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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

October 1, 2012 at 6:02 AM

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Onside kick reveals growing desperation for points

Seahawks offense just not getting the job done
By Jerry Brewer | The Seattle Times

Seahawks passing game holding the offense back
By Danny O'Neil | The Seattle Times

" We saw something that we wanted to take advantage of, and unfortunately, we had our chance at it. They came up with it and we didn't. It's a risk. It's giving them a 50-yard kickoff return so it's a risk, of course, but we liked our chances and we'll look for that opportunity again."
                 -- Coach Pete Carroll, Sept. 30, 2012

This is not a diatribe to second-guess Seattle's decision to attempt an onside kick to begin the second half. It's an attempt to put it in perspective and point out its significance as coach Pete Carroll was willing to take a sizable risk to try and give his offense a boost.

The Rams scored the final 13 points of the first half, and after Seattle began the game with an 80-yard touchdown drive, the Seahawks offense gained a total of 61 yards on its final four possessions. In Seattle's 11 scoring drives to that point in the season, Seattle had begun six of them in the opponent's territory.

So Carroll decided to try and give his team a boost. He wanted to take out the jumper cables, and while it's fine to point out it didn't work, the more troubling fact for the Seahawks is that Carroll felt compelled to try it in the first place.

After all, this is a defensive-oriented team that was trailing by only six points at halftime, but Carroll felt so compelled to try and give his offense a head start that he attempted an onside kick that had the effect of putting St. Louis in scoring position shortly after recovering.

As for as confidence goes, the move didn't show much in Seattle's offense, and it makes you wonder just how desperate this team is for a scoring boost.

Seattle is playing the kind of defense its coach wants, allowing the second-fewest points in the league behind Houston. The Seahawks are running the ball the way Carroll wants, too, as Marshawn Lynch ranks first in the league with 423 yards. Despite that, the Seahawks are not only 2-2, but one call away from being 1-3.

And if Carroll is willing to do things like attempt an onside kick, what's his thought process about his quarterback?

It's hard to come out of this game and say there's not a growing question about quarterback Russell Wilson.

He was intercepted three times, but that wasn't what was most troubling. Those weren't entirely his fault or even mostly his fault. He was hit while he threw, he had a ball snatched away from his receiver and a tight end fall down.

Third-down passing continues to be a problem, however. Wilson was 0-for-3 passing on third down, was intercepted once and sacked twice, which goes a long way to explaining why Seattle only converted two of nine third-down opportunities, both on runs.

Then there's the red zone. Seattle has had 11 red-zone possessions this season, and it has scored a touchdown on exactly three of them, settling for six field goals and twice turning the ball over on downs.

And if Seattle feels so anxious about the ability to produce points that it's attempting an onside kick on the road while trailing only six points, it makes you wonder if there are other decisions this team should be considering.

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Fisher 1 Carroll 0 MORE
The other question is why on 3rd and 2 are the coaches going shotgun spread with no... MORE
I was saying this all day yesterday. Obviously he has no faith in the rookie QB. ... MORE

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