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Pete Carroll recaps Seahawks’ pivotal win over Panthers

The Pete Carroll Show airs the morning after each Seahawks game on Brock and Salk. (AP)

The Seahawks earned what might end up being their most important win of the season Sunday.

Seattle beat the Carolina Panthers 30-27 with a last-second field goal, giving the Seahawks an important tiebreaker over a fellow NFC wild card contender. Seattle (6-5) has five games left on the schedule, but their odds of making the postseason jumped to 74 percent with their Week 12 win, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.

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With such a close contest, a few plays standout as being key to Seattle’s success — a red-zone interception by safety Bradley McDougald and a 43-yard completion to Tyler Locket to set up the game-winning field goal are two examples. But among the biggest plays was a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from quarterback Russell Wilson to wide receiver David Moore.

“It was all about match ups in that situation,” head coach Pete Carroll told Brock and Salk during Monday morning’s Pete Carroll Show on 710 ESPN Seattle. “(Moore) has been really effective on the deep ball and he had a guy that was a newer guy and so we went after it.”

With three-and-a-half minutes left in the game, Seattle was facing fourth-and-3 from the Panthers’ 35-yard-line. Moore managed to beat out a Panthers defender – cornerback Corn Elder, who was playing in relief of starting corner Donte Jackson – to haul in a 35-yard pass from Wilson for the game-tying score.

“He was so chilled about the catch,” Carroll said. “There’s an opportunity for the receiver to not let the DB know the ball’s coming, and he did it, he put the sleeper on him and all the sudden the ball pops in and the guy doesn’t have a chance to make a play and we score.”

Here’s what else Carroll had to say about Sunday’s win:

How good was Russell Wilson? “He came through in great fashion. Did a great job. He missed a couple, there’s always a couple big plays in there he’d love to have a shot at again. But his mentality was excellent, his focus on it all the way down the stretch to get the job done was perfect.”

Wilson has a league-high 13 touchdowns to zero picks when defenses blitz, according to ESPN’s Brady Henderson. What do you make of that? “That’s a good stat, I didn’t know that… that’s protection, too. That’s working with the protection, it’s knowing what’s coming and so his clock is set accordingly and he knows how much time he has… That’s what all of these years give you… that experience that gives you the awareness so that you can use the timing that you have available.”

What clicked there in the red zone for the defense? “It was just the situation. The field goes to our advantage in a sense. It gets smaller and shorter and we played really tough and guys came off and made nice plays. Naz (Jones) had a great play in a situation down there. Tedric (Thompson) and Bradley (McDougald) and Bobby (Wagner) had a couple great hits. A bunch of guys really contributed; J-Reed also. Those are guys just finishing plays and staying in the scheme and hitting it really hard with great intensity.”

What can you guys do to generate more pressure on the quarterback? “We just have to find our ways. I don’t want to talk a whole lot about what we’re doing but we’ve got to get more. It was too quiet for the quarterback, we were rarely even close to him yesterday. And it was in respect to the running game and all the stuff they were doing. This is a very, very difficult offense to deal with. Norv (Turner) has done a great job of transitioning it. I thought he called a gorgeous game yesterday and really had us moving one way and the other. But we do have to (bring the pressure), that’s a main emphasis for us.”

Chris Carson had a few impressive plays. How tempting is it to play him every down? “Well he’s a terrific player. He’s a lot of fun to watch. He needs a break; he’s still growing, he’s growing with the rhythm of it and all that. You saw we almost took him out there at one point and he was ready to stay in. So we’re teaching him. He’s still a young player and young performer, and he’ll figure that out where he feels strong throughout.”

You frequently hammer home the point of winning at the end…: “That mentality is so important for us to hold onto. Because you’re always in it and you’re always with the opportunity to find the way to win… and they know they don’t have to do anything special to do that, they just have to keep doing the right stuff. And that’s the challenge and that’s where you see our guys coming through more.”

You can listen to the full Pete Carroll Show at this link.

More coverage of the Seahawks’ win over Carolina:

O’Neil: Seahawks are picking up speed as they turn the corner
Rost’s takeaways: WRs Lockett, Moore come up big
O’Neil: Seahawks didn’t win so much as they survived
Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle’s hosts on Seahawks’ victory
Janikowski’s field goal lifts Seahawks over Panthers 30-27