TAMPA, Fla. -- Coach Pete Carroll made the rounds in the Seattle Seahawks' locker room following Sunday's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, patting players on the back and whispering words of encouragement.
"Just stay together," right guard Germain Ifedi said when asked about Carroll's message to the team. "We know what happened this game. It’s not the end of the world. We don’t want to panic. Just stay together. We’ll fix it. We’ll shore up everything that happened."
Added wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, "We all knew that was not us, only scoring three points as an offense after the past couple weeks that we had. We know that’s not us. We’ve just got to correct the mistakes and continue to get better. There’s going to be some downs. And how we respond to those downs is going to tell you about the character of this team. I have no doubt that we’re going to pick it back up."
It was an ugly performance all around. The Seahawks scored one field goal on 11 offensive possessions. They were 1-for-11 on third down and turned it over three times.
Russell Wilson was sacked six times and hit 11 more. He completed 17 of 33 passes for 151 yards and a pair of interceptions. Wilson's passer rating of 38.8 was the second lowest of his career.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, he was pressured on 60 percent of his dropbacks. That was against a Bucs defense that ranked 30th in producing pressure (22 percent) entering the game.
This is not what the Seahawks were expecting after averaging 29.3 points in their previous three games. They usually peak this time of year. But Sunday's performance showed they have a lot of work to do if they want to make it back to the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons.
"That little bit of adversity is OK," running back Thomas Rawls said. "It’s OK. We’re going to pick it up, and I’m excited to get back out there."
Added wide receiver Tyler Lockett, "Everybody needs these types of games. It’s not like something where we’re just going to put our heads down and give up. Everybody needs those games."
Before Rawls exited, he walked over to Wilson, Kearse and Doug Baldwin to offer each a fist pound.
Wilson and his receivers -- Baldwin, Kearse and Lockett -- huddled in the corner of the locker room for a lengthy conversation.
"Sometimes you have to have a little bit of struggle to overcome," Wilson said. "... We’re really positive about what we can do. We’ve obviously shown it in tons of different circumstances this year. We’ve battled, we’ve battled, we’ve battled. They played a little better than us today.
"It’s nothing we haven’t been through before. That’s the good thing for us. We’ve been through it all, and we’re looking forward. Sometimes you’ve got to look forward to the challenges, and you’ve got to look forward to the struggle to see what’s on the other side. I think that’s what we will be able to do."
Ifedi put it more succinctly.
"Get the trash out of our game and move on to next week," he said.
At 7-3-1, the Seahawks have a three-game lead in the NFC West. Of course, with the Dallas Cowboys at 10-2 and the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons both 7-4, the focus now shifts to hanging on to the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye.
Carroll made it clear afterward he feels Sunday was a hiccup, not a loss the team needs to dwell on.
"We got a big finish coming up on this season," Carroll said. "The main thing was to admit that this was not the way we want to play. We’ll turn our focus on the way home when we talk about getting ready for next week."