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Seahawks lose while learning to win


Robert Turbin was responsible for one of the Seahawks’ five dropped passes in their loss to the 49ers. (AP)

By Mike Salk

Losing stinks. It’s frustrating in all sports, but most give you the opportunity to avenge your losses quickly.

Football is different. Those losses stay with you for a while. They sting a little more.

It’s bad enough when you have to wait a week to see your team improve, but Seahawks fans will have to wait an extra three days after Thursday’s 13-6 loss to the 49ers.

Losing stinks. But of all the losses, this one doesn’t bother me that much.

That isn’t to say it wasn’t disappointing to see the Seahawks come away empty in San Francisco. They squandered plenty of opportunities through dropped passes, poor execution and bad decision making. Their vaunted defense gave up 175 rushing yards and at times looked porous. For the second straight week, they generated little to no pressure on the quarterback.

Pete Carroll has some holes to fill and some messes to clean up.

But his football team is still in tremendous shape despite the division loss.

They still have a gigantic secondary that allowed nothing deep on Thursday night. They still have a powerful force at running back that can run on even the best defenses. They still have a precocious young quarterback with a strong arm, quick feet and a flare for the dramatic.

Among the positives for the Seahawks was Marshawn Lynch topping 100 yards against the 49ers’ stout defense. (AP)

They are learning how to win.

That is one of those incalculable vagaries that statheads hate because it’s difficult to define. Heck, it might not really exist. But if it does, it sure seems to fit this team.

Sometimes it takes a few opportunities before a young team learns how to overcome adversity. Playing on the road on short rest against last year’s division winner certainly counts as adverse conditions. Dropping five passes might define the term.

The Seahawks are a work in progress, but that doesn’t mean they need to be years away from big-time success.

When I call Wilson precocious, it is partly because of his ability to learn from his mistakes and correct his shortcomings. It is because these young cornerbacks find ways to instantly forget the last pass and concentrate on the next play. It is because I expect this proud defense to redouble its effort and remember that with Red Bryant in the lineup, it has been impossible to run against.

Losing stinks. It’s even worse when you either expect many more losses that season (see 2009) or when a promising season is waylaid (see 2005).

But this team is not in either of those situations. All three losses have come on the road by seven points or fewer. Giving up 13 points on the road is still impressive. And while five drops are inexcusable, it is unlikely to occur again.

Does anyone come away from this loss thinking Seattle can’t play with the Niners? I sure don’t.

The Hawks are young team with a bright future. This loss is nothing more than a learning rung on their ladder to success.