With each malfunctioning drive, Russell Wilson would go to the sideline, grab a blue parka for the 26-degree chill and meet with his play caller on a heated bench.
It was the only thing even remotely warm for the Seahawks’ offense in Green Bay.
Almost 3 1/2 months into this puzzling season and this much is as clear as the winter nights are long: When Seattle’s offense is bad, it is REALLY bad.
As in, putrid. The worst loss in six years.
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“It’s kind of embarrassing,” linebacker K.J. Wright said/understated.
“Miserable,” coach Pete Carroll said. “Terrible.”
Wilson threw over the heads and beneath the feet of open receivers. He threw back across the field and his body to the goal line, with a defender waiting for him to do just that. He threw into the arms of Packers five times. It was his first regular-season game with 5 INTs. Green Bay turned three of them into touchdowns.
Before it became a runaway rarely seen in the Carroll Era, Seattle’s defense stayed primarily in a nickel defense. Green Bay exploited that with big runs early. And Seattle stayed in a 4-man pass rush. That gave Aaron Rodgers far more time than a two-time league MVP should ever get.
The result was alarmingly awful loss to the previously .500 Packers, 38-10, on a Sunday when the Seahawks were left wishing the snow was their biggest issue.
“It’s on me,” Wilson said. “This was on me.”
The field, thanks to pregame cover during a 5-inch Wisconsin snowfall, was clear. So was the ineptitude.
Seattle had six turnovers. Wilson’s five interceptions were the most by a Seahawks quarterback since Nov. 28, 1999, when Jon Kitna threw five against Tampa Bay.
Wilson has eight interceptions in his past three games; he had just two in his first 10 games.
“He had a hard time tonight,” Carroll said. “You know, he missed a couple of deep balls he normally hits...those would have been great opportunities for us early in the game, when we would’ve been able to hang with them and say with it. It could have been entirely different.
“The thing just snowballed on him, on us. And it just turned out to be a terrible night.”
So ends Seattle’s NFL record of 95 straight games of not losing by more than 10 points. Green Bay beat the Seahawks 27-17 here in September 2015.
A touchdown pass from Wilson to undrafted rookie Tanner McEvoy, who made a nice catch in the back of the end zone with 8:21 left in the game, kept this from the largest margin of Seahawks defeat in the Carroll era.
That was Seattle’s first road touchdown in eight quarters, since the victory last month at New England.
Wait, this team won at New England?
The Seahawks’ only bigger margin of defeat since Carroll became their coach was in his first season of the franchise’s overhaul: 41-7 to the New York Giants on Nov. 7, 2010.
“Yeah, it was a different feeling for all of us,” Carroll said Sunday. “We don’t remember those days. How many years ago was that?
“We’ve had a remarkable run, It’s the kind of stat that you really don’t want to be proud of, but it is a remarkable run.
“We need to move on as quickly as we can. And, fortunately, it’s Thursday night.”
That’s at home against Los Angeles. The Rams are 4-9 -- but one of those four wins is against Seattle, 9-3 in September.
That was back when Wilson had a high-ankle sprain, could run and the offense stayed limited for him.
No such excuses now.
Two weeks ago coach Carroll promised to “get it right” and finally turn the corner to consistent excellence, as this team almost always has in December. That was after a dreadful, 14-5 loss at Tampa Bay.
That bad got worse.
Wilson completed just 22 of 39 passes for 240 yards, one touchdown and the five picks. That yeilded a passer rating of 43.7, not far above his career low of 38.7 in his rookie season at San Francisco, and 38.8 two weeks ago against the Buccaneers. Two of his interceptions clanged off hands, one off Doug Baldwin and the other off a Packer’s. A third came when tight end Jimmy Graham fell down as the intended target.
The offense managed just 199 through three quarters, before garbage-time movement. The defense that came in leading the league in points allowed (17 per game) gave up its most points in 14 months. Rodgers completed 18 of 23 throws for 246 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating of 150.8 was the highest against the Seahawks since Carroll, a former defensive back and secondary coach, took over the franchise.
Green Bay scored 21 of its 38 points off Wilson’s interceptions. Special teams added to the misery by appearing to not have enough players on the field for a punt return — while down 28-3.
The Seahawks blew their chance to clinch the NFC West title, and lost heir hold on the No. 2 playoff seed in the conference.
Seattle (8-4-1) would have clinched the division with a win, because Arizona lost earlier at Miami. Instead Seattle fell to the No. 3 seed in the conference. Detroit (9-4) won earlier Sunday to move to No. 2.
The top two seeds get a first-round bye and home game in the second round of the NFC playoffs the second full weekend of January.
With Atlanta’s win, Seattle is just 1/2 game up on the Falcons for the No. 3 playoff seed in the NFC.
This was so bad, they could even see it from France.
Wilson had as bad a first half as the Seahawks had gotten from him in many moons. He was 8 for 16 passing for 90 yards and two interceptions, a rating of 27.6. He overthrew Doug Baldwin as his No. 1 wide receiver was breaking open what could have been a touchdown on Seattle’s first drive. On its second, Jimmy Graham had gotten behind his defender for another possible score. Wilson threw with a pass rusher in his face, and the pass was 3 yards past Graham.
Early in the second quarter Wilson threw to Graham over the middle while Packers safety Morgan Burnett was right with Graham off his back shoulder. The tight end tripped over Burnett’s feet, sending Graham to the ground as the ball arrived. Burnett intercepted that and returned it to the Seahawks 26.
Ty Montgomery ran 1-yard for a touchdown four plays later to put the Packers up 14-3.
The Seahawks got moving on a 2-minute drill late in the half, thanks to a deft play by new fullback Marcel Reece. The four-time Pro Bowl veteran signed Tuesday from Oakland broke off his route and found open field along the sideline when he saw Wilson scramble. The 31-yard reception got Seattle deep into Green Bay territory for the second time. But with 34 seconds left in the half Wilson scrambled left then threw right across his body and the field towards Doug Baldwin, who had drifted to the goal line on the right. That unorthodox trick worked for Wilson and Baldwin last month at New England for a TD just before halftime, in Seattle’s last road win. This time Green Bay cornerback Damarious Randall was waiting for the throw, ran back and intercepted it at the goal line.
So the Seahawks trailed 21-3 at halftime. And they got no closer.
Wilson’s final interception banged off the hands of undrafted rookie running back Troymaine Pope. The sixth turnover came when rookie running back Alex Collins lost a fumble in the final 2 minutes. The last time the Seahawks had more than six turnovers in a game was 1995.