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Seahawks fall back to .500 with tough loss to Chargers

SEATTLE – Ouch.

The Seattle Seahawks couldn’t keep up with the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, as Russell Wilson threw a rare pick-6 in the fourth quarter and David Moore dropped what could’ve been a game-tying touchdown in the end zone with no time left to seal a 25-17 loss at CenturyLink Field.

The loss put an abrupt end to Seattle’s hot streak, as it dropped to 4-4 on the season and now faces a challenging gauntlet against the Rams, Packers and Panthers.

“We need to clean it up,” Coach Pete Carroll said after the game. “We gave them too much, for a good team.”

And it all started so promisingly.

The Seahawks came out of the gate strong with a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. They ran it right at the Chargers, taking 8:05 off the clock with nine rushing attempts. They went 3-for-3 on third downs on the drive, capping it with Russell Wilson’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown.

The Chargers answered quickly, however. They drove 94 yards on their ensuing possession, responding with a 12-play drive that ended when the first quarter did with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Philip Rivers to Tyrell Williams. They weren’t able to tie it up, however, as Caleb Sturgis’ extra point was no good. It was Sturgis’ fifth missed extra point of the season.

The Chargers took the lead for good early in the second quarter. A four-play, 83 yard drive was capped by Melvin Gordon’s 34-yard touchdown run. Their two-point conversion attempt failed, but they were ahead 12-7 with 11:36 to play in the first half.

Sebastian Janikowski missed a field goal for the fourth time this season midway through the second quarter, when his 51-yard attempt bounced off the right upright.

The Chargers grew their lead late in the first half with a quick, five-play drive that they capped with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Mike Williams.

Janikowski made up for his earlier missed field goal as the first half ended, hitting a 44-yarder as time ran out.

Sturgis cost the Chargers again in the middle of the third quarter, missing a 42-yard field goal with a little over 7 minutes left.

The Hawks made a game of it late in the fourth quarter, as a nice return from Tyler Lockett and a 10-yard penalty put them on their own 46. Luke Vannett made the most of it, catching a Wilson pass for a 6-yard TD to make it 25-17 with 1:50 left to play.

Janikowski couldn’t convert the onside kick, but the Seahawks held strong and Jarran Reed sacked Rivers to force a 4th and 17 and a punt with 1:32 to go.

Seattle got the ball on it own 22, and a Tyler Lockett reception plus a roughing the passer penalty brought them out to the Chargers’ 41-yard line.  Wilson scrambled down to the 28 for a first and 10. After three misfires, the Seahawks took a shot at the end zone on fourth down. Michael Davis was called for pass interference on Lockett, setting up one last play from the 1-yard line with no time on the clock.

J.R. Sweezy was called for offsides, pushing the Hawks back to the 6-yard line. But David Moore dropped a pass in the end zone, and that was that.

Wilson didn’t have one of his better days, mixing in some off-target throws as he completed 26-of-39 passes for 235 yards with two touchdowns and that one interception and absorbing four sacks. Mike Davis led the charge on the ground, rushing 15 times for 62 yards as a hip injury limited Chris Carson to eight carries for 40 yards.

Guard D.J. Fluker, who has helped anchor a dramatically improved offensive line this season, left the game in the fourth quarter with “some tightness in his calf,” Carroll said. There was no indication of his prognosis.

The Seahawks travel to Los Angeles next weekend to play the Rams at 1:25 p.m. Sunday.