Times Colonist

Seahawks collapse against Bengals

- DANNY O’NEIL

SEATTLE — The Seahawks gave up 17 points in the final five minutes to Cincinnati, but don’t say they collapsed.

That would imply Seattle had control at some point of Sunday’s 34-12 loss. It didn’t.

Not in the beginning, when the Seahawks failed to gain a first down on two of Charlie Whitehurst’s first three possession­s at quarterbac­k and fell behind 10-0. Not in the middle, when Tarvaris Jackson came back from a pectoral injury and showed himself to be the Seahawks’ best bet at quarterbac­k.

And certainly not in the end, when Seattle allowed Cincinnati’s Brandon Tate to return a punt 56 yards for a touchdown and watched as Bengals safety Reggie Nelson returned an intercepti­on 75 yards for good measure.

The Seahawks started out bad, they got better and then wound up much, much worse in a game that left coach Pete Carroll hoping this team had reached rock bottom.

“It’s not a good place to be,” he said.

“But it’s a good place to leave behind, and we’re going to do everything we can to get that done.”

In nine years at USC, Carroll became used to running a powerhouse, not building one. Routs, not regrets. But on Sunday, one of the winningest coaches in college football history got a reminder of all the different ways an NFL team can beat itself. From the 11 penalties the Seahawks committed, to the headstrong gamble he took going for a touchdown just before halftime and costing his team a field-goal opportunit­y, to his team’s late-game swoon.

“We really gave them everything they needed in this game,” Carroll said. But when it was over and Seattle had fallen to 2-5, Carroll kept his chin up and looked to the future.

 ??  ?? Cincinnati’s Bernard Scott, right, plows into Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas during second-quarter action in Seattle Sunday. The Seahawks lost 34-12.
Cincinnati’s Bernard Scott, right, plows into Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas during second-quarter action in Seattle Sunday. The Seahawks lost 34-12.

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