Seahawks seek to improve league-worst red zone scoring offense
It's not a single point that Seattle's offense is seeking to improve this week. It's six points — that's what the Seahawks are looking...
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — It's not a single point that Seattle's offense is seeking to improve this week.
It's six points — that's what the Seahawks are looking for when they get inside the opponent's 20-yard line, instead of settling for the field goals, as their habit has become.
The red zone has been Seattle's Bermuda Triangle this season, the offense missing the end zone repeatedly once the Seahawks are in scoring position. Of Seattle's 14 possessions inside the opponent's 20-yard line, Seattle has scored a touchdown on four of them, the lowest percentage of any team in the league.
And with Seattle preparing to face the league's top-scoring offense on Sunday, it can't afford to settle for three points when it gets close, which means the emphasis this week is on improving the offense's short game.
"We're doing a pretty decent job of moving the ball down the field and getting to the red zone," said Darrell Bevell, Seattle's offensive coordinator. "Now we're not finishing those with touchdowns, and we've got to do that at a better rate."
The Seahawks have scored 86 points this season, their lowest total through five games since 2001. Carroll said converting just one more red-zone opportunity into a touchdown each week would go a long way toward alleviating some late-game drama, which has resulted in four games decided by six points or fewer.
"We need another touchdown a game and the games would be so much different," Carroll said. "Four more points in each game makes such a difference."
Center Max Unger did not practice Wednesday because of a hip injury, but Carroll said the team thinks he'll be available for Sunday's game against New England.
"We'll have to go day by day," Carroll said.
Guard John Moffitt, however, has already been ruled out for his third consecutive game because of a knee injury. Defensive tackle Clinton McDonald also missed Wednesday's practice after suffering a groin injury that kept him from playing the second half of Sunday's game.
Thurmond a week away
Cornerback Walter Thurmond is eligible to begin practicing for the Seahawks next week, and may be active as soon as Seattle's game at San Francisco on Oct. 18.
"He's really cranked up and ready to go," Carroll said. "We've really encouraged him to work really hard in his rehab so that when he gets back, he's ready to play."
Thurmond suffered a broken leg last year in Seattle's Week 7 loss at Cleveland and suffered a setback in the offseason that required additional surgery. He is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, and doesn't count against the 53-man limit on the active roster. Players on the PUP list can begin practicing with their team after its sixth game, and there is a three-week window for the team to activate the player, release him or place him on injured reserve.
Thurmond was Seattle's fourth-round pick out of Oregon in 2010, and he began last season as the team's third cornerback, playing in passing situations. He became a starter after Marcus Trufant suffered a back injury after four games.
"We think he's a very fine football player, and would really help us," Carroll said.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @dannyoneil