On the way back from San Diego. The Seahawks got home last night on their charter flight.
Coach Pete Carroll will have his weekly, day-after press conference today at 3 p.m. in Renton. I hope to get word then on the condition of Seahawks' assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel. He stayed last night at a San Diego hospital after being taken out of the locker room to there following the game because of an irregular heart beat.
The NFL's official snap counts from yesterday's game show the entire offensive line played every snap for the second consecutive week. Of course, the Seahawks offense only ran 40 plays Sunday. San Diego's offense piled up 25 first downs, 10 of 17 third-down conversions and more than 42 minutes out of a possible 60 of possession time against a Seahawks defense that pretty much melted with the on-field temperature up to 120 degrees by one count.
The outdoor press box at Qualcomm Stadium helps me conclude that was the hottest NFL game I've covered or attended -- and, yes, I've been at games inside Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., and in Miami.
Richard Sherman is taking some flak -- including from the Chargers and wide receiver Keenan Allen -- for San Diego's Philip Rivers going 3 for 3 passing to Allen against Sherman during Sunday's first half. But Sherman and linebacker Bobby Wagner, who was great again with 10 tackles while covering the entire field, were the only Seahawks to play all 82 snaps on defense.
Linebacker Mike Morgan continued to be a special-teams mainstay, with 25 snaps in the kicking game, 89 percent of all Seattle special-teams plays on Sunday.
OFFENSE out of 40 SNAPS
DEFENSE out of 82 SNAPS
Earl Thomas 77
Josh Thomas 1
--The Seahawks' pet play of the opener failed them in Week 2, but at least Percy Harvin sounded and seemed fine after limping off with 3 minutes left. San Diego cornerback Shareece Wright took Harvin's valuable legs out from under him on a fly sweep from Seattle's own 11 with the Seahawks trailing 27-21.
Harvin said he knew that play, the only time he ran the fly sweep that was so successful previous week against Green Bay, was doomed from the start yesterday.
"They snuffed it out pretty good," Harvin said. "I saw when I went in motion the guy that was covering me was pointing to the other side of the field telling his guys to shoot the gap (off left end). I knew it was going be a difficult (play)."
So the Chargers watch game film, too.
The Chargers' pass rush then teed off on quarterback Russell Wilson on the next three plays with the game on the line. That forced Wilson to dump passes he didn't want to throw off to Marshawn Lynch for negligible gains. On fourth and 11 Wilson was pressured into overthrowing double-covered Jermaine Kearse down the right sideline. That essentially ended the game.
Harvin still had his fun in the zone read-option game, though. In the first quarter Lynch lined up at fullback in front of Harvin the tailback. Wilson faked a handoff to Lynch and then in one motion flipped the ball with his left hand outside to his usual wide receiver. Harvin motored past every Charger as if they were lamp posts, and got the only block he needed downfield from Doug Baldwin for a 51-yard touchdown. He was apparently even too fast for the replay officials, who missed that Harvin stepped on the sideline boundary at about the 20. Harvin's first touchdown of the season gave Seattle its only lead, 7-3.
--By the way, why in the name of Don Coryell did Chargers coach Mike McCoy choose to kick that field goal with 20 seconds left and his team up by six points, after Rivers had taken a knee on the three previous snaps? At that moment a blocked field goal, a scoop and a score was Seattle's only hope to win. Even if the Chargers had turned the ball over on downs there, the Seahawks would have had 90 yards to go to win the game with no time outs and 16 seconds left. Any NFL defense that can't prevent a score in that situation should be in junior high.
Carroll had run out onto the field during Seattle's final timeout to instruct his edge guys to swoop in on Rivers and force the QB to kneel down sooner or perhaps take a swipe at the ball if Rivers continued to stall before going down on a knee.
--Here is my game story, focusing on how and why the Seahawks' defense could not get off the Qualcomm Stadium field yesterday.
--The Seahawks notebook leads with my idea that the hurry-up offense was the only thing that got the Seahawks going on that side of the ball yesterday. Might it be the way Seattle goes on offense more in the future, perhaps as early as Sunday at home against Denver?
--Columnist Dave Boling saw how there was far more than the heat that cost Seattle the game in San Diego. And besides, the Chargers played in the same temperature.
--Boling also wrote how Seattle's usually booming defensive secondary got burned.
--Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times pinpointed three mistakes that torpedoed Seattle's comeback, including Harvin's fumble on a kickoff and guard J.R. Sweezy's false-start penalty that turned a third and 10 into third and 15 in the fourth quarter. Wilson scrambled for 14 yards on the next play, then the Seahawks punted.
--Terry Blount of espn.com says the Seahawks "wilted in the heat." Blount, by the way, did not. He admirably kept on his sports coat inside the oven of the postgame locker room and interview room (I ditched mine, very bad day for a coat and tie. It had to have been 349 degrees in that postgame interview room.)
--Here are some video highlights of the game -- with a story by Gregg Rosenthal of nfl.com that says it took a perfect game by the Chargers to beat Seattle. Not sure they were perfect -- San Diego's defense had holes and a lack of speed that the Seahawks exploited on the relatively limited chances they got on offense. But Rivers threw the ball as well as a quarterback has in a minute against Seattle's top-ranked defense. He was accurate, lofted perfect touch passes twice to Gates for scores and moved away from sacks to complete passes throughout most of the second half.
As defensive end Michael Bennett, who had the only sack and only three hits on Rivers, told me: "Philip Rivers played great. (Antonio) Gates played great. They beat us."
--Speaking of great, it was that to see Eric Williams, now espn.com's Chargers writer, yesterday. He sat about 15 feet to my right in the press box. I passed along this blog's regards, and told him you all missed him dearly -- especially since I've taken over the beat(!) He said his family loves living in San Diego (heck, why wouldn't they?).
And, yes, Eric was still rockin' the gray sweater vest and tie, even on the 95-degree day.