Pete Carroll says Seahawks won't panic after 0-2 start
RENTON, Wash. (AP) The last thing Pete Carroll is going to do after starting the season with two losses is overreact.
Every season he's had with Seattle has come to some type of crossroads. Last year, it was the Seahawks sitting at 3-3 after six weeks before winning 11 of their final 12 games.
It just happens that an important point in Seattle's season has arrived a bit earlier than expected. After losing 27-17 at Green Bay, the Seahawks are at the bottom of the NFC West standings.
''To play at the level that we have played at the last three years, we've done a lot of things really well and to play at that level you have to because you're challenged at every turn,'' Carroll said. ''There is a lot of fine-tuning to get that done. There are a lot of teams that almost get on top but it's very challenging. We're in the fine-tuning of it and not starting well doesn't mean we won't finish well.''
Still, by starting 0-2, Seattle has placed itself in a difficult position, though not one that is impossible to overcome. Since the playoffs expanded to their current format in 1990, 24 teams have started 0-2 and still made the postseason. Five of those teams - Arizona (1998), Buffalo (1998), New England (1996), Detroit (1995), Houston (1990) - lost their first two games on the road and were able to rally and make the playoffs.
The challenge for Seattle will be getting to the point where home-field advantage is a possibility, a key component of its two straight NFC titles. Of the teams that started 0-2 since 1990, only two finished as the No. 1 seed in their conference - Dallas in 1993 and Philadelphia in 2003. Seven times an 0-2 team reached the playoffs as the No. 6 seed.
The sentiment in the Seattle locker room after the loss to the Packers was that everyone on the verge of panic needs to take a step back.
The schedule also softens for Seattle after two of its toughest road games of the year to start. The Seahawks play three of the next four at home and could end up favored in all six games prior to its bye in early November. The favorable stretch starts with consecutive games against teams with injury concerns at quarterback: winless Chicago and winless Detroit.
''We have been in tough situations before. We have dealt with adversity before. What has made us good in the past is being able to come out of that adversity better than we were before,'' Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin said. ''We are going to approach it the same way that we have in the past.''
What is a concern for Carroll is Seattle's performance in the fourth quarter. The loss to Green Bay was the third straight game the Seahawks lost after leading in the fourth quarter, dating to the Super Bowl. That fact above all others seemed to irritate Carroll the most.
Seattle led New England 24-14 in the Super Bowl, led St. Louis 31-24 in the season opener and led Green Bay 17-16 on Sunday and lost all three.
''Not finishing. Not finishing when we had the chance to win,'' Carroll said. ''Whatever the circumstances were that led up to the finish, let's finish the thing and get out of there.''
There is also the worry of tight end Jimmy Graham struggling to work into Seattle's offense. Graham had six catches and a touchdown in the opener, but was targeted just twice and had one reception for 11 yards against the Packers.
''I think he is (frustrated). I think he is a competitor. He wants the ball, he wants to help us win. I don't think there is any question. I feel that too,'' Carroll said. ''He's worked hard, he's great about it. He wants to do everything he can to help us.''
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