Injuries and penalty trend contribute to Seahawks’ loss

Jeremy Lane gets upended on an interception return in the first quarter, suffering a broken armThe Seahawks’ Super Bowl loss to the Patriots was — in so many ways — a microcosm of Seattle’s season.

The Hawks once again forgot who they were on offense, injuries again were key factors, and penalties — both called and not called — played a big role in their 28-24 loss to the Patriots.

We went into detail about the Seahawks’ failures on offense in another post, but injuries and the season-long penalty disparity loomed large in the Super Bowl.

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Seahawks never did find an offensive identity

Malcolm Butler secures a game-sealing interception on a pass intended for Ricardo Lockette in the Super BowlThe Seahawks struggled to find an offensive identity all season. Obviously that had not changed by the last play of the Super Bowl.

For a bunch that continually says they are a power running team and Marshawn Lynch is their bell cow, the Hawks have a funny way of showing it sometimes. Sunday was one of those times.

Why in the world would the Seahawks consider giving Lynch a big contract extension if they refuse to use him in the most important moment of the season?

The inexplicable decision to eschew Lynch in favor of a pass from the 1-yard line, trailing 28-24 with 26 seconds left, was the most head-scratching move in a season that already had caused most fans to claw their noggins raw.

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Seahawks have to get better at receiver

Jermaine Kearse is tackled by Brandon Browner in the Super Bowl ( much as receivers Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse complain about not getting any respect and being labeled “pedestrian,” the last two games of the season showed the criticisms have a lot of merit.

And when the Seahawks went to Ricardo Lockette — really?! — for the winning touchdown in the final seconds of the Super Bowl, it was a clear indicator that the Seahawks have to upgrade the receiver position in the offseason.

After playing horribly in the NFC title game against Green Bay — shut down for most of the game until they both came up big in overtime — Baldwin and Kearse were almost completely clamped by the Patriots’ secondary in the Super Bowl.

Until yet another undrafted player, Chris Matthews, came up big and sparked the Seattle offense, Russell Wilson had nowhere to go in the first half as Baldwin and Kearse were blanketed by Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner.

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