September 10, 2014

What many viewed as a 20-point domination of a fellow NFC contender in the league's season opener last week didn't feel the same to the reigning Super Bowl champions.

The Seattle Seahawks rightly possess expectations of themselves that exceed the norm, and their confident yet banged-up defense is stressing improvement heading into Sunday's road matchup with the San Diego Chargers.

Seattle held Green Bay's offense to 255 yards - fewer than its league-leading average of 292.3 allowed per game in 2013 - and sacked Aaron Rodgers three times in last Thursday's 36-16 home victory.

But the Seahawks allowed a first-quarter touchdown, matching the amount they gave up in 19 games during their championship run last season, and Rodgers connected on 69.7 percent of his passes after opposing quarterbacks completed 59.0 percent in 2013.

Those out-of-character occurrences irked Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman.

"It was off. We weren't up to par. We weren't up to snuff, and I think everyone feels that way," Sherman said. "We've got to play better."

After an overall solid effort didn't impress them, the Seahawks must move forward without another member of a secondary regarded as one of the deepest in the league. Tharold Simon missed the opener due to knee surgery and will be out at least four weeks, and fellow cornerback Jeremy Lane injured his groin against the Packers and will miss at least eight weeks.

Safety Kam Chancellor is confident the back unit will be just fine.

"(I) have no concerns at all. We always say no weak links," Chancellor said. "Anything we know, anything we see on the field, we share with our backups, we share with each other. So everyone is on the same beat (and) if anyone goes down a guy can step right in, step in with confidence and finish the game."

Rookie Marcus Burley, acquired in a trade with Indianapolis on Aug. 30, stepped in for Lane and is expected to remain in that role.

"We really liked the kid coming in and did a fantastic job of being ready to play in that game down the stretch," coach Pete Carroll said. "We have no other alternatives that we would think of at this point."

Seattle has had plenty of time to prepare for the Chargers, who let an 11-point, third-quarter lead slip away in Monday's 18-17 loss to Arizona. Philip Rivers threw for 238 yards and a touchdown, but a snap sailed over his head in the fourth to put San Diego out of field-goal range and helped the Cardinals get in position to score twice in the final 12 1/2 minutes.

Coach Mike McCoy stressed those types of mistakes can't happen again.

"Against a good football team that's coming here on Sunday, you can't give them the opportunities," McCoy said. "You've got to put them away when you have the chance."

Perhaps the biggest positive that came from the defeat was the performance of Malcom Floyd, who caught four passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. He missed the final 14 games of last season after suffering a neck injury.

"(We need to) just move on," Floyd said. "It's time to get ready for the Seahawks. We have another tough game coming up. Their secondary is pretty good, and we're fortunate enough to have gone against great secondaries this preseason as well as (Seattle) to get a taste for them. So it's sort of promising looking ahead to the next game."

That preseason matchup with Seattle didn't go very well, though, especially for the Chargers defense. Russell Wilson went 11 of 13 for 121 yards, ran for two touchdowns and led scoring drives on each of the four series he played in the Seahawks' 41-14 win.

Wilson threw for 191 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, posting a 110.9 rating, while Marshawn Lynch rushed 20 times for 110 yards and two scores.

Percy Harvin had 59 yards receiving and 41 on the ground, and the Chargers realize they will have their hands full with the Seattle offense as they look to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2008.

"The big thing is we learn from our mistakes," linebacker Dwight Freeney said. "We would love to win every single game that we play but it just doesn't happen. So we have to focus on what we need to get better on."

Seattle has won six of the last seven meetings, winning the most recent one 27-20 on Sept. 26, 2010, despite Rivers throwing for a career-high 455 yards.

The previous five meetings each were decided by three points or fewer.

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