RENTON -- It's safe to say Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was not expecting to have the struggles on the offensive line that they did in Sunday's 19-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
"I'm disappointed that we're talking about that today," Carroll said on Monday. "I thought we were moving in the right direction. I've seen us move in the right direction, but this game we weren't as sharp."
Carroll had been encouraged by the performance of the unit throughout the preseason. The team had virtually settled on a starting five before George Fant's ACL tear forced the team to go with Rees Odhiambo at left tackle instead.
Nevertheless, Odhiambo had seemed relatively capable of handling the job in the final two preseason games with a few hiccups here and there. But Odhiambo was far from the only problem spot on the line in Green Bay.
Packers nose tackle Mike Daniels caused havoc across the line and blew up a number of Seattle plays.
"He played a heck of a football game and he gave us some problems. We didn't deal with him as well as we thought we would," Carroll said.
He mauled through guards Mark Glowinski and Luke Joeckel for sacks of Wilson, the second of which forced a fumble that Green Bay recovered at the Seahawks' 6-yard line. Ty Montgomery would score on the ensuing snap to give the Packers a 7-3 lead. Daniels also pushed center Justin Britt back into running lanes on occasion as well.
Daniels finished with 1.5 sacks and four quarterback hits on Wilson.
"At times, (he) got off the ball pretty good and made us all look pretty bad at times," Carroll said.
The Seahawks managed just 90 yards on 18 carries on the ground. However, those numbers are misleading as well. Of Seattle's 90 rushing yards, 59 of them came on a 29-yard scramble by Wilson and a 30-yard run from Chris Carson. They averaged just 1.9 yards per carry on their remaining 16 attempts of the game.
Wilson was limited with what he could accomplish in the passing game as well due to the constant pressure. Seattle had to keep in extra pieces to block, which in turn limited receiving options available down field. When they did try to expand their passing attack, Wilson was frequently pressured into escaping the pocket and throwing on the move. He finished with just 158 yards passing on 14 of 27 attempts.
"I thought Russell, under the circumstances of the way things were happening, he did a really nice job," Carroll said. "There was a couple throws there... He had a pinpoint shot for a touchdown to (Tanner) McEvoy that was just a little bit off and the deep ball to (Tyler) Lockett was really hampered, he got grabbed and threw off the timing a little bit.
"A lot of really positive things showed there, but not enough balls, not enough throws, not enough plays and unfortunately third down stuff didn't give us that opportunity."
Carroll believes it's something that can, and will, get corrected. Nevertheless, it was a pretty poor first impression.
"Disappointed that after all the time we've been working to go to our first game, we didn't play as clean as we wanted to," Carroll said on Monday. "I don't think this is a statement of anything other than we didn't play well enough in the first game."
"We got better during the game. We protected much better as the game went on. Just right out of the chutes we just missed a couple opportunities to do things and made a couple mistakes, errors that we had."
Thomas Rawls set to return next week:
After being inactive for Sunday's game against the Packers, Carroll said he expected running back Thomas Rawls to be back for next week's home opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
"We do expect Thomas back. He should be raring to go," Carroll said.
Rawls missed the final three games of the preseason and the Green Bay game while working back a high-ankle sprain. He went through pregame warmups on Sunday but was deemed inactive for the game.
Carroll on Jimmy Graham: I thought Jimmy had a hard game. There was a couple of throws that he had chances, but they got broken up. They legitimately got broken up. But he had a couple of chances on big balls. We went to him in critical situations and they did a nice job of covering him and there is a couple of things we could have done better. I think he was unfortunate in the back of the end zone, should have been our ball, first down on the 1-yard line. He didn’t get that chance to make that play but it wasn’t his best game. He will do better and I know he is really disappointed in the ball that got away from him on the sidelines."
Carroll on running backs: "Well they both had their moments where they had good spacing and they did a nice job running the football. I thought Chris [Carson] got a little bit more room and took advantage of it. Eddie [Lacy] hit up in there a couple of good times and then we got on the edge and he got banged around a little bit, didn’t get started. It was not a game where we developed the real feel for the running game like we want to. We ran it really 15 times in a game. There just wasn’t enough plays and we didn’t get it going, so neither one of the guys really got a chance. But I thought they showed that they can make plays and C.J. [Prosise] had a couple runs too."
Carroll on Earl Thomas: "Yeah, he was really good yesterday. He was good tackling at the line-of-scrimmage, he made two or three open field shot tackles for no gains, he was there on the deep ball a couple of times, had a pick on the one play that was called back, he ranged well and had a great hit on the running back coming from the middle. He just played a terrific game, and that’s what we’ve been seeing Earl [Thomas] do in this preseason. It’s no surprise that he was able to carry over to game time, he was on fire. It makes a big difference to us, he’s a guy that can separate from the rest and he surely did that yesterday."
Photo Credit: GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 10: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks fumbles the football as he is hit by Mike Daniels #76 of the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on September 10, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)