It's only one loss, but Seahawks don't want to point to excuses

Updated: October 7, 2003, 2:34 AM ET

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- In the first three games, the Seattle Seahawks played with so much aggression and passion on defense that it seemed certain they'd soon pick up a clever nickname and film a music video.

Then in last weekend's 35-13 loss at Green Bay, they appeared to be sleepwalking.

"I don't think we were as fast flying around," coach Mike Holmgren said Monday. "I don't think we played with the same sense of urgency. I think we missed tackles. We did not play a good defensive football game."

Linebacker Anthony Simmons agreed. He paused and let out a deep breath when the subject came up.

"There are a lot of reasons, but a lot of times those are just excuses," Simmons said. "You could say it wasn't our day. You could say it was the travel. You could say we had just come off a bye week. The bottom line was that we didn't play well."

Some problems could be explained as the Seahawks (3-1) prepare for a big NFC West showdown against visiting San Francisco (2-3).

First, the Packers made an effort to speed up the pace of their offensive huddle and snap the ball a little quicker, making it harder for defenders to account for substitutions.

Second, the Seahawks ran into a good running back in Ahman Green on a productive day, when he had 118 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Worse, they faced Brett Favre -- who completed 19 of 25 passes for 185 yards and two TDs -- at his best.

"I've seen that with him before, and he's hard to beat like that," said Holmgren, who coached the Packers from 1992-98.

Finally, the Seahawks didn't force any turnovers against the Packers. That was Seattle's calling card after leading the NFL though Week 4 with a plus-12 turnover margin in three games.

"Brett was hot. Ahman ran the ball well. They got hot," Simmons said. "What can you do? They're going to get plays on you. If you don't make some plays of your own, they're going to win."

It could be a long week for Seattle players who spend time with defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes.

"I don't think he'll be real pleasant to be around," Holmgren said. "He takes a lot of pride in what he does. He is building a defense that will be very good."

On the offensive side, Holmgren was encouraged by Seattle's 336 total yards and the ability to move the ball. Matt Hasselbeck threw for 225 yards while Shaun Alexander ran for 102 yards with a TD.

Holmgren was less enthusiastic about Alexander's fumble on Seattle's opening drive possession and Hasselbeck's interception in the third quarter. Both led to Green Bay touchdowns.

"You're going to have turnovers, but we've been so good at not having turnovers," Holmgren said. "It was a big part of the game. They converted both of those turnovers into points."

And while the Seahawks went 1-for-3 on opportunities inside the 20-yard line, the Packers scored all four times in the red zone.

"I take a lot of pride, as you know, in our red-zone offense," Holmgren said. "I don't think we were very good in the red zone."

There's no panic in the Seattle locker room. Holmgren pledged to correct the deficiencies, especially on defense, and pointed out that the Seahawks still have won three of their first four.

Players remain confident it could be a special season.

"We've got to play well in all phases," Simmons said. "Everyone has to be accountable and do their part."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index