Three impressions from the Seahawks’ 33-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at CenturyLink Field:
Suddenly, there is much uncertainty about the NFL’s best rushing team from 2018. Chris Carson can’t hold on to the football, and now it’s fair to wonder if he’s lost his hold on the No. 1 running back job. Carson has lost three fumbles through three games, and all three led to touchdowns for the opponent — including New Orleans’ fumble return for a touchdown in the second quarter Sunday. With Rashaad Penny (hamstring) out, C.J. Prosise got the bulk of the carries after Carson’s fumble. The Seahawks did rush for 109 yards Sunday, but 51 of those came from Russell Wilson, who also ran for two touchdowns. The Seahawks’ offensive line has been, at best, inconsistent, and Carson’s ball-security issues are alarming.
Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy
On the first offensive snap of the game, the Seahawks’ Will Dissly was flagged for an illegal block in the back — a fitting start to a game in which the Seahawks were outclassed in every phase. The Seahawks were, in a word, sloppy. They allowed a 53-yard punt return for a touchdown after the opening series; Carson’s second-quarter fumble was returned by the Saints 33 yards for the go-ahead touchdown; they had 12 men on the field twice (once on offense, once on defense), forcing them to needlessly burn two timeouts; Al Woods’ illegal formation penalty wiped out a New Orleans’ missed field goal and set up Michael Thomas’ 1-yard TD, extending New Orleans’ lead to 27-7 midway through the third quarter; and Russell Wilson missed an open Tyler Lockett in the end zone on fourth down in the third quarter. Those are the sloppy highlights, anyway. There’s a lot — a lot — for the Seahawks to clean up as they prepare for their first two divisional games of the season — at Arizona next week and against the Rams two weeks from now back home.
So much for that September streak
Amazingly, the defeat was the Seahawks’ first at home in September during Pete Carroll’s 10 seasons as Seattle’s coach. Carroll’s Seahawks were 15-0 at home in September coming into Sunday. Carroll, it appeared, somehow got hit in the face by a football during pregame warmups, leaving the coach with a large cut on the left side of his nose. Yes, it was that kind of day. Did we mention Drew Brees didn’t even play for the Saints? The idea that the Seahawks could not only lose to a backup quarterback at home, but lose in such stupefying fashion has been almost unthinkable throughout the Carroll era.