By Brady Henderson
Four days later, Pete Carroll is still miffed.
But the one positive, he said, is that what that doomed the Seahawks during their 13-6 loss to the 49ers on Thursday were one-time mistakes that aren’t indicative of longer-term trends.
“I think we let an opportunity get away and we just had to do just normal things and we could have come out on top in that game – some things that normally we’re better at,” Carroll told “Brock and Salk” on Monday.
“We didn’t adjust on the running game as well as we usually do on defense and we had some balls that got away from us – that hasn’t been a factor at all – showed up in that game, and the game was so close and was so easily turned in the other direction. That was hard to let that one get away.”
Golden Tate was responsible for two of the Seahawks’ five drops during their loss to the 49ers on Thursday. (AP)
The Seahawks had the league’s No. 2 run defense and hadn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher this season until Frank Gore went for 131 on Thursday. Each of his 16 carries went between the tackles, according to ESPN Stats & Information, and a number of them were trap plays that the Seahawks couldn’t seem to stop.
As a team, San Francisco had 175 yards rushing.
Carroll said some of the 49ers’ longer runs came on plays in which the Seahawks missed assignments while bringing extra pressure. He took responsibility for what he said was a failure to make the proper adjustments.
“When you pressure, you have an opportunity to be very vulnerable, and we missed a gap and it looks like there’s just nobody playing defense. It’s just a simple, we hit the B gap instead of hitting the A gap and they hit it better than we did. So they’re fortunate,” Carroll said. “It’s not like getting out-physicaled or they were tougher than us or anything like that.”
“What’s frustrating about it is it’s easily remedied, and so that will get done. We got it done by the end of the game but not in that sequence in there where they popped a couple,” he added.
As costly as their breakdowns in run defense were, dropped passes hurt just as much, especially in a game decided by seven points.
There were five drops in all:
• Running back Robert Turbin, who has flashed good hands during his rookie season, dropped a likely touchdown pass on the Seahawks’ first possession, forcing Seattle to settle for a field goal and a 3-0 lead.
• Evan Moore, the tight end Seattle signed after releasing Kellen Winslow, dropped a deep pass during a second-quarter possession that also ended in a field goal.
• One of receiver Golden Tate’s two drops would have given Seattle possession deep in San Francisco territory in the second quarter. He also dropped a short pass on third down in the third quarter, a play Carroll said Tate makes “in his sleep.” Both of those possessions ended in punts.
• The Seahawks got the ball back deep in their own territory in the fourth quarter after an interception, but their drive ended when running back Marshawn Lynch dropped a third-down screen pass.
The drops were particularly uncharacteristic for Tate, who has actually shown good hands despite overall inconsistency during his three seasons. According to ProFootballFocus.com, Tate was the only NFL receiver to catch every catchable pass thrown his way last season.
Carroll had no explanation for Tate’s drops or the other three.
“It just has not been a factor at all,” he said. “There was nothing – I don’t think it was the wind, I don’t think it was the night air, I don’t think it was anything. It just happened.”