The Washington Post

Seahawks’ offense continues to struggle for points and answers

- BY ANDREW GOLDEN andrew.golden@washpost.com

In Washington’s 17-15 win over Seattle on Monday night, the Seahawks’ offense, which entered 30th in the NFL, failed to show any signs of improvemen­t.

Seattle’s offense walked out of Fedex Field after mustering just 267 yards — 96 of those coming on the final drive — picking up 10 first downs and running just 45 plays. In the three games since quarterbac­k Russell Wilson returned from a ruptured tendon in his middle finger, the Seahawks have averaged 9.3 points.

“We had a good first half, for the most part; we had some really amazing plays,” Wilson said. “We tried to run it a couple of times and didn’t, unfortunat­ely; they made a couple of good plays. And then the second half, I could have been a little cleaner.”

Seattle (3-8) entered Monday’s game having lost five of six and with little momentum after scoring 13 points in the two games since Wilson’s return.

After a three-and-out and an uncharacte­ristic airmailed throw on the opening drive, Wilson lofted a 55-yard pass in stride to wide receiver Tyler Lockett under pressure after a blown coverage by Washington and then connected with tight end Gerald Everett for a six-yard touchdown pass into a tight window.

But other than that first toss to Lockett and another 39-yard bomb to him in the second quarter, Wilson didn’t throw many deep balls in the first half, settling for short passes and handing the ball off to running backs who were frequently stuffed at the line. The second half was even worse for the Seahawks’ offense — Seattle had 127 yards, or 31 yards on five drives excluding its final one.

Seattle converted just 4 of 12 third downs overall; it entered the matchup with the worst third-down offense in the NFL, and Monday’s game showed why.

“That’s such an obvious issue for us,” Coach Pete Carroll said. “We didn’t run the ball well tonight, but it’s just there’s so few plays and every single play counts so much.”

The Seahawks’ inability to generate consistent offense is tied to their struggles to maintain possession: Seattle entered with the worst average time of possession in the NFL at just 24 minutes 42 seconds per game — then held the ball for just 18:20 on Monday.

Those trends continued against Washington: Six of Seattle’s 11 drives didn’t generate 10 yards, seven drives didn’t last two minutes, and its longest drive lasted just 2:39.

Seattle’s hopes of making the playoffs are all but lost, especially with three games remaining against NFC West opponents who are all in the playoff picture. But Carroll believes his team will stay optimistic, and so does Wilson.

“I’m going to give everything I have, like I always do,” Wilson said. “Every day, every play, in the very end, the last play of the game, just like tonight, just because I don’t know any other way. I think these guys in this locker room don’t know any other way as well.”

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