Seneca Wallace's streak without an interception ends
The streak was bound to end one of these days, and it did on the second play from scrimmage. Seahawks quarterback Seneca Wallace threw a...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Dates and times to be determined
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The streak was bound to end one of these days, and it did on the second play from scrimmage.
Seahawks quarterback Seneca Wallace threw a pass for wide receiver Bobby Engram, but it wasn't on target and was picked off by Arizona cornerback Ralph Brown. Until that interception, Wallace had 184 straight pass attempts without throwing one to the other team — a Seahawks record.
Wallace was picked off again later in the Seahawks' 34-21 loss to the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. He ended the day completing 24 of 43 passes for 250 yards, including two touchdown passes to Deion Branch.
Wallace made seven starts this season in place of the injured Matt Hasselbeck, and played his best when he was healthy toward the end of the year. Along the way he dealt with various aches and pains, as well as an offensive line made up entirely of backups that sometimes had Wallace scrambling out of the pocket just to try and make something happen.
He also led the Seahawks to a pair of wins in the final three games of the season.
"I wanted to go out and just have fun and prove some things," said Wallace, who on Sunday had season highs in completions, attempts and yards. "What did I prove? Some people think I can't play and things like that. Still some doubters out there, I'm pretty sure. [I'm] just going out there and playing every Sunday and trying to make plays and win games."
The Seahawks' loss got them the fourth overall pick in April's draft. They matched Cleveland with a 4-12 record, but got the higher selection based on strength of schedule.
Seattle will pick after Detroit, St. Louis and Kansas City.
As for the Seahawks' 2008 draft class, the standout clearly was second-round tight end John Carlson, who ended the season with 55 catches for 627 yards after his two grabs Sunday. Carlson became just the second Seahawks rookie ever to lead the team in catches and yards, joining Steve Largent (1976).
Carlson also set season marks for most catches and yards by a Seahawks tight end.
First-round pick Lawrence Jackson, a defensive end, started 14 of 16 games this season and ended up with 29 total tackles and two sacks — not exactly great numbers for such a high pick. Fourth-round pick Red Bryant, a defensive tackle, had eight total tackles and was inactive for 12 games. Fullback Owen Schmitt, a fifth-round pick, appeared in 15 games and was mainly a special-teams contributor. He won the special-teams game ball from the Dec. 21 win over the New York Jets.
Long snapper Tyler Schmitt never played this season after going on injured reserve in August. Kicker Brandon Coutu was too highly regarded to keep off the 53-man active roster in 2008, but he never appeared in a game. And running back Justin Forsett, a seventh-round pick, was released, re-signed and ended up playing in 10 games as a return specialist.
Branch scores big
Branch missed eight games this season due to a pair of knee injuries, but came on late in the season. He had his best game of 2008 on Sunday, setting season highs with six catches for 90 yards and his second two-touchdown game of the year.
He finished the season with 30 catches for 412 yards and four scores. He credited Wallace with good throws on both of Sunday's touchdown catches.
The first one floated into his hands from 30 yards out as the Cardinals' Roderick Hood face-guarded him.
"I just wanted to give it a shot and hope Deion would make a play, and he did," Wallace said.
The second touchdown came on fourth down, at a time in the fourth quarter when the Seahawks trailed by 14. Branch was by himself in the back of the end zone.
"He did a great job of getting open," Wallace said.
Herring hangs tough
Outside linebacker Will Herring started the final two games of the season. The second-year pro made his mark on special teams in 2007, than started 2008 on the physically-unable-to-perform list and missed six games. By Week 16, the Seahawks had lost both starter Leroy Hill and his backup, D.D. Lewis, to injuries, and Herring got the call.
He had four solo tackles Sunday and leveled the Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald with a hard hit after a catch.
"It was great," Herring said of his chance to play so much. "It was a huge learning experience, and I'm ready to carry it over into this offseason and work on things I need to work on."
Herring said he felt ready to play in part because of what he absorbed during the season from starters Hill, Lofa Tatupu and Julian Peterson.
Sub out, sub in
A month ago, Na'Shan Goddard was on the New York Giants' practice squad. Sunday, he was on the field for the Seahawks, pressed into service with the starting offensive line because Kyle Williams went out in the fourth quarter with a concussion.
Goddard took over at left tackle; on his first series, he was called for a false start and holding.
"Everything is just a lot faster, and I just have to do better. That's all I can say," Goddard said. "I settled down a lot that second series."
Goddard was replacing another backup in Williams. For the past two games, the Seahawks didn't have a projected starter in the lineup on the offensive line.
"It's crazy, but you've got to be ready for it," Goddard said.
• Tatupu's second-quarter interception was his first of the season. He finished the season as the Seahawks' leader in total tackles with 94. It's the fourth straight season Tatupu has led Seattle in tackles.
• The Seahawks lost for just the second time in 14 games when RB Maurice Morris has 15 or more rushing attempts. He had 15 carries for 45 yards Sunday.
• After his five-catch, 130-yard performance, Arizona's Fitzgerald said that he had been begging his coaches to give him a couple of shots downfield. The pleading paid off. Also, teammate Steve Breaston's 91 yards gave him 1,016 for the season and made him the third Cardinals receiver to top 1,000 yards this season, joining Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.
• Former Seahawk Jerheme Urban caught four passes, including a touchdown, for Arizona.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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UPDATE - 07:23 AM
NFL, union resume labor talks at mediator's office