Seahawks notebook: ‘The penalties, they killed us’

Dec 8, 2013, 7:47 PM | Updated: Dec 9, 2013, 10:12 pm
LISTEN:

By Brady Henderson

SAN FRANCISCO – Penalties have been the norm for the Seahawks, a tradeoff of the unrelenting physicality with which Seattle plays.

They were something else on Sunday.

“The penalties, they killed us today,” defensive lineman Michael Bennett said from the visitors’ locker room after the Seahawks lost 19-17 to the 49ers at Candlestick Park.

There were nine of them assessed in all against the Seahawks, which is actually one fewer than their season-high mark. The 85 yards they lost because of them wasn’t a season-high, either, in fact marking the seventh time Seattle’s penalties have added up to at least 80 yards.

56128f10-2f50-47da-bd9c-5cc0e44b7451
“They got the benefit of a few calls tonight throughout the game and that helps you,” cornerback Richard Sherman said after the Seahawks were flagged nine times Sunday. (AP)

But that was what the Seahawks said was as big as reason as any that they lost Sunday to the team they had beaten by a combined score of 71-16 in their last two meetings.

“We expected to blow them out, but they got the benefit of a few calls tonight throughout the game and that helps you, especially on third down,” cornerback Richard Sherman said. “We will see them again and it will be a different result.”

Sherman was issued two holding penalties, including one that was declined and another that gave San Francisco a fresh set of downs on third-and-11 in the second quarter. The 49ers ended that drive with a go-ahead field goal.

Cornerback Byron Maxwell was also called for defensive holding.

“I’m sure there was a lot of complaining about the pass defense from their end of it, and I think some calls went that way,” Carroll said.

Seattle’s offense was responsible for four on the team’s nine penalties, among them an offensive pass interference on what would have been a 16-yard catch by Golden Tate as well as a facemask called against Michael Robinson that negated a 20-yard Marshawn Lynch run. The latter was especially costly, a 35-yard swing that resulted in the Seahawks facing a first-and-25 from their own 23.

“The penalties really hurt us offensively,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “They really got us off schedule.”

Wright breaks foot

Before they lost the game, the Seahawks lost a starting linebacker for what will likely be the remainder of the regular season. K.J. Wright broke a bone in his foot, an injury that Carroll said should keep him out for roughly six weeks.

“We’re really disappointed in that. He was really upset about that,” Carroll said. “That looks like a six-week type of injury. They’ve already diagnosed it. So we’ll have to live with that one.”

Linebacker is one area where Seattle could seemingly absorb the loss of a starter. Malcolm Smith has started five games this season, including two straight when Bobby Wagner was out with an ankle injury. He played well enough in those games to merit consideration to remain in the starting lineup even when Wagner returned.

Smith had four tackles – including one for a loss – after replacing Wright.

Willson comes up big

The Seahawks entered April’s draft determined to come away with Luke Willson, a tight end out of Rice who was a backup and had all of nine catches during an injury-plagued senior season.



More coverage of the Seahawks’ Week-14 loss to San Francisco at Candlestick Park.


Recap | Stats | Photos | Postgame interviews
O’Neil: What We Learned
O’Neil: Seahawks get an important reminder
O’Neil: Should Seahawks have let 49ers score?
‘The Pete Carroll Show’: Wright to have surgery
Henderson: Late-game lapse dooms Seahawks

The reason: the speed he showed on two long receptions Sunday, including a 39-yard catch and run that gave the Seahawks their second touchdown.

“Luke has shown us this ability to catch and run. He’s fast,” Carroll said. “It was a huge play for him, but he did some nice stuff in general.”

The Seahawks were trailing 9-7 late in the second quarter when they ran a play-action pass that left Willson wide open over the middle. He made one defender miss en route to the end zone and his first career touchdown.

He had earlier given Seattle’s struggling offense a spark, picking up 29 yards on third down to extend a drive that would end with the Seahawks’ first touchdown. Willson finished with three catches for 70 yards.

“That was cool to come out of my shell a little bit as a rookie,” he said, “but it would have been a lot nicer if we got the ‘W’, too.”

Notes

• C Max Unger sustained a strained pectoral muscle and was replaced for the remainder of the game by Lemuel Jeanpierre.

• S Jeron Johnson pulled a hamstring. Carroll said the injury was to the hamstring opposite the one that has given him problems throughout the season.

• Seattle had a punt blocked for the second straight game against San Francisco.

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.

Brady Henderson

Rees Odhiambo, a 2016 third-round pick, will compete with Matt Tobin to start at left tackle. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Tom Cable: Rees Odhiambo, Matt Tobin are Seahawks’ preferred LT options

Tom Cable brought a bit of clarity to the Seahawks' plans at left tackle in the wake of George Fant's season-ending knee injury, saying Tuesday that Rees Odhiambo and newcomer Matt Tobin are the top two options.
5 years ago
Left tackle George Fant suffered an injury in the first half of Friday's preseason game. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Seahawks injury updates: George Fant set for surgery, K.J. Wright returns

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that left tackle George Fant is expected to be back by next season from the knee injury that will sideline him in 2017.
5 years ago
Matt Tobin, 27, started 21 games over seasons with the Eagles. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Seahawks acquire OL Matt Tobin in trade with Eagles

The Seahawks have acquired offensive tackle Matt Tobin in a trade with the Eagles, making another move to shore up their offensive line after losing left tackle George Fant for the season.
5 years ago
Luke Joeckel played left tackle for his first three NFL seasons. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Luke Joeckel? Rees Odhiambo? A look at the Seahawks’ LT options with George Fant out for the season

The Seahawks need a new plan at left tackle with George Fant out for the season. Moving Luke Joeckel there is one option, writes Brady Henderson.
5 years ago
Michael Bennett on Justin Britt standing by his side during the national anthem Friday night: “I ...
Brady Henderson

Justin Britt stands by Michael Bennett during national anthem: ‘A very emotional moment’

Seahawks center Justin Britt showed his support for teammate Michael Bennett Friday night, standing by him as Bennett remained seated during the national anthem.
5 years ago
Left tackle George Fant suffered an injury in the first half of Friday's preseason game. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Seahawks’ George Fant needs ACL surgery, likely out for season

The Seahawks' offensive line was dealt a massive blow with left tackle George Fant suffering a knee injury Friday night that will likely keep him out all season.
5 years ago
Seahawks notebook: ‘The penalties, they killed us’