 14-9 win at St. Louis on Oct. 28.
Carroll, however, seems likely to feed “The Beast” often against a St. Louis defense that ranks 26th against the run with 139.8 yards allowed per game.
Losers of three straight and 16 of 18 to Seattle, the Rams allowed 89 rushing yards to San Francisco on Monday, but a season-high 343 through the air in dropping their third in a row, 31-17.