Carroll: Importance of Seahawks’ win over Rams, Geno’s big finish

Dec 5, 2022, 12:31 PM

Seahawks Geno Smith...

Los Angeles Rams DT Michael Hoecht sacks Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith on Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

After dropping back-to-back frustrating games to the Buccaneers and Raiders, the Seahawks got back in the win column by beating the Rams 27-23 in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Rost: Seahawks still have questions, but Geno Smith has answered some

The Rams may have won the Super Bowl last season, but they’ve struggled mightily with injuries and inconsistency as they’re now 3-9. Making matters worse for them, they didn’t have stars Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald when hosting the Seahawks.

“Yeah, I bet the fans are really mad at us because it was so close at the end and all that kind of stuff,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said jokingly Monday during the weekly Pete Carroll Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM. “But that was a great finish, man. That was great. Both sides had their shot to get it done and (we) did it and came through. It was great to see the offense go down to win the game on that drive, and then the defense go out and take the ball off of them. It was great.”

The Seahawks had a game-winning touchdown drive that culminated in a Geno Smith pass to DK Metcalf with just 36 seconds left on the clock, giving Seattle its seventh victory of the season.

“Huge. It was a huge game for us … Each one of these games, they’re all the one where this is the one that might make the difference in the season,” Carroll said. “… I was really pleased with the way our guys played. (They played) with such care throughout this game, it was really obvious to me.”

So what all happened in this game for the Seahawks?

Defensively, they struggled to start before making an adjustment, Carroll said.

“Huge change yesterday happened. We did something and guys really responded after the second drive,” Carroll said. “The coaches did a great job and players did a great job to change that game because they came out firing and had some stuff going. And if you look at the drives after that, a couple adjustments that the defense made fit really well and the guys took advantage of it.”

On offense, Smith and his group were able to get the late touchdown that eluded them last week against the Raiders. What was the difference between last week and this week?

“We made the plays. (Smith) made the throws, guys made the catches, things just worked out,” Carroll said. “… Very poised, very controlled. We had a great situation – we had three timeouts – so we knew that we could do whatever we needed to do to throw the ball wherever we needed to and (Smith) just picked out one guy after another.”

The game showed not only Smith’s ability to win a game late but his competitive fire.

“We didn’t have him in those situations enough to really know what it was going to be like with him. And we know Geno now. We know him and love him and … like all of us, you take us for our good and our bad stuff,” Carroll said. “We don’t have it all right all the time. Geno has been remarkably on point.”

Smith can be “a hothead,” Carroll said, because he’s such a fierce competitor.

“That doesn’t mean that he’s fierce and he’s always right on point. He’s gonna say the right thing, he’s gonna say the wrong thing. He’s best when (the media) see him. But out there (on the field), he gets (ticked off),” Carroll said. “And so it’s important that we (as coaches) help him, and that he knows now … He might fly off the handle a little bit because he cares so much. But he’s learned how to come right back to balance, and that’s what you saw a while back.”

Carroll gave Seahawks quarterbacks coach Dave Canales and offensive coordinator Shane Waldron a lot of credit for coaching Smith in a way that they can keep him at the right edge in terms of his competitive fire.

In the game against the Rams, Smith got into a sideline shouting match with rookie running back Kenneth Walker III, which Carroll discussed on Monday.

“There was some jawing on the sidelines. That’s because they wanted to get it right and they were trying to figure it out,” he said. “And we don’t always say things the right way in those moments, so sometimes it gets a little heated and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with that at all as long as we regain focus and we regain the poise that it takes to take that next step together and do right.”

So the Seahawks got the win and currently are in position for a playoff spot. What’s the messaging with this team heading into the final five weeks of the season?

“We’ve got a shot. We have a shot,” Carroll said. “We have a great shot to do some some really special stuff. We have terrific potential. We’ve got to hold onto our health as best we can. But we have the potential and we have an opportunity. We’re home for four weeks of the last five … We have a chance.”

The offense in particular will be key the rest of the way, Carroll said.

“It’s really exciting to see the offense continue to (thrive) and Geno continue to fire away like he’s firing and take these challenges. He’ll benefit from the finish yesterday. Did he need it? No. But it was great,” Carroll said. “Out of these next five (games), there’s going to be more fireworks at the end of the ballgame most likely, and we’d love to come through and tag on some wins.”

“We can make a real solid step forward. And I’m hoping we can capture it,” he later added. “They played so hard yesterday. Guys were in it the whole time every step of the way. It was maybe one of our most consistent all-around (efforts) yesterday. And it wasn’t all perfect … But they cared so darn much yesterday and they carried it to the game, which was really good.”

Listen to the full Pete Carroll Show at this link or in the player below.

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Carroll: Importance of Seahawks’ win over Rams, Geno’s big finish