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Originally published October 6, 2011 at 8:02 PM | Page modified October 7, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Seahawks wrestling with lack of turnovers this season

With the offense stalled, the defense needs to create more take-aways, coach Pete Carroll says.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Pete Carroll, a defensive-minded coach, understands the importance of creating turnovers.

What he doesn't get is why the Seahawks have generated just two take-aways this season. Among the NFL's 32 teams, only Pittsburgh has fewer turnovers.

"It's one of my most frustrating issues because we understand how important it is and how it works toward winning," he said. "We're trying to do everything we can."

The lack of turnovers becomes an issue especially when the offense ranks last in total offense, 31st in rushing yards, 29th in points per game and 28th in passing yards.

"Turnovers means you're getting off the field and giving the ball back to the offense," safety Earl Thomas said. "Anytime that happens, it's a win for the defense."

But Seattle has just two interceptions, which Carroll believes is a byproduct of an inconsistent pass rush that has produced just five sacks and ranks 28th in the league.

"When you don't affect the quarterback and you're not getting to him — we didn't get any sacks last week — that's where most of it starts," Carroll said. "We're ripping at the ball. We're doing other things to try to get the ball away from guys when they're carrying it.

"But it's the quarterback position that's really the vulnerable spot — forcing him to throw the ball poorly or make a mistake or to knock the ball out of his hands."

If the Seahawks (1-3) were playing the New York Giants circa 2010, they'd have a good chance to rectify their problems Sunday in the Meadowlands.

However, the Giants (3-1) and quarterback Eli Manning have seemingly corrected last season's turnover problem. A year ago, Manning led the league with 25 interceptions. This year he has two.

"They're doing a nice job of not giving the ball up. They had a little trouble last year with a lot of turnovers and they're not doing that now," Carroll said. "If we can't affect his play, then they're going to be successful."

Notes

• TE Zach Miller (knee) and S Kam Chancellor (thigh) returned to practice. Miller participated without restrictions and is still questionable for Sunday, while Chancellor was limited. It's unclear if Chancellor will return from the one-game layoff.

• CB Marcus Trufant (back), WR Mike Williams (concussion) and LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring) did not practice.

Percy Allen: pallen@seattletimes.com

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