DANNY ONEIL

O’Neil: Seahawks’ failed fake field goal not one of Carroll’s finest moments

Nov 20, 2017, 11:16 PM
Luke Willson lost 4 yards on Seattle's failed fake field goal shovel pass play. (AP)...
Luke Willson lost 4 yards on Seattle's failed fake field goal shovel pass play. (AP)
(AP)

Pete Carroll thought the Seahawks were going to score a touchdown.

That’s the only way to explain the decision to fake a field-goal attempt with 7 seconds left in the first half and call on punter Jon Ryan to shovel the ball to tight end Luke Willson as he ran parallel to the line of scrimmage.

“It would have been a really good call if we would have made it,” Carroll said.

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Instead, Willson was tackled for a 4-yard loss and it wound up looking like one of the worst calls Carroll has made.

There’s certainly some competition in that regard without even getting to “The Play That Shall Not Be Named” from that one postseason game played in Arizona.

There was the time in Carroll’s third game as Seahawks coach when he tried to score a touchdown on a third-down quarterback sneak in the final 15 seconds of the first half only to have the clock run out before a field goal could be attempted. There was an almost identical situation against Cincinnati a year later when he ran the ball on fourth-and-2, picking up the first down only to have the clock run out in the first half before Seattle could attempt a field goal.

Carroll joked about being “hormonal” after that game against the Bengals, but that’s part of the package with Pete. He’s impulsive. He’s a risk taker. A coach lauded as something that equates roughly to “Big (Guts) Pete.”

But getting down to whether it was a good decision requires looking at more than the outcome of the play, which was absolutely terrible as defensive tackle Grady Jarrett was in the Seahawks’ backfield, performing some sort of judo hip-toss on Willson for a loss of 4.

“He wasn’t supposed to be there,” Carroll said.

OK. But what was supposed to happen?

“It was a chance to make a big play,” Carroll said. “We had a chance to make a touchdown. Or get out of bounds.”

Yeah, that part doesn’t seem real likely. Willson was going to get out of bounds if he couldn’t get to the end zone?

Now, the Seahawks did have a timeout left, so had he picked up the first down and then was tackled, Seattle could have stopped the clock presumably to set up another field-goal try.

The thing was that Seattle was already set up for three points that turned out to be pretty darn important in a 34-31 defeat.

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