Pete Carroll breaks down what went wrong in Seahawks’ loss to Bucs
The Seahawks played much better in the second half in their Week 10 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Munich, Germany, but were unable to complete the comeback, losing 21-16. Seattle is now 6-4 and its four-game winning streak is over, but the Hawks still are in first place in the NFC West.
So what happened in the loss to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers? Here’s what Pete Carroll had to say in a special Tuesday edition of The Pete Carroll Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM.
First off, Brady was nearly perfect, completing 22 of 29 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
“He was able to play his style, the way he needs to play in the pocket, ball out quick and towards the middle of the field,” Carroll said. “… It was a frustrating deal for us because we knew that’s what he could be like, and he was and we didn’t stop it. We had a couple of balls we knocked down – Jordyn (Brooks) gets one and Cody (Barton) gets an interception. Those were the same concepts that he killed us on in the game. Four or five snaps of big plays that changed field position really affected the game.”
The Buccaneers entered the game with a historically poor rushing attack, but they ran the ball 44 times for 161 yards. So why did Tampa get its run game going against the Seahawks? Carroll said there are a few reasons.
“They just kept doing it. Overall, the third-down conversions allow you more plays, OK? And the lack of third down conversions allow us fewer plays,” Carroll said, “So that always plays into it, and they had the opportunity to do that.”
Tampa converted 10 of 15 third-down tries while the Seahawks were just 1-for-9.
“They have not been doing that. They had not stayed with the running game enough,” Carroll added. “They had 44 carries and there’s almost 25 or 26 carries that’s 3 yards or less. There’s a lot of nothing runs in there. But because they had converted, they could come back and do it again. More than they were for us going in, they were determined to run the football because they had it become so visible and so topical that guys were affected by that, and they did a great job … Honestly, I don’t like giving other guys credit, but you’ve gotta give him credit. They were able to get it done.”
Tampa’s lack of a rushing attack led the Seahawks to make 345-pound defensive tackle Bryan Mone inactive in favor of Myles Adams.
“We went with Myles because he’s got a different makeup (than Mone) and he’s quicker and he’s more of a pass rusher. And they just threw the ball 58 times (last week). They’re leading the NFL in (pass) attempts and yardage and all that kind of stuff,” Carroll said. “And we know the style of the run game. We thought we would be able to hold up without having Bryan with us. He has been a big factor in keeping us in our level of play. But that demonstrated what we thought we needed to do.”
Geno Smith and the offense
Quarterback Geno Smith wound up with another solid game as he completed 23 of 33 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns, but the Seahawks were shutout in the first half and converted just one third-down opportunity.
“They did a really nice job of keeping us from executing on third down on our offense. So we’re off the field and they’re back again,” Carroll said.
Seattle then had to “switch gears” for the second half, which Carroll said his team did “really effectively.”
“You saw us change the rhythm, you saw us change the emphasis. We came out trying to mix the game and we said, ‘Geno, let’s go.’ And we rode him,” he said. “That was what we did in the second half because we knew they weren’t rushing the passer very well. We were protecting OK, but the turf didn’t allow (their pass rush) to get going, so we had the freedom to go ahead and throw the ball quite a bit.”
Smith overall was “marvelous,” just like he’s been all season long, but he did have a costly red-zone fumble that wound up being a deciding reason why the Seahawks lost.
The play came on a quarterback draw, Carroll confirmed Tuesday morning, and he doesn’t want to see Smith running as much going forward.
“Unfortunately, the fumble is the play. We’ve got to keep him from running the ball because he’s just not as well equipped as the runners,” Carroll said, adding that the defender made a great play to punch the ball out. ” … We have to defend against that. But Geno’s more vulnerable (to fumbling) just like every quarterback is … Our guy has got to take care of the football, so we have to avoid the opportunities that they can go after it.”
As far as the good when it comes to Smith, Brock Huard brought up a comparison that former Seahawks quarterback Trent Dilfer recently made, where he compared Smith to legendary Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, in part because both were late bloomers in the NFL.
Carroll, who coached Hasselbeck with the Seahawks in 2010, was a big fan of that comparison.
“They’re both are guys that could run the football when they needed to. Matt could scramble and get out (of the pocket) and Geno’s maybe a little bit niftier than what Matt was – sorry, Matt,” Carroll said. “But they both are pocket-type guys, stand up stature-looking guys. And Geno can throw the ball as hard as anybody who has played the game. So he has a more powerful arm. Matt was just as accurate, just as effective and could run the club with mastery. And that’s what you’re seeing from Geno. So I think it’s a really good comp.”
Listen to the full Pete Carroll Show at this link or in the player below.