Carroll: Seahawks are ‘edgy’ after two straight losses
By Josh Kerns
After two straight losses on the road, including last Sunday’s defeat to the Lions that saw the defense put up a surprisingly disappointing performance, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said his team is “edgy” and eager to get back into the win column Sunday at home against the Vikings.
“They’re a little anxious to get back out now. There’s a real edge about them. They felt very uncharacteristic for our style and what our expectations are,” Carroll said Friday during his weekly show on KIRO Radio’s “Seattle’s Morning News”.
The Seahawks defense gave up a season-high four touchdowns, especially struggling to stop the Lions on third down. Detroit converted 12 times in 16 third-down chances. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 352 yards, including the winning touchdown in the game’s final minute.
But Carroll said he expects a much difference performance Sunday.
Less than a year removed from a torn ACL, Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson is the league’s leading rusher with 775 yards through eight weeks. (AP)
“The thing I plan to see is that our guys are really going to elevate and I think we’ll be really active, which will give us a chance maybe to get the ball off them in special teams or somewhere on defense more than we have,” Carroll said. “There’s something about playing at home that it just gets harder for the other team to hold onto the football and hopefully we can take advantage of that.”
It won’t be easy. The Seahawks have to find a way to stop Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, the league’s leading rusher with 775 yards, especially impressive considering he tore his ACL in the second-to-last game of last season.
Carroll said Peterson poses a special challenge with his unique combination of speed and strength.
“He’s got the element that he can run through tackles or with his quickness and his burst he can make you miss,” Carroll said. “And he follows that with a great effort so that he doesn’t ever let up and if you let down for a moment or you think you’ve got him down he’s not going down with normal tackles. You have to finish it. You have to hope that guys around you help out.”
With the Seahawks sitting at 4-4, Carroll said getting to 5-4 is critical in the race for a playoff spot heading into the second half of the season.
“That’s a big difference. It is a very big game for us kicking off the second half, coming home, couple of weeks at home before the bye, all of that stuff is riding,” he said. “I know our guys are going to really bring a great effort because we want to take advantage of this opportunity to get moving.”
Minnesota is one of the surprise teams this season with a 5-3 record, including an impressive 24-13 win over the NFC West-leading 49ers. While some question whether the Vikings are for real after getting blown out 36-17 by Tampa Bay last week, Carroll isn’t one of them.
“They are impressive,” he said. “They’ve won in different fashions, too. You know they beat the Lions without really scoring a touchdown on offense – with their kicking game. So they’ve got some ways to beat you. But they’ve also given up a lot of points two of the last three weeks that makes you wonder what’s going. But they’re very difficult.”
One bright spot that came out of Sunday’s loss to Detroit was the continued emergence of Seattle’s offense. Quarterback Russell Wilson went 25 of 35 for 236 yards and two touchdowns in the 28-24 defeat. Carroll said he couldn’t be more pleased with the continued development of his prized rookie.
“It’s really exciting for all of us knowing that there’s a future if Russell can continue to grow and all of that that you have a kid like this with so much character and so much competitiveness and then he has all the special athleticism, too,” Carroll said.