Pete Carroll Show: Seahawks’ pass rush better than it looked, final play was ‘fantastic’
The Seahawks and Patriots are seemingly incapable of playing a game that doesn’t come down to the very end, and that was the case yet again in Week 2 with Seattle topping New England 35-30 in a game that came down to one final play from one yard away from the end zone.
As expected, there was a ton to discuss from the Week 2 thriller, and head coach Pete Carroll covered a ton in his weekly Pete Carroll Show on Monday morning with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant and former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus.
Here are some of the biggest takeaways from Carroll’s interview.
Final play was ‘fantastic stuff’
It came down to just the 1-yard line yet again for the Seahawks against the Patriots, and as it had in the two previous meetings between them, the defense was the winner.
Patriots quarterback Cam Newton scored two rushing touchdowns during the contest and he was looking for his third with just three seconds left on the last play of the game. Instead, he was upended well short of the goal line.
That'll do it ❗️ pic.twitter.com/SQR6ndhmnV
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 21, 2020
“That was a fantastic play. Really I just regret so much that the fans weren’t there for that moment. They would have just gone berserk,” Carroll said, making note of the fact that CenturyLink Field was empty for the first of at least three Seahawks home games this year. “The game could have been a little easier for us. We could have been in command of that thing but we couldn’t quite get it done. So it came down to that (last play), guys had to rise up and L.J. Collier, what a play he made. And Lano Hill, too. That was fantastic stuff.”
Carroll loves big and explosive finishes and as you’d expect, he was all for how Sunday’s game ended.
“I kind of like it when it’s like that. Why not make a memory, you know? Maybe I’m a little sick, but I enjoyed the heck out of it.”
Carroll noted that the Seahawks struggled with that same running play throughout the night and wasn’t surprised that’s what the Patriots called. In addition to Collier and Hill making a good play, defensive captain Bobby Wagner played a key role both in the play and before it that helped the defense get it done.
“We were in our goal-line defense and we just moved just at the right time. Bobby made a great call down there and L.J. got free and everybody was so aggressive in that moment,” Carroll said. “… When they had the opportunity, they hit it and made the thing happen at just exactly the way we wanted it. It was a spectacular hit, too. It wasn’t like we barely got him. We got him really well. That was really fun.”
The Seahawks’ defense in that win will be remembered largely for coming up with the last-second stop. But what did Carroll think of the performance of the defense, which allowed 30 points and 464 total yards? First things first – Carroll was thrilled with how they stopped the run.
“That’s a fantastic job by the defense to get that done, take them out of the game,” he said. “That’s the style they want to play. They don’t want to throw the football, they want to run the football with this quarterback and this team and we didn’t let them do it. They had to throw the football.”
Newton threw for almost 400 yards, but New England ran for just 67 rushing yards a week after running for over 200 in a win over the Miami Dolphins.
One issue that appeared to arise again was the lack of a pass rush, as Newton regularly had a clean pocket and was only sacked once. Carroll said the pass rush was better than people think.
“There’s been some comments or conversations about pass rush – we missed four sacks. We missed them and they were right there,” he said. “… We were right there and we’ve just got to get the guy down. He’s phenomenal at making you miss, but the rush allowed us to be there and had we made those sacks on the night, it would have been an extraordinary night of playing defense because those were all critical opportunities to stop them and the drives were continuing to go.”
Last play on offense
The reason the Patriots had the ball with just under two minutes left and two timeouts was because after the Seahawks ran it twice for 9 total yards on their final offensive possession, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson couldn’t connect with Tyler Lockett on a long third-and-1 pass attempt that would have likely been the dagger. Instead, the clock stopped, the Patriots saved one of their two timeouts and Michael Dickson came on to punt.
Carroll said the coverage dictated the play call and that Lockett was the third option on the play.
“It was a zero coverage situation. Russ took a look and he had two easy routes to throw to underneath in that they’re total run away routes with guys coming across the field, but both guys got jammed a little bit, so he had to come off it,” he said. “If you notice, the snap wasn’t great on that play too so it did distract him for a second … He knows he’s got Tyler on that route, he knows it’s one-on-one, he knows he’s going to be there, so that decision just tells you who Russ is and what he’s all about.”
Carroll said the choice Wilson made given the situation was “a great choice” similar to the fourth-down touchdown pass he threw in Week 1 to DK Metcalf. He was happy to see Wilson play aggressively.
“That’s our quarterback and he’s going to go for it when he gets his chance,” Carroll said. “He can’t wait to get those (opportunities) and it just didn’t work out.”
Listen to the entire Pete Carroll Show at this link or in the player below.