SEATTLE (AP) — With Super Bowl rematch hoopla looming, the Seattle Seahawks spent Monday trying to regroup after being drained by the heat of San Diego.
The Seahawks haven’t been accustomed to dealing with losses much in in the past 12 months. That helped explain the mood Monday after Sunday’s 30-21 loss to the Chargers.
“They’re quiet. They’re quiet and serious,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “We don’t take these easily. There are very high expectations that we live with here and everybody knows that. The main thing is everybody took to heart the changes and adjustments and the things that we can fix. They were ready to do that.”
San Diego had offensive success where others had failed. There were many reasons, but it started with the performance of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who drew high praise from Carroll.
There was also San Diego’s ability to get gains on first and second downs to set up short third-down opportunities and extend those drives that eventually wore out Seattle’s defense. San Diego was 10 of 17 on third down and many of the passes were underneath. According to STATS, Inc., Rivers was 12 of 14 for 116 yards and two touchdowns on passes that traveled 1 to 10 yards.
“They have a real good mentality about it. They’ve been committed to that style it seems to be since the midway point of last year and that’s the way they like to play,” Carroll said. “Philip does a great job of it. … That allowed them to play to their strength and we weren’t able to knock down enough situations.”
Among the notable stats from Sunday:
— Seattle lost by more than seven points for the first time since Week 9 of the 2011 season in a 23-13 loss at Dallas.
— Rivers’ 124.2 passer rating was the highest against Seattle since Eli Manning had a 125.8 in Week 8 of the 2010 season.
— San Diego’s 42:15 time of possession was the most allowed by the Seahawks since Cleveland had nearly 43 minutes of possession in 2011.
— The Chargers’ 26 first downs were tied for the second-most allowed by Seattle since the start of the 2011 season.
Most of those numbers are amplified because Seattle’s defense had shut down Denver’s similar passing attack in the Super Bowl, then limited Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers to just one side of the field in a dominating season opening victory.
The stumble only raised the specter of this Sunday’s Super Bowl rematch with the Broncos in Seattle. Denver beat the Seahawks last month in the preseason opener for both teams.
“They wanted to get rid of the feeling and I don’t blame them one bit. That’s what everybody would do,” Carroll said. “I’m sure this is a really important game to them again. As it is to us. I think there was something going on in the preseason. I think it was a big deal for them. I don’t blame them one bit.”
Seattle ran only 40 offensive plays and could never fully get into its offensive game plan. Marshawn Lynch had only six carries, tied for his fewest carries since joining Seattle early in the 2010 season. After getting 11 offensive touches in the season opener, Percy Harvin had his hands on the ball only three times, including a disputed 51-yard touchdown run.
And when the Seahawks found the most offensive rhythm, they were usually in a hurry-up offense.
“You can’t see the game plan. We weren’t able to execute the plan that we had gone in with because we just didn’t have enough chances,” Carroll said. “With four opportunities in the first half and before you know it we’re in the two-minute situation. We scored so fast on Percy’s run that we just didn’t have enough of a chance to develop our plan.”
NOTES: Assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel was released from a San Diego hospital Monday and was on his way back to Seattle. He experienced an irregular heartbeat on Sunday. … On facing Aaron Rodgers, Rivers and Peyton Manning to open the season, Carroll joked, “They can ship New England in here on the bye week if they want.” … RB Christine Michael (hamstring), TE Cooper Helfet (knee) and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring) are expected to practice Wednesday.
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