Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks runs with the ball against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 8, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
by Curtis Crabtree
RENTON - The Seattle Seahawks managed to go across the country and pick up a victory in their season opener against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
That doesn't mean their performance didn't yield some concerns or things to work on before their home opener with the San Francisco 49ers this weekend.
Seattle earned a 12-7 victory over the Panthers that was the first season opening road win by the Seahawks since 2006. However, the Seahawks' offensive line couldn't punch holes in the running game and QB Russell Wilson had to run for his life on several occasions.
"I don’t think it’s anything (concerning)," head coach Pete Carroll said. "We just need to get back to business and get us going in the right direction."
The running game was mostly non-existant. Seattle ran for just 70 yards on 26 carries. RB Marshawn Lynch ran for just 43 yards on 17 carries. However, Carroll attributed that lack of production to a lack of push in the running game and said they needed to do more to help the offensive line.
"We didn’t run the ball very well," Carroll said. "In our program, as you guys know, that’s a huge focus and so we were disappointed. We plan to go right back to business and get it done this week. We can’t go like that. We’re not going to football that way."
Carolina's defensive front gave Seattle trouble. T Breno Giacomini struggled at times against DE Charles Johnson and DT Star Lotulelei was a handful for the Seahawks' interior line.
"They winded up doing alright as the game winded up," Carroll said. "We needed to help them a little bit scheme-wise and some things that we need to fix in the run game that against that opponent didn’t work out for us."
Carroll said they came out of the game fairly healthy with S Jeron Johnson picking up a hamstring strain on the opening kickoff. He said others had bumps and bruises but nothing considered particularly problematic at this point.
CB Brandon Browner was not able to play Sunday with a hamstring strain. Carroll said he has a chance to get back this week and the plan is for him to get back to practice on Thursday.
DE Cliff Avril also didn't play due to a hamstring strain but appears a little closer to returning to Browner. Carroll said they are planning on Avril being able to play this week against the 49ers. It would be his first game action this year as he did not play in the preseason.
"We are planning on him being part of it this week," Carroll said of Avril. "Unless, he has some kind of setback we can’t foresee. So that would be a nice little boost to get him back in the game."
Carroll said he saw positive things from several players along the defensive line. DT Tony McDaniel, DE Michael Bennett and LB O'Brien Schofield all played well in their first games with the team.
"I made note of that in the team meeting, about (Schofield) and Tony and Bennett, all looking like they fit in with our guys and the style of play that we like. So we are really fired up about that," Carroll said.
DE Chris Clemons is also expected to begin practicing in team drills this week.