In their hushed locker room, the Seahawks had far more adjectives than positives.
Pete Carroll called it “miserable” and “terrible.”
K.J. Wright thought it was “kind of embarrassing.”
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Cliff Avril found it “humbling.”
Richard Sherman saw it as a “wake-up call.”
And Russell Wilson? “It’s on me.”
“It” was the Seahawks’ alarmingly awful loss, 38-10, to the previously .500 Green Bay Packers.
“It” was a Sunday when the Seahawks were left wishing the snow was their biggest issue.
Wilson uncharacteristically threw over the heads and beneath the feet of open receivers. He threw back across his body and across the field to the goal line, with a defender waiting for him to do just that. He threw into the arms of Packers five times. It was his first career game with five interceptions. Green Bay turned three of them into touchdowns.
Before it became a runaway rarely seen in the Carroll Era, Seattle’s defense stayed primarily in a nickel defense. Green Bay exploited that with big runs early. And Seattle stayed in a four-man pass rush. That gave Aaron Rodgers far more time than a two-time league MVP should ever get.
Almost 3 1/2 months into this puzzling season, this much is as clear: When Seattle’s offense is bad, it is really bad.
This time, it led to the Seahawks’ worst loss in six years.
Sunday ended Seattle’s NFL record of 95 straight games of not losing by more than 10 points.
“It sucked to lose like this,” middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said.
Then Wagner recited the theme Carroll gave his guys after this face-plant that was even worse than the 14-5 loss at Tampa Bay two weeks earlier.
“But we play on Thursday, we’ve got to get re-focused quick — and make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.
“We don’t have to wait until Sunday to get this off our brains.”
Thursday night is at home against Los Angeles. The Rams are 4-9. Of course, one of those four wins was against the Seahawks in September, 9-3.
That was back when Wilson had a high-ankle sprain. He couldn’t run, and the offense stayed limited for him.
No such excuses now. He’s healthy and ran decisively early when Green Bay’s pass rush reached him — though he’s still wearing a titanium brace over the left knee he sprained Sept. 25 against San Francisco.
“Like I said, it’s just on me,” Wilson said. “We’ll get better.
“We had opportunities and we just missed them. We didn’t hit them, for whatever reason.”
The Seahawks blew their chance to clinch the NFC West title. And they lost their hold on the No. 2 playoff seed in the conference.
Seattle (8-4-1) would have clinched the division with a win, because Arizona (5-7-1) lost earlier at Miami. Instead, Seattle fell to the No. 3 seed in the conference. Detroit (9-4) won earlier Sunday to move to No. 2.
The top two seeds get a first-round bye and home game in the second round of the NFC playoffs the second full weekend of January.
With Atlanta’s win, Seattle is just a half-game up on the Falcons for the No. 3 playoff seed in the NFC.
The field, thanks to pregame cover during a five-inch Wisconsin snowfall, was clear.
So was the Seahawks’ ineptitude.
They had six turnovers. Wilson’s five interceptions were the most by a Seahawks quarterback since Nov. 28, 1999, when Jon Kitna threw five against Tampa Bay.
Wilson has eight interceptions in his past three games. He had just two in his first 10 games.
Wilson completed 22 of 39 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown. His passer rating was 43.7, not far above his career low of 38.7 in his rookie season of 2012 at San Francisco, and 38.8 two weeks ago against the Buccaneers. Two of his interceptions clanged off hands. A third came when tight end Jimmy Graham fell down as the intended target.
“He had a hard time tonight,” Carroll said of Wilson.
“The thing just snowballed on him, on us. And it just turned out to be a terrible night.”
A touchdown pass from Wilson to undrafted rookie Tanner McEvoy, who made a nice catch in the back of the end zone with 8:21 left in the game, kept this from the largest margin of Seahawks defeat in the Carroll era.
That was Seattle’s first road touchdown in eight quarters, since the victory last month at New England.
The Seahawks’ only bigger margin of defeat since Carroll became their coach was in his first season of the franchise’s overhaul: 41-7 to the New York Giants on Nov. 7, 2010.
“Yeah, it was a different feeling — for all of us,” Carroll said Sunday. “We don’t remember those days. How many years ago was that?
“We’ve had a remarkable run. It’s the kind of stat that you really don’t want to be proud of, but it is a remarkable run.
“We need to move on as quickly as we can. And, fortunately, it’s Thursday night.”
The offense Sunday looked like Seattle’s in L.A. in September. And the one in Tampa Bay last month. And the one that tied Arizona 6-6 through four quarters plus an entire overtime period.
Seattle managed 199 yards through three quarters Sunday, before garbage-time movement.
Wilson had as bad of a first half as the Seahawks had gotten from him in many moons. He was 8 for 16 passing for 90 yards and two interceptions, a rating of 27.6. He overthrew Doug Baldwin on what could have been a touchdown on Seattle’s first drive. On its second, he overthrew Graham on another potential score.
Early in the second quarter, Wilson threw to Graham over the middle with Packers safety Morgan Burnett in tight coverage. Graham tripped over Burnett’s feet and fell; the safety intercepted the pass and returned it to the Seahawks 26.
Ty Montgomery ran for a 1-yard for a touchdown four plays later to put the Packers up 14-3.
“You know, he missed a couple of deep balls he normally hits,” Carroll said of Wilson. “Those would have been great opportunities for us early in the game, when we would’ve been able to hang with them and stay with it. It could have been entirely different.”
The Seahawks went three and out on offense, with Wilson badly missing running back Thomas Rawls on a simple swing pass then getting sacked on third and 8. Rodgers then threw his first of two touchdown passes to Jordy Nelson. Green Bay led 21-3.
Seattle moved to the Green Bay 40 with 34 seconds left in the half. Then Wilson scrambled left. He threw right across his body and the field towards Baldwin, who had drifted to the goal line on the right. That unorthodox trick worked for Wilson and Baldwin last month at New England for a TD just before halftime, in one of Seattle’s two wins in seven road games.
This time Green Bay cornerback Damarious Randall was waiting for the throw. Randall ran back and intercepted it at the goal line.
So the Seahawks trailed 21-3 at halftime. And they got no closer.
The defense that came in leading the league in points allowed (16.2 per game) permitted Rodgers to complete 18 of 23 throws for 246 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating of 150.8 was the highest against the Seahawks since Carroll, a former defensive back and secondary coach, took over the franchise.
“It’s a humbling moment,” Avril said. “Humble yourself — and get back to the drawing board.
“You can never be complacent in this game. This is one of the most humbling games in sports you can play.”
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle