Critical mental mistakes cost Seahawks against Saints


What went wrong?

SEATTLE, Wa. (KOIN) – “We just can’t shoot ourselves in the foot.” Seattle wide receiver Tyler Lockett summed up Sunday’s game about as accurately as possible.

Within 3 minutes — and without Seattle’s offense even stepping on the field — New Orleans led by a touchdown thanks to a punt return which Deonte Harris took all the way to the house.

In the second quarter, Saints DE Cameron Jordan came up behind an unsuspecting Chris Carson and tomahawked the ball out of his grasp. This would be the running back’s third fumble in as many games.

Shortly after halftime with Seattle trailing 27-7, the defense came out and stood their ground, renewing hope for those in Century Link Stadium. The Hawks forced a 53-yard field goal attempt that Saints kicker Wil Lutz went on to miss.

But, before the crowd could celebrate, Seattle got flagged for an illegal formation and the Saints proceed to march downfield for their fourth touchdown of the afternoon.

This was just another nail in the coffin for the Seahawks.

“The biggest problem today was execution by us,” said Seattle cornerback Shaquill Griffin. “We just needed to limit the mistakes between not lining up the correct way, losing the ball, missing tackles. It’s easy — it’s easy and we can fix it. That’s something that we’re going to focus on.”

When the final whistle blew and the scoreboard flashed 33-27, Seattle was dealt their first loss of the season. The closeness of the score proved just how much those small mistakes can cost a team in this league.

“We spotted them 13 points with the punt return that they ended up scoring on and then the fumble they ended up scoring on,” Lockett said. “You take that away, it’s a whole different ball game.”

Speaking of that fumble, it was a highlight of what was an all-around tough day for the third-year running back. Carson slipped on several of his carries early and confirmed afterward he had changed his cleats during the game.

With the fumble in the second quarter, it’s no surprise fellow RB C.J. Prosise out-snapped Carson 46-37 for the game.

After the loss, Carson was short and to-the-point addressing the miscue.

“I just need to keep my elbow tucked, that’s it,” he said. “That’s football. I just need to protect the ball, that’s it.”

Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll was quick to cast his vote of confidence for his running back.

“He’s been a marvelous player on this team and he has to fix this,” Carroll said of Carson. “I can’t fix it for him, but we’ll help him, and count on him to come back and play good football for us.”

Carson isn’t the only player who needs to do some fixing.

The Seahawks’ defensive leaders said they need to take ownership for their mistakes that came at critical times like the illegal formation penalty on the missed field goal.

Griffin told reporters that work begins well before the game does.

“We’re going to focus on being more mentally tough and seeing that the things that we do, every little thing matters,” he said.

Linebacker Bobby Wagner echoed the need to get back to the Seahawks brand of football.

“You just have to understand that you have to play your best football no matter who’s out there on the field,” Wagner said. “If you don’t come out here ready to play, they’ll beat you. It doesn’t matter who we play, doesn’t matter if we’re playing a team that’s 15-0, or a team that’s 1-15, you have to bring your best every single time.”

The Seahawks will face the Arizona Cardinals next at 1:05 on Sunday afternoon.

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