RENTON – Having lost what seems like nearly every three-time-zone trip in franchise history, the Seattle Seahawks have tried any number of approaches to break the trend.
On Sunday, they brought something very important with them when they faced the New York Giants.
They started quickly, finished strong and acted as if they belonged there.
“The single most important thing was the energy and attitude to play that aggressively throughout the whole game, just like when we play at home,” coach Pete Carroll said Monday. “That’s really an accomplishment in itself that we need to hang onto.”
Here’s a theory: The youth and inexperience of this team surely costs them penalties and mistakes, but maybe it works in their favor, too. These guys don’t remember that they’re supposed to lose games like this.
Eastern time zone … a 3-1 opponent … fall behind late in the game. Anybody who’s been around knows that’s a recipe for a Sea-hawks defeat.
But that is not part of the institutional history of the the team’s majority anymore.
And the great part of that for the Seahawks is this fresh attitude can become a building block to a new history. Go on the road, overcome injuries and mistakes? Sure, we did that at New York that time.
“The guys were focused, they stayed in it, they brought the attitude you need to have to play in this league,” Carroll said. “A road game, with a huge crowd and a great (opponent) … we started fast and we were able to sustain the energy throughout the game regardless what happened.”
What happened was a 36-25 upset over a Giants team that was a 10-point favorite.
Monday, Carroll also had to sort through some of the physical costs of the victory, which brought the team to its bye week with a 2-3 record.
Most significantly, starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson suffered a “high-grade sprain” of his right pectoral muscle. “The MRI showed there was some stuff there,” Carroll said in his customarily vague report on player injuries. “We just have to see how he responds.” Jackson is not expected to practice this week, but Carroll said he’s “wait-and-see” about further speculation.
Jackson was coming off his best game, against Atlanta the previous week, and had driven the Hawks to a lead with a strong early performance against the Giants. Then he became a sad example why it is unwise to ask NFL quarterbacks to run option keepers.
Charlie Whitehurst played well in relief and got the save.
“In the event (Jackson) can’t play, Charlie is ready to go,” Carroll said. “We got a really good performance from Charlie.”
If the Seahawks are considering bringing in a veteran quarterback as insurance against Jackson missing much time, Carroll would not say so, contending that he was confident in rookie Josh Portis stepping in as the backup to Whitehurst.
Jackson will be joined on the sideline by a number of banged up Seahawks, leaving Carroll to celebrate the timing of the bye week.
“We need a break right now,” he said. “There’s a bunch of guys that need this rest … coaches included.”
Running back Marshawn Lynch will rest an ankle sprain, while cornerback Marcus Trufant (lower back) and tight end Zach Miller (neck) had test Monday and Carroll was awaiting results before reporting their conditions.
Linebacker Leroy Hill has a mild hamstring injury, while linebacker Jameson Konz will need surgery after damaging his ACL, Carroll said.
Aside from the injuries, the turnovers and penalties were troubling, but in some ways, they’re to be expected.
“There were a lot of things in this game that were regrettable,” Carroll said. “These guys are learning … there’s a tremendous intensity on this team.
“I see we’re going in the right direction,” he said. “Seeing the young guys gaining from their experience and feeling better about their play. They’re more aggressive and they’re tougher and more confident just because they know what they’re doing.”
And they’re not worried about the historical problems of Seahawks predecessors.
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 firstname.lastname@example.org