With short week, Seahawks quickly put Green Bay disaster behind them
Dec 12, 2016, 7:28 PM | Updated: Dec 13, 2016, 9:29 am
RENTON – Short week, short memory.
That was the tune coach Pete Carroll struck repeatedly on Monday, a day after his Seahawks suffered their most lopsided defeat in five seasons. It’s not as though they would otherwise spend much time dwelling on a blowout loss like the one they were handed Sunday in Green Bay, but with a quick turnaround ahead of their Thursday night game against the Rams at CenturyLink Field, they don’t have much choice but to move on quickly. That’s why Carroll was talking on Monday as though Seattle’s disastrous performance against the Packers was old news.
“In our world here in Seattle, Monday and Tuesday have flown by and it’s Wednesday,” Carroll said. “We are off and running and putting in the game plan and getting ready on a short week for a Thursday night game. It was a very difficult game last week, which was a long time ago. We’re going to do everything we can to bounce right back, get on track and do the things that we need to do to play good football. There were some uncharacteristic stuff that happened, so we’ve turned our focus immediately to the game that’s at hand, just like you would expect us to, and we’re going for it.”
Carroll said the team as a whole didn’t even review film of Sunday’s 38-10 loss. Sometimes they’ll watch highlights on Mondays, but with an abbreviated schedule this week, there isn’t time.
Nor were there many highlights.
Seattle’s defense, which entered Sunday’s game ranked first in the NFL in points allowed, had its most forgettable performance in recent memory. The Seahawks gave up a 66-yard touchdown on the third play from scrimmage, they hardly pressured Aaron Rodgers even though he was playing with an injured calf and they allowed more points than they had in any game in more than a year.
It didn’t help that Seattle’s offense committed six turnovers, including a career-high five interceptions by Russell Wilson. Two of them went through the hands of his intended receivers, but Wilson was off throughout Sunday’s game, missing on several throws aside from the ones that were picked off. Seattle was able to move the ball, but Wilson’s interceptions either killed promising scoring drives or set Green Bay up with short fields.
It all added up to one of the Seahawks’ least competitive performances of the Carroll era. It was the first time since October of 2011 that Seattle lost by more than 10 points, which snapped an NFL record streak of 85 consecutive regular-season games. The only two losses that were more lopsided came all the way back in 2010, the year Carroll and general manager John Schneider arrived to inherit an aging roster that finished 7-9.
Yeah, that long ago.
Can you tell Pete Carroll is trying to move on from the #Seahawks‘ disastrous loss in Green Bay? pic.twitter.com/f9Je6dzB17
— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) December 13, 2016
“The strength that it takes and the discipline that it takes to get focused right and turn it right around right now is really something that we have to feed off one another,” Carroll said when asked if Sunday’s loss can bring the team closer together similar to what happened in 2014, when Seattle won its final six-regular season games and made it back to the Super Bowl following a November loss in Kansas City.
“We have to work together to do this. That was immediately the message in the locker room after the game. We have a lot of good things ahead of us right now and we need to make sure that we do it together and we get together. We went at that immediately. Whether that will crystallize into something, this is a very tight team already, a very close group with really solid leadership and direction from the locker room. I know that those guys know what’s at stake and know how we want to go about this. They know what the message is to their teammates and how they want to lead in the proper direction.”
Sunday’s loss dropped the Seahawks to 8-4-1 and out of the NFC’s No. 2 seed, which Detroit now holds at 9-4. If the season were to end today, Seattle would be the No. 3 seed and would host Tampa Bay in the wild-card round. But the remaining schedules will give Seattle a chance to climb back into the second spot, which comes with the all-important first-round bye.
Detroit finishes with road games against the Giants and Cowboys and then at home vs. Green Bay. Those teams have a combined record of 27-12. Seattle finishes with three games against its NFC West counterparts, which are 10-28-1. Two of those games are at home, starting with Thursday night against a 4-9 Rams team that’s not scoring with rookie Jared Goff at quarterback and just fired head coach Jeff Fisher.
Then again, the Rams have been a thorn in Seattle’s side in recent years, beating the Seahawks earlier this season and in both meetings last year. And the Seahawks would have a hard time beating anyone if they play anything like the way they played Sunday in Green Bay.
Players seem to universally loathe the quick turnaround from Sunday to Thursday, which is often when their bodies are just beginning to recover from the poundings they took four days earlier. Coaches have their own set of challenges with less time to game plan and practice. But as far as Carroll is concerned, this is one instance in which he actually welcomes it.
“It absolutely feels like that,” he said. “That was the sense we had in the locker room – gosh, it was just last night. But yeah, that’s exactly the thought and we’re kind of happy to have it come. Both teams are at the disadvantage of the short week, so we compete every step of the way to get on track as fast as we can to put together a great game plan. But there’s no time. We don’t get to sit on what happened one way or the other, win or lose, and we have to turn it. We’ve done that quite decisively I hope, and we’ll see how we take to that.”