5 things to know after Seattle beats Titans 20-13
Seattle • Richard Sherman matched strides with Tennessee's Nate Washington, in a far better position to make the catch than the player the pass was intended for.
Even after an All-Pro season a year ago for Seattle, Sherman still finds it surprising when opponents throw his direction.
"I don't even know. I think they were trying to give me the ball," Sherman said.
Sherman's fourth-quarter interception and Marshawn Lynch's 3-yard touchdown run that followed the turnover became deciding plays as the Seahawks overcame a sloppy, mistake filled effort in a 20-13 win over the Titans on Sunday.
Seattle dominated defensively, got a solid all-around game from Lynch, who finished with 155 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns rushing, and another steady day from quarterback Russell Wilson.
Yet, the Seahawks trailed at halftime due to a massive special teams blunder, were tied at 10-10 entering the fourth quarter and let the Titans (3-3) linger long enough that Seattle's long home winning streak was threatened.
But Lynch, Wilson and Sherman made the plays in the fourth quarter for Seattle (5-1) to win its 11th straight at home.
"We did some really good things. It was the kind of a game of situations that mess with us having a better time of it," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "It was a good win over those guys."
Here are five things learned as Seattle remained on top of the NFC West:
PROTECT THE MERCHANDISE: The return of Max Unger at center for Seattle led to far better protection for Wilson. After getting beat up the past two weeks against Houston and Indianapolis, Wilson was kept mostly clean on Sunday. The Titans sacked Wilson twice, but he continued to scramble for yards downfield. This time it wasn't as much due to pressure as Seattle's receivers being unable to get open against the Titans secondary.
"I felt like I was in tune with the offense," Wilson said. "I felt like I was really clicking with the guys today."
WHERE'S CJ?: The Titans again struggled to establish the run game. That was not surprising against Seattle's stingy defense, but only rushing for 66 yards was surprising. Chris Johnson was held to 33 yards on 12 carries and the other 33 yards for the Titans came on scrambles by Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 66 yards rushing were the fewest for Tennessee since Week 5 of last season when they ran for just 52 yards against Minnesota.
"We've got to help our defense out, and we can't be going three and out, we can't turn the ball over, and we can't continue to not be able to run the ball," Johnson said. "We've got too many good players up front, out wide and in the backfield not to be able to for us to force our will on people."
SECONDARY SHAKEUP: Seattle made a noticeable change in its secondary in the first half. Cornerback Brandon Browner was benched and replaced by Walter Thurmond for most of the second quarter. Browner struggled last week in Indianapolis and was beaten in the first quarter by Tennessee on Sunday. Browner watched without his helmet from the sideline, then returned to his normal position very late in the first half and for the second half.
"We have plenty of guys to play and I wanted to make sure we were fresh and going and I had a chance to talk to him about some of the stuff that was going on in the first half," Carroll said.
BAD FITZ: Fitzpatrick made his second straight start for the Titans and didn't show much to give the Titans comfort until Jake Locker returns. Fitzpatrick threw for 171 yards, but failed to get Tennessee's offense into the end zone and threw two bad interceptions. Fitzpatrick's first pick came on a bad overthrow in the first half then made the mistake of challenging Sherman in the fourth quarter.
Fitzpatrick has thrown 20 interceptions in his last 19 games.
"They were definitely both on me. Poor throws. You're not going to win many games turning the ball over twice like that.
QUICK TURNAROUND: Seattle doesn't have much time to savor the victory. They have an important NFC West matchup at Arizona on Thursday night and could be without defensive end Chris Clemons who suffered a hyperextended elbow in the win. X-Rays were negative on Clemons' elbow.
AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org