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Originally published October 25, 2014 at 5:45 PM | Page modified October 26, 2014 at 4:16 PM

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Seahawks get chance to affirm their confidence

After losing back-to-back games for the first time since Oct., 2012, the only way for the Seahawks to prove that things are truly not that bad is to win at Carolina on Sunday at 10 a.m.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Seahawks were once again the focus of the NFL world this week, media descending on the VMAC in numbers to rival the Super Bowl run.

This time, though, they came with a much different question — what’s wrong with the Seahawks?

Nothing really, the Seahawks insisted.

They shrugged off talk of locker-room division, said they were past any shock from the Percy Harvin trade, and that the 3-3 record is just a play or two away from being 5-1.

“I think the team is still confident in what we can do, still confident in our abilities,’’ said cornerback Richard Sherman. “I think our team is fine and understands what we need to do to turn it around, and we’re confident in our ability to do that.’’

The Seahawks, though, also know that the time has come to turn talk into action.

After losing back-to-back games for the first time since October 2012, the only way for the Seahawks to prove that things are truly not that bad is to win at Carolina on Sunday at 10 a.m.

With home games the next two weeks against the winless Raiders and so-so Giants, the chance for Seattle to get well is there. But if the Seahawks lose to the Panthers, the playoffs might become a longshot.

“In games like we’ve had these last couple of weeks, it’s just a few plays here and there,’’ Sherman said. “I think all games are lost off a few plays.’’

Still, the last few weeks have shown cracks in the foundation, the Harvin drama aside.

Seattle has forced just five turnovers, fewer than all but three other teams in the NFL, a season after leading the league with 39. That includes just two interceptions, a year after making 28.

And Seattle’s pass defense, such a terror in 2013, is allowing quarterbacks to complete 68.4 percent of passes compared to 59.0 last year, with a passing efficiency rating of 103.7, compared to 63.4. Seattle also has allowed 12 touchdown passes compared to 16 all last season.

Safety Earl Thomas, though, says it’s nothing the Seahawks can’t fix.

“It’s strictly on us,’’ he said. “We’re just not being disciplined. We’re not seeing it all the way through. We’re not finishing plays; we’re not finishing games as far as the defensive side of the ball. ’’

The offense has more resembled last year’s team than the more-heralded defense. Seattle is averaging 26.5 points per game (26.0 a year ago) and 357 yards a game (339 a year ago).

And it’s coming off its best performance of the season, a 463-yard effort against St. Louis that included three touchdown drives of 80 yards or longer in the second half as the Seahawks appeared to finally find their post-Harvin rhythm.

One observer who agrees that maybe the Seahawks aren’t that far away is Louis Riddick, an ESPN football analyst and former player.

“It’s funny,’’ he said. “Right now, because they were so damn dominant last year, everybody across the nation is like, ‘Oh, my God, Seattle is going to go down. This is going to be the most epic collapse ever.’

“But I don’t see it that way. I still think they’re good enough to do what they need to do. There are just some uncharacteristic things that are happening to them this year from a mental standpoint that you just didn’t see last year. They have to get that tightened up — fast — because they just don’t have the same margin for error that they did a year ago.”

Coach Pete Carroll insists nothing has changed in the mentality of his team.

“I think the guys have come back very determined to show that they’re ready to move ahead and make this a very successful season,’’ he said Friday. “Their energy, their attention to detail, the way they’re hanging out and getting along looks great. It looks just like it should.’’

Coleman on IR; WR Bates promoted

The Seahawks made a roster move Saturday, putting fullback Derrick Coleman on injured reserve and promoting receiver Phil Bates to the 53-man roster to take his place.

Coleman broke his foot during pregame warmups last Sunday in St. Louis and had surgery on Wednesday, which Carroll had said would take at least six weeks to heal. Putting him on IR means his season is over.



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