Sports

Carroll looking for rebound after Seahawks dud at Tampa Bay

RENTON, Wash. — Pete Carroll took responsibility Monday for the poor performance by the undermanned Seattle Seahawks against Tampa Bay.

There is optimism, though, that a number of starters that missed the loss to the Buccaneers will be back for next Sunday's game against Carolina.

"I don't think that this is a trend or this is a turn in the wrong direction or any of that kind of stuff. I think we had a bad outing and we're going to get right this week and get back at it," Carroll said.

After stringing together their two best offensive performances of the season against the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, the Seahawks tripped all over themselves Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Russell Wilson was sacked six times and hit 11 times in total. Thomas Rawls managed just 38 yards on 12 carries and Seattle turned the ball over three times in a 14-5 defeat. Wilson was intercepted twice, once each by Alterraun Verner and Bradley McDougald. It was just the sixth time in his career he's thrown multiple interceptions in a regular-season game.

However, the biggest area of concern centred on the struggles of the offensive line.

"Nobody played very well. We had problems," Carroll said.

It should come as no surprise at this point. The unit has taken its share of blame throughout the season for Seattle's sputtering offensive attack.

Seattle didn't convert a single third down until the final possession of the game. Wilson was pressured relentlessly as three rookies up front — left tackle George Fant, right guard Germain Ifedi and centre Joey Hunt, making his first start for an injured Justin Britt — struggled to handle the Buccaneers pass rushers.

It was the third time this season the Seahawks' offence failed to score a touchdown.

"I thought it was really clear that we were just clearly off," Carroll said. "We've played 11 games and I think this is the first time we've really felt like that."

Seattle is set to get a slew of reinforcements back as soon as this week.

Defensive end Michael Bennett is expected to return to the lineup after missing the last five games following knee surgery. Linebacker Mike Morgan is set to be activated off injured reserve after eight weeks away due to a sports hernia surgery. Britt will be ready to go this week as well.

In addition, free safety Earl Thomas and cornerback DeShawn Shead each have a chance to make it back from hamstring strains that kept them out against the Buccaneers.

"DeShawn I think is a little bit ahead," Carroll said. "Earl ran really hard today and had a good workout. We'll have to see as we get through the week."

Running back Troymaine Pope (high-ankle sprain), defensive end Damontre Moore (foot contusion) and linebacker Brock Coyle (foot sprain) also have a chance to return this week against the Carolina Panthers.