It’s the little things like penalties that continue to be a thorn in the side of the Seattle Seahawks.
One of the youngest teams in the league, the inexperienced Seahawks stubbed their toes with needless penalties at critical times that stalled drives on offense and kept their defense on the field.
Heading into the game against Cincinnati, the Sea-hawks had 62 penalties this season, fifth in the league. That figure ballooned Sunday when Seattle racked up another 11 accepted penalties for 80 yards, leaving coach Pete Carroll scratching his head in bewilderment.
“You can also see that we’re still growing because we had four penalties again at the line of scrimmage today – four false starts,” Carroll said. “And that just has to go away. That just has to leave our play. And it hasn’t happened yet.”
Added veteran offensive lineman Robert Gallery: “For whatever reason we seem to have a few of those and they come at key times. And that’s just growing pains and something we’ve got to fix and move on.”
Along with the false starts, the Seahawks got flagged again for aggressive play on defense. Cornerback Brandon Browner earned a personal foul for flipping receiver Jerome Simpson over his back after the whistle. Browner has a team-leading nine penalties this season.
“We’ve got to be disciplined,” Seattle defensive back Roy Lewis said. “We can’t take ourselves out of the game. We can’t allow those guys to get into our heads to do stupid and foolish penalties. And it goes for both sides of the ball, defense and offense.”
Seattle’s young secondary got even younger when rookie cornerback Richard Sherman made his first career start on Sunday. But Sherman was hardly a liability.
He made a nice play on receiver A.J. Green and out-jumped him for an interception in the third quarter. On the Bengals’ next series, he broke up a pass intended for Green and strong safety Kam Chancellor plucked the ball out of the air for another interception. It was Chancellor’s team-leading third interception this season.
“He did great, he held up out there,” free safety Earl Thomas said. “He came up with a big pick, came up with tackles. He got in a zone.”
A surprise on the inactive list on Sunday was wide receiver Mike Williams. Carroll said that Williams had a hamstring issue, and the team was concerned if he’d make it through the game. Williams did not appear on the injury report this week. Ben Obomanu, starting in place of Williams, finished with four catches for 107 yards. Good timing, too. Obomanu celebrated his 28th birthday on Sunday. … Other Seattle players on the inactive list included quarterback Josh Portis, safety Jeron Johnson, cornerbacks Ron Parker and Kennard Cox and defensive tackle Al Woods. … The Bengals earned their fourth straight victory and won for the first time on the West Coast since 2003. … Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis became the team leader in career wins with his 65th victory. … Former Seattle cornerback Kelly Jennings finished with three tackles for Cincinnati, while Seattle native and USC product Taylor Mays totaled one tackle on special teams. Mays is the son of Stafford Mays, a former Lincoln High and University of Washington star.