RENTON — Go back to the beginning. That’s what the Seahawks are pointing to this week — a resounding 28-16 victory at Indianapolis to open the season — as an illustration of their potential on offense.
“I know who we are,” Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said Friday, maintaining his usual upbeat tone despite the team’s 3-7 record. “I go back to one of the best moments, when we played at the Colts. Just the energy. Everybody was touching the football. Everybody was making plays. That’s who we are. We haven’t seen it in a couple weeks or a few weeks … but the good thing is it’s there. We’ve got the same guys.”
That performance at Indianapolis was 12 weeks ago, marking an impressive debut for first-year offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. The Seahawks ran the ball 27 times for 140 yards in Week 1, and Wilson completed 18 of 23 passes for 254 yards and four touchdowns. They converted 4 of 9 third downs.
It was just about the perfect start to the season.
Since then, Seattle has had the NFL’s worst third-down offense, and they’ve managed to score just 13 points in their past two games.
Waldron said Friday that he does spend time reviewing film of early-season game, searching for things that worked well and things that didn’t. In thinking back to the Indianapolis game, he said the Seahawks were especially effective on first and second downs, making third down largely moot.
“That’s where the offense feels like it’s at its best,” Waldron said. “Just being able to have the defense feel our offense in that attacking mode is something we’re looking to get back to.”
The Seahawks, now preparing for a Monday night game at Washington to keep their season from completely spiraling out of control, have rarely been able to replicate their Week 1 offensive production. The past two games — losses to Green Bay and Arizona — have been particularly dreadful, despite Wilson’s ahead-of-schedule return from a finger injury.
On Wednesday, coach Pete Carroll gave a vote of confidence to Waldron. Wilson echoed that sentiment, unprompted, during his media availability Friday.
“When it’s a new system, not everything is just spot on every second with the players in terms of us executing it,” Wilson said. “So we’ve got to be better on our end to make sure we execute every little detail. He’s been coaching his butt off every day, with no hesitation and just great confidence.”
Players, in the same vein, say they have maintained belief in themselves and what they can do as an offense — so much so that a 7-0 finish has become something of a rallying cry within the team.
DK Metcalf tweeted it Friday afternoon: “7 in a row.”
“That’s got to be your mentality,” Wilson said. “It’s kind of an early playoffs, you know. It’s kind of like you’re in March Madness, but you’re in late November, December time. You’ve got to win ‘em. … We don’t shy away from the conversation. I know we stay focused on one moment at a time, but it’s definitely a real thought process in our head: ‘Hey, listen, let’s go.’ That’s definitely been part of our conversation.”
A 7-0 finish, as difficult as that would be, is probably the only realistic path to a playoff berth for this team.
“We definitely going to try win out,” tight end Gerald Everett said. “Because we want to get back to playing championship football, and that’s what we talk about every day. It’s just a matter of time before we get back to actually doing it.”
— Starting offensive linemen Damien Lewis (elbow) and Brandon Shell (shoulder) did not participate in practice Friday afternoon at the VMAC. Also out were running backs Rashaad Penny (hamstring) and Travis Homer (calf), plus backup QB Geno Smith (back) and backup tackle Jamarco Jones (back).
— It appears there could be encouraging news for the health of the Seahawks defensive secondary. Starting cornerback D.J. Reed, who missed the Arizona game with a knee injury, was a limited participant in Friday’s practice. Safety Jamal Adams (groin) and cornerback Sidney Jones (shoulder) were officially listed as full participants.