(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
- Mike Carey blows the call and the game. I am generally not one to blame the refs or the other team when my team loses, but this game was an exception. When the flag was thrown on Leon Washington’s 81 yard punt return it was clear the play would be nullified by a call such as an illegal block in the back as punts returns and kick returns are commonly called back on dumb blocking like this. Upon watching the replay, however, there was clearly NO illegal block in the back. Although Kenard Cox was clearly reaching out towards the defender in front of him, his fingertips barely grazed the Cleveland gunner's jersey as the gunner tripped over himself and fell to the ground. The ref saw the player go down with Cox behind him and threw the flag. This call was the difference in the game and Pete Carroll spoke about the questionable calling after the game: "When a game is this close, a call can make a difference," Carroll said. "Whether they did or not, we'll see the film and take a look. In this game, those calls are magnified. I kind of hope they're right, to tell you the truth. I hope they made the right choices because it's pretty hard to live with if they didn't."
- The Seahawks may have deserved to lose this game. Even if Leon Washington’s return hadn’t been called back and Seattle had won 7-6, it would not have been a well-earned victory. The Seahawks played sloppily and were penalized eight times for 68 yards. The offense was stagnant with 137 yards of total offense. The Seahawks might have even been playing with a little too much heart on defense. Red Bryant did everything in his power to win this game, blocking two field goals, collecting 4 tackles, a sack and a pass defensed. While Bryant was definitely the team's MVP of the game, he lost his cool on the final drive of the game when he “headbutted” a Cleveland player who was taunting him. This play gave the Browns a fresh set of downs and cemented the victory. While the chances of the Seahawks driving down the field with 37 seconds were slim to none, there is no excuse for playing with that little discipline.
- Charlie Whitehurst is not the answer. For those of you that have been chanting Whitehurst’s name from the stands for the past two seasons, I hope today was a sobering reality. This guy is completely unproven and does not look like an NFL quarterback. The numbers say it all: 12-for-30 for 97 yards an interception for a grand total of a 35.0 passer rating. Whitehurst rarely looked downfield, even when he had time in the pocket. He also was nearly picked on numerous occasions. The most frustrating part about his play had to be his decision to throw the ball to tight end Anthony McCoy and fullback Michael Robinson in the red-zone instead of his big physical proven wideouts Mike Williams and Sidney Rice. If there is any consolation to Whitehurst’s abysmal performance, it is that he did not have Marshawn Lynch to fall back on and his receivers were not always making the play.
- Injuries continue to pile-up. It was nice to see Robert Gallery and Cameron Morrah return to the field, but their return was overshadowed by Lynch injuring his back during pregame warmups and ultimately missing the game. Starting cornerback Walter Thurmond III broke his leg after colliding with Earl Thomas while attempting to breaking up a pass. Thurmond had just inherited the starting job this week after Marcus Trufant was placed on injured reserve with a bad back. Max Unger’s presence was also missed at center; his replacement Lemuel Jeanpierre was constantly snapping the ball too high for Whitehurst. Zach Miller and Tarvaris Jackson both were ruled out this week but Seahawks fans had better hope that Jackson returns quickly from his pectoral injury.
Food for thought: Did the Seahawks lose the game or did Mike Carey’s bad calls cost them the win? Will Whitehurst prove himself and improve his play?
Next game: Oct 30 vs. Cincinnati, 1 pm PST