Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks need to wise up and play better, smarter

Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson runs past Green Bay Packers' Nick Perry during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis.
Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson runs past Green Bay Packers' Nick Perry during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. AP

Crawl off the ledge. Come on back. It’s OK.

The Seattle Seahawks are 0-2, but it’s a good 0-2. If there is such a thing.

The problem at this point is that the Seahawks just aren’t good enough to play so dumb.

And that could haunt them later, when tiebreakers get calculated in January. Maybe that’s premature talk.

But maybe not, since we’ve been conditioned to the reality that the Seahawks have overcome worse. This grim start could be long forgotten if the Seahawks wise up and go on the kind of streaks they have in the past.

They have the talent, but right now they don’t have the discipline.

It will be a shame and a waste if a team with this much talent can’t reach its potential because it failed to follow the rules, or play with the focus and ferocity that has been its hallmark the past several years.

Yes, the Seahawks were the most penalized team in the NFL the past two seasons on the way to back-to-back Super Bowls.

But nobody worried about it much because that was when they played vastly better defense. When they forced more turnovers. When they executed more than just a couple quarters of the games.

A little discipline, a few less penalties and the Hawks easily could be 1-1 or maybe even 2-0.

The Rams topped them 34-31 in overtime in the opener on the road. The Rams played tougher, harder and smarter. They deserved the win. They won’t do it again in Seattle.

The Packers, meanwhile, had everything in their favor Sunday night. The Lambeau Field crowd at its home opener, the best quarterback in football and the heavy motivation of deferred, long-festering revenge.

Oh, all week the Packers professed collective amnesia regarding the three straight losses the Seahawks dealt them in Seattle since 2012.

The most painful for the Packers, of course, was the result of an unlikely rally to an overtime win in the last NFC championship game. They’ve been chewing on that bitter pill since January.

Maybe they didn’t actually take a felt-tipped pen and circle this Seahawks game on the calendar, but it had to be going through their minds and through their scheming and preparation all summer.

Even fervent fans of the Seahawks had to look at the schedule when it came out and wonder what might happen when the Seahawks had to start on the road against the perennially nettlesome Rams and then head to Green Bay to face the perturbed Packers.

Sunday night’s 27-17 loss went from disastrous to respectable in the second half when the Seahawks finally stopped stepping on rakes and falling down open manholes.

They suddenly starting doing what they do. Being who they are.

Russell Wilson started keeping the ball a little on the run. The defense started making some plays. They got their heads into the game after removing them from whatever dark place they’d been.

But they didn’t show up ready to play this game. And that started them out in a hole. Put that on the staff for not getting the Seahawks mentally or physically prepared to play at the level of the Packers.

As they did in St. Louis in the opener, the Hawks shaped up in the second half. And they took a 17-16 lead. But they relinquished it in the fourth quarter when the Packers scored 11 unanswered points. Suddenly, they once again were making mistakes and penalties and getting loose with their care of the ball.

Can you cure these things? Sure. The Seahawks have done it before. Unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike penalties are matters of restraint. Offsides calls are a matter of being too eager.

They seemed much further away from contending when they were 2-2 in 2005, but won the NFC title. Last season, when they were 3-3 and in disarray, there seemed no way they would be going anywhere in the postseason. They did.

The Seahawks easily can have one of their circle-the-wagons meetings and snap out of it.

They just either need to get better or smarter. Starting right now.

Dave Boling: 253-597-8440