Seahawks struggle with San Diego heat against Chargers
The heat, the Seahawks insisted later, was not an excuse for the team’s 30-21 loss to the Chargers Sunday. Three Seattle players left the game due to cramps caused by the heat — cornerback Bryon Maxwell and safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
Seattle Times staff reporter
SAN DIEGO — The heat, the Seahawks insisted later, was not an excuse for the team’s 30-21 defeat against the Chargers on Sunday.
It was definitely an issue, though, with an official game-time temperature of 94 degrees taking its toll.
Three Seattle players left the game due to cramps caused by the heat — cornerback Bryon Maxwell and safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
Thomas, who played his college ball at Texas, where he also grew up, said it was something he had never before experienced.
“That’s the first time that ever happened to me,” he said. “It took me out, so it was a big issue. I exert a lot of energy out there, especially coming from the deep middle, trying to chase the ball. … Just got to get back out there as quickly as possible.”
Thomas had a quick IV in the locker room and returned. Chancellor and Maxwell also returned to play after visits to the locker room.
Chancellor said he was bothered by the cramps from the second quarter on.
“It’s something I’ve had before,’’ Chancellor said. “Just something I’ve got to battle through and just learn from it for the next time.”
Said Seattle coach Pete Carroll: “It was hot today. But they were playing in it also. Unfortunately, the game wasn’t balanced out. We had a ton of plays on defense, that wears them down, too. It was a factor in the game, but I don’t think that was the deciding factor in this football game.”
Review needed on Harvin TD
Seattle caught a break Sunday with its first touchdown — a 51-yard run by receiver Percy Harvin.
Harvin appeared to step out of bounds at the 21-yard line and an NFL spokesman said later the play should have been reviewed. Instead, there was no review and the play was allowed to stand.
Said the NFL in a statement: “All scoring plays are reviewed by the instant replay official, in conjunction with the NFL officiating staff in New York, and are not subject to a coach’s challenge. Following the first-quarter touchdown run by Percy Harvin, the game should have been stopped for a replay review, either by the replay official or by the officiating staff in New York. The touchdown was incorrectly confirmed, and as a result, the game was not stopped. Had the game been stopped for a replay review, the touchdown would have been reversed because Harvin stepped out of bounds at the San Diego 21-yard line.’’
The touchdown came on a play that was a new wrinkle in the Seattle offense that had Marshawn Lynch lining up at fullback with Harvin as a tailback in an I-formation. Quarterback Russell Wilson faked a handoff to Lynch, then flipped the ball to Harvin, who sprinted down the sideline for the score helped by a lead block from fellow receiver Doug Baldwin.
“The first read was Marshawn up the middle,” Harvin said. “Everybody crashed down on him and Russell felt I could get to the edge. Once he pitched it, Doug did a heck of a job on the block.”
Burley stands in at defensive back
One of the big questions entering the game was how Marcus Burley would fare in his first game as the team’s primary nickelback. While the Seahawks lost, Burley appeared to hold his own, making six tackles, two coming on runs in the span of three plays in the third quarter on a drive in which Seattle forced a punt.
“The opportunity presented itself,” Burley said. “I had to be ready, so I took it as an opportunity.”
Protection an issue?
Wilson was sacked twice in the first half, and while he evaded capture in the second half, it was often due to his ability to get away from the pressure.
Carroll said some of the issues came from miscommunication.
“We made a few mistakes,’’ Carroll said.
Said guard J.R. Sweezy: “Just couldn’t get going. I don’t know why.”
Assistant coach Ruel treated
Seattle assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel was transported from the locker room after the game to a local hospital and was being treated for an irregular heartbeat, according to a spokesman with the Seahawks.
Ruel, 63, has been with the Seahawks since 2010.
He also was offensive-line coach at Washington State from 1979 to 1981 and offensive coordinator 1980-81.
• Other than the cramping issues, the Seahawks did not have any injuries.
• Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright summed up the game this way: “They were pretty perfect today. They got the best of us. And you know, we got our (butt) kicked.’’