by Curtis Crabtree
RENTON - Four games into the 2012 NFL season and the Seattle Seahawks have the worst passing offense in the NFL.
The team is averaging just 130.8 yards per game through the air. Despite completing 17 of 25 passes for 160 yards, QB Russell Wilson threw three interceptions and failed to convert some critical third downs to helped sink the Seahawks in a 19-13 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
"We’re going with Russell right now and he’s working his tail off to get it right," head coach Pete Carroll said Monday. "There are a lot of guys that figure into what’s going on, and he’s one of them. So we’re just trying to get better."
Wilson wasn't the only reason Seattle lost to the Rams. The Seahawks had a breakdown on special teams that allowed a touchdown on a fake field goal try and a usually stout Seattle defense allowed the Rams to convert five third downs of 10 yards or more. Rookie K Greg Zuerlein also converted a 58- and 60-yard field goal as part of a four field goal performance.
But the margin for error with a non-existant passing game is incredibly small and Wilson isn't performing at a high enough level yet. Not that he won't eventually get there, but right now it's not there.
Wilson missed a wide open TE Zach Miller late in the third quarter and instead through out of bounds to WR Sidney Rice on a play that almost certainly would have scored a touchdown. He also made a questionable decision to throw to TE Anthony McCoy on his final interception of the game when WR Doug Baldwin and RB Marshawn Lynch were open to the other side of the field.
"The one we all want back is the one to Zach," Carroll said. "He had a chance to dump the ball to Zach and he throws to Sidney on the back end. The way that turned out I think that would have been an easy play for Zach to make."
"As it turns Doug was more open on the other side underneath the zone, but the spacing was there. He could’ve got the ball in there, which has happened before. So he decided to go that side so that’s where he throws it, and he can’t really do anything about the guy falling down," Carroll said of the interception.
Carroll is not ready to make a switch, especially when he said there are concerns over QB Matt Flynn's health as well. Carroll alluded to Flynn not being healthy enough to challenge for the job during his weekly appearance on the Seahawks flagship station. Yet, Monday afternoon said he's healthy enough to play if they need him.
"We haven’t had a third quarterback on the roster because Matt can play," Carroll said. "But we have had a pitch count for him and made sure we didn’t work him past what we thought was too much."
So has he suffered a setback?
"No we just have not gone beyond the numbers that we’ve set for him," Carroll said. "He’s been at every practice, he’s been available to us and all."
So if Wilson was unavailable would Flynn be able to handle a full week's worth of work?
"We haven’t done that yet, I don’t know that," Carroll said. "I don’t know what would happen. I don’t know if it would act up or not because we haven’t did that yet."
Flynn may be healthy, he may not be. Either way, it's still Wilson's job for now.
Carroll said he though G James Carpenter played well in his first game back. Carpenter started and played 58 of the team's 61 offensive snaps.
"He did a very, very good job," Carroll said. "He had a couple errors in the game, but you just about have to anticipate something is going to happen. We ran a lot to the left and he did a really good job of covering his guy up. He did a really good job for his first time out."
G John Moffitt is still ailing from a knee injury suffered in Monday night's win over the Green Bay Packers and isn't expected to be back this week. Other than Moffitt, they came out of the game healthy.
OL Allen Barbre came off the suspended list Monday and was released. He served a four-game suspension for violating the performance-enhancing substances policy.