Seahawks catch break with wideouts

Against Jaguars, Seattle’s wide receivers proved they can be playmakers when they get the opportunity

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.comSeptember 25, 2013 

Doug Baldwin’s TD catch Sunday against Jacksonville was part of Seattle wide receivers’ contribution of 219 yards and three TDs in the Seahawks’ 45-17 win.

STEVEN BISIG/USA TODAY SPORTS

SEATTLE — Doug Baldwin wants context.

When asked about the receivers’ “lack of production” in Week 2 as compared to Week 3, he bristled a bit.

“What do you mean not productive?” Baldwin asked.

Baldwin and his mates are probably the least talked about unit on the Seahawks. The defense is famous. Running back Marshawn Lynch and quarterback Russell Wilson are, too.

The receivers? Not so much.

Pete Carroll has always been a run-first coach. Baldwin thinks that’s the main reason the Seahawks receivers — who lit up the woeful and young Jacksonville secondary for 219 yards and three touchdowns — are overlooked.

“We have so much talent at the receiver position, but we’re looked at as not productive or

underrated because we don’t throw the ball that much,” Baldwin said. “We just don’t, because we’re a run-first offense. We have Marshawn Lynch and our offensive line — they’re just beasts. That’s how you win games. You control the game in the trenches, then you allow things to come to you in the passing game.”

Russell Wilson’s attempts illustrate the point.

No other NFL quarterback with three starts has fewer passing attempts than Wilson’s 73. Cleveland quarterback Brad Hoyer is just behind Wilson with 54 attempts. He has played one game.

Even Oakland’s Terrelle Pryor, known for his legs, has eight more attempts than Wilson.

All this despite Wilson’s third-ranked 109.6 passer rating. Only Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers are rated higher.

Multiple times against Jacksonville, Wilson made what are often called “belief” throws. He threw to a spot to give his guy a chance. They made plays Sunday, whether it was Jermaine Kearse or Golden Tate up the sideline or Sidney Rice stabbing a pass in the end zone.

“He understands that, I think, really well,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “But he also knows to throw the ball; to put our guys where they have the advantage and you’ll see him throw the ball particularly in spots where they can come back and go get it, and it makes it very difficult for the defensive player. He totally understands that. I don’t think he’s more apt now to do that than before. I think that’s what I’ve seen in him all along.”

To close the first half, the Seahawks went 79 yards on five plays and scored a touchdown. It took 34 seconds. All five plays were designed passes out of the shotgun.

“In that moment, all we were doing was passing the ball, so we had the opportunities for guys to make plays,” Baldwin said. “Like I said, as the best receiving corps in the league, in my opinion, we were able to do that.”

RECEIVER ANDRE JOHNSON HEALING FOR TEXANS

It’s been a bumpy September for Houston standout wide receiver Andre Johnson. He left the game Sept. 15 against Tennessee because of a concussion before leaving last Sunday’s game against Baltimore with a shin bruise.

“He’s going to be day-to-day, but he did come out OK,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “All the X-rays are fine. It’s just a matter of working him back through it, probably a day-to-day process.”

Johnson leads Houston with 25 catches for 258 yards. If he’s out, the Texans’ receiving group gets thin in a hurry. Rookie DeAndre Hopkins is second on the team with 18 catches. The third-leading wide receiver is Keshawn Martin, who has four catches.

EXTRA POINTS

The Seahawks waived defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith and added defensive tackle Sealver Siliga to the practice squad Tuesday. … The Glantz-Culver Line has the Seahawks favored by three points on the road at Houston.

SEAHAWKS’ NEXT OPPONENT

HOUSTON TEXANS (2-1)

10 a.m., Sunday, Reliant Stadium, Houston

Against the Seahawks: This is the third meeting between the teams. The series is tied 1-1. The last time they met, the Seahawks were clobbered 34-7 in Houston on Dec. 13, 2009. Seattle stomped the Texans 42-10 on Oct. 16, 2005 in Seattle.

Stats and stuff: Houston has a 2-1 record after getting handled by Baltimore 30-9 on Sunday. … Texans defensive end J.J. Watt had 201/2 sacks last season. He has three so far this year. … Stud wide receiver Andre Johnson is day-to-day with a bruised shin. … Running back Arian Foster is averaging a career-low 3.9 yards per rush. He hasn’t gained a 100 yards in a game this season. He’s rushed for more than 1,200 yards in each of the past three seasons. … The Texans are No. 2 in the NFL in total defense, behind the Seahawks. Seattle allows 241.7 yards per game. Houston 249. Those defenses have another similarity: each has been penalized 212 yards, tied for fourth-most in the league. … Houston QB Matt Schaub has thrown six touchdown passes and four interceptions. His NFL quarterback rating is 87.3. Last week, he averaged 5.54 yards per pass. He’s thrown a pick-six in the past two games. … Linebacker Brian Cushing leads the Texans with 24 combined tackles. He played for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll at USC. … The Texans are -3 in turnover differential.

Quotable: “There probably wasn’t a guy on the front that didn’t jump offsides. Offensively, we’ve got a lot of work to do.” — Houston coach Gary Kubiak, commenting on the 14 penalties Houston had Sunday against Baltimore. TEXANS’ SCHEDULE

Sept. 9at San DiegoW, 31-28

Sept. 15vs. TennesseeW, 30-24 (OT)

Sept. 22vs. BaltimoreL, 30-9

Sundayvs. Seattle

Oct. 6at San Francisco

Oct. 13vs. St. Louis

Oct. 20at Kansas City

Nov. 3vs. Indianapolis

Nov. 10at Arizona

Nov. 17vs. Oakland

Nov. 24vs. Jacksonville

Dec. 1vs. New England

Dec. 5at Jacksonville

Dec. 15at Indianapolis

Dec. 22vs. Denver

Dec. 29at Tennessee

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com @Todd_Dybas todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com

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