SEATTLE – Pete Carroll cracked jokes about decisions he regretted, and the odd plays and strange bounces on Sunday.
Seattle’s coach was in a mood to smile because Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman came through to keep the Seattle Seahawks perfect at home.
Lynch ran for two touchdowns and had 155 all-purpose yards, Sherman got his third interception of the season early in the fourth quarter, and the Seahawks finally shook the Tennessee Titans for a 20-13 victory.
Seattle (5-1) won its 11th straight at home despite a long list of mistakes that allowed the Titans (3-3) to hang around in the game.
There was a careless turnover that ended one promising drive, a fortunate bounce that prevented another fumble and an unusual muffed field goal attempt that led to the Titans’ only touchdown on the final play of the first half.
Despite the miscues, Lynch, Sherman and another solid game from quarterback Russell Wilson were enough for Seattle to stay atop the NFC West.
“We kind of made it rough on ourselves today,” Carroll said. “We could have had a better day of it, but some stuff got away from us.”
Lynch finished with 77 yards rushing, including touchdown runs of 1 and 3 yards, and a career-best 78 yards on four receptions. Wilson was 23 of 31 for 257 yards, and Seattle dominated in total yardage, outgaining the Titans 404-223.
Seattle turned Sherman’s interception on the first play of the fourth quarter into points. Wilson found Sidney Rice for 24 yards to the Titans 3 and Lynch plowed in on the next play for a 20-10 lead with 7:33 left.
“This is what we expect from one another,” Sherman said. “We expect these kinds of plays, this kind of effort and we feel like we just clean the plays up.”
Steven Hauschka kicked field goals of 31 and 29 yards in the second half for Seattle, but only after being injured in the first half, a development that led to a special teams blunder and Tennessee’s touchdown.
Hauschka was plowed by Darius Raynaud during the kickoff return following Lynch’s first TD in the second quarter. Just before halftime, he was evaluated in the locker room for a possible concussion.
“That’s the first time I’ve been popped like that. Usually I come out OK, but that’s the first time I’ve taken it pretty bad,” Hauschka said.
Chris Maragos, a reserve safety, was asked to hold on a short field goal attempt by punter Jon Ryan on the final play of the half rather than Seattle going for it on third-and-goal at the 4.
Maragos, a holder in college, caught the snap cleanly, but it slipped as he placed it down.
Instead of falling on the ball, Maragos tried to make a play. He was stripped by Michael Griffin and Jason McCourty picked up the loose ball and raced 77 yards to give the Titans a 10-7 halftime lead.
Carroll said in hindsight he should have gone for it.
“It’s really all my fault,” Maragos said. “I should have knelt down on it or threw it down or something.”
Eventually the mistakes subsided for Seattle, although they were helped early in the fourth quarter by a lucky bounce. On first down at the 2, Lynch ran to the left and had the ball knocked free by Moise Fokou. The ball bounced perfectly for Zach Brown, but he tried to pick it up and run. He never had control and it caromed into the arms of Wilson.
Instead of another costly red zone turnover, the Seahawks had second down at the 11. Hauschka eventually hit his second field goal.
“I felt like I was playing shortstop again,” Wilson said.
Ten—FG Bironas 38, 5:16.
Sea—Lynch 1 run (Hauschka kick), 2:41.
Ten—McCourty fumble recovery in end zone (Bironas kick), :00.
Sea—FG Hauschka 31, 4:27.
Sea—FG Hauschka 29, 11:23.
Sea—Lynch 3 run (Hauschka kick), 7:33.
Ten—FG Bironas 25, 2:18.
|Total Net Yards||223||404|
|Time of Poss||26:38||33:22|
RUSHING—Tennessee, C.Johnson 12-33, Fitzpatrick 6-33, Kern 1-0, Reynaud 1-0. Seattle, Lynch 21-77, Wilson 10-61, Turbin 1-13, Maragos 1-0.
PASSING—Tennessee, Fitzpatrick 17-29-2-171. Seattle, Wilson 23-31-0-257.
RECEIVING—Tennessee, Wright 5-69, Walker 4-29, C.Johnson 3-21, Williams 2-22, Washington 1-15, Hunter 1-8, Britt 1-7. Seattle, Tate 5-33, Lynch 4-78, Baldwin 4-48, Kearse 3-17, Rice 2-35, Turbin 2-23, Willson 2-17, Coleman 1-6.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.
|Seattle 20, Tennessee 13|
|Carolina 35, Minnesota 10|
|Kansas City 24, Oakland 7|
|St. Louis 38, Houston 13|
|Green Bay 19, Baltimore 17|
|Philadelphia 31, Tampa Bay 20|
|Pittsburgh 19, N.Y. Jets 6|
|Cincinnati 27, Buffalo 24 (OT)|
|Detroit 31, Cleveland 17|
|Denver 35, Jacksonville 19|
|San Francisco 32, Arizona 20|
|New England 30, New Orleans 27|
|Dallas 31, Washington 16|