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Originally published Monday, October 3, 2011 at 8:00 PM

Seahawks trying to figure out a way to start faster

The Seahawks have looked like a different — and better — team in the second halves of games this season.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Sunday

Seahawks @ New York Giants, 10 a.m.

quotes "We have not been able to get started quickly", Carroll said. Historically... Read more
quotes "What I'm seeing is that the coaches are really good at making halftime... Read more
quotes "Turning around a 1-3 record is going to require that Seattle starts playing a com... Read more

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RENTON — The Seahawks are one-quarter of the way through the season, but it's the first half that has coach Pete Carroll's full attention.

Specifically, the first two quarters of games.

"We have not been able to get started quickly," Carroll said.

The Seahawks haven't been great at stopping opponents in the first half, either. At least they weren't Sunday against Atlanta when the difference in their performance from the first half to the second was so dramatic it was impossible to miss.

"It's surprising that the game could be so different," Carroll said.

But not entirely shocking. Seattle has played better in the second half on both sides of the ball, a dichotomy that is strikingly illustrated by the statistics.

The Seahawks offense has scored seven touchdowns so far this season, only one in the first half. The defense, meanwhile, has only allowed one touchdown in the second half. That shows a staying power that is surprising given Seattle's utter inability to sustain an offense in the first half, which has left the defense on the field for too long. Against Atlanta on Sunday, the Falcons held the ball twice as long as the Seahawks in the first half.

Yet Seattle's defense has gotten stronger as the game progresses, a fact strikingly illustrated by the fact that opponents average 4 yards per rush against Seattle in the first half, and 2.3 yards per carry in the second.

Turning around a 1-3 record is going to require that Seattle starts playing a complete game. The Seahawks have held one first-half lead all season. It was three points against Arizona, and it lasted for all of five minutes.

"I'm never one that relies on fast starts, that you have to have those," Carroll said. "But at this time, we need to do better than we're doing."

How can Seattle do that?

Well, the Seahawks might have provided the answer to their own question Sunday. They shifted into a hurry-up offense in the second half against Atlanta, huddling only every five plays or so and pushing the tempo.

Seattle scored three touchdowns in the span of a quarter and a half against the Falcons, matching the Seahawks' total touchdowns from the first three games combined.

Seahawks to sign LB David Vobora

The Seahawks are expected to sign David Vobora, providing a versatile backup linebacker and special-teams mainstay with linebacker Matt McCoy out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Vobora was with the team in training camp, and was on the roster after the initial cut to 53 players. Seattle released him after claiming four players off waivers.

Notes

• There was no update on the status of receiver Mike Williams (head), DL Anthony Hargrove (hamstring) or LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring). G Robert Gallery is expected to begin practicing with the team after the bye week, returning from groin surgery.

Half and half
Breaking down the Seahawks' performance by the first and second halves makes it clear that Seattle isn't entirely bad:
Offense 1st half 2nd
Points 3.3 11.3
Total offense 96 158
Passing yds 66 120.5
Rushing yds 30 37.5
Defense 1st half 2nd
*Points allowed 16.8 4.0
Total yds allowed 197.5 144
Pass yds allowed 128.3 108.3
Rush yds allowed 69.3 35.8
*Special teams have allowed two TDs

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