Seahawks collapse against Bengals
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.