RENTON, Wash. — With Russell Wilson’s mobility limited because of his sprained right ankle, the Seattle Seahawks were hoping to find balance on offense.
Instead, Week 2 only brought more offensive frustration.
“We’re not getting the same balance that we felt, about mixing the run game and the pass game where we can play off the running game and it hasn’t been as obvious right off the bat. That’s an issue,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said on Monday.
Seattle has just 15 points in two games after Sunday’s 9-3 loss to Los Angeles. Its only offensive touchdown came on the final drive of the opener against Miami.
The run game is spotty at best, Seattle’s offensive line has struggled against two of the better defensive fronts in the NFL and while Wilson’s been able to throw successfully, he’s not much of a running threat because of his injured ankle suffered in the opener.
And to top it off, injuries are starting to mount already. Along with Wilson’s ankle sprain, wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett were limited in Sunday’s game.
Both underwent MRIs on Monday, but Carroll did not immediately have results, saying it would be later in the week before their status was determined.
Lockett missed a significant chunk of the game with a sprained knee, but returned for the final drive and caught a 53-yard pass from Wilson. Baldwin did not miss any game time despite getting rolled up on from behind while blocking in the first half.
Running back Thomas Rawls also suffered a contusion to the outside of his upper left leg and like the other two will be evaluated later in the week.
“I don’t know really good information for you, like I said, but (Baldwin) seems to feel OK and there will be three or four guys that we got to check out as the days come off this week,” Carroll said.
“We’ll see what happens Wednesday-Thursday. Give them a couple days to get back and see what happens.”
Sluggish starts to the season offensively aren’t new during Carroll’s time in Seattle. But it’s the combination of issues already surfacing that are causing concern.
First are the struggles of the offensive line that appeared settled through the preseason before rookie right guard Germain Ifedi suffered an ankle injury just before the opener.
J’Marcus Webb has started the first two games in place of Ifedi, but did not play the position for Seattle through training camp.
In their defense, the Seahawks have faced two of the better defensive lines in the NFL to start the season with Miami and Los Angeles, but the problems up front have amplified the issues in the run game.
The Seahawks are averaging just 3.2 yards per carry, tied for 25th in the NFL. Both Rawls and Christine Michael have been unable to find a rhythm in the run game.
And the inability to find sustained success on the ground is putting extra pressure on a hobbled Wilson and the passing game, especially on third down.
The Seahawks are a combined 9 of 29 on third-down attempts and many of those — especially against the Rams — were third-and-long situations.
Carroll said he expected Seattle to pick up where it left off last season with its third down success. The Seahawks were fourth in the NFL last season converting 46 percent of third-down opportunities.
“That’s staying on schedule. It goes back to the running game. Remember last year how much we talked about third down, and you saw third down shift and you saw everything change,” Carroll said. “That’s still the key, and converting and creating a new set of downs and all that is crucial.”