Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.
December 7, 2008 9:04 PM
Posted by Danny O'Neil
On the one hand, it's difficult to be too critical of the Seahawks for Sunday's loss to New England. Seattle's offense was without its only two Pro Bowlers from last season as Matt Hasselbeck and Walter Jones each sat out the game because of injuries.
Two more starters along the offensive line -- center Chris Spencer and guard Mike Wahle -- were placed on injured reserve last week, and the depth on the line was so desperate that Steve McKinney was active after participating in all of one practice last week.
And despite all that, the Seahawks scored a touchdown on their first possession for only the second time this season and led 14-3 in the first half. Sure, Seattle couldn't hold on, but the Patriots are a team contending for a playoff spot and the Seahawks have certainly been beaten by worse teams this year. They lost at home to the 49ers after all and unlike defeats to teams like the Giants and the Cowboys, the Seahawks were in this one right to the end.
But to minimize the significance of a defeat is to overlook the fact Seattle was outscored 11-0 in the fourth quarter and failed to force a punt in the final 22 minutes of the game. Three times Seattle was one play away from forcing New England to punt on its drive to the game-winning touchdown. Three times New England converted for a first down.
Seattle has seen comebacks fall short plenty of times this season. Matt Hasselbeck was intercepted at the end of each of the past two home games when the Seahawks had the ball and a chance to win. This was different, though. The Seahawks collapsed this time.
The defeat did spawn some questions, though: