Seahawks Takeaways: Carroll updates Tyler Lockett’s injury and more
The Seahawks are coming off their biggest win of the season after a 27-24 road overtime win over the previously-undefeated San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.
With that victory, Seattle is going into their Week 11 bye at 8-2, and the team’s next three games are scheduled for primetime.
So how’s coach Pete Carroll feeling heading into the bye? He joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant Tuesday morning for the weekly Pete Carroll Show to talk all about the team’s performance on Monday night.
“It was so much fun,” Carroll said. “It was a blast and we realized it was a big opportunity. It was a big opportunity in so many ways for us to get better and learn and to grow and all of that and to take it all the way down to no time left on the clock couldn’t have been better. … We milked every second out of that game and it was a lot of fun.”
Here are some takeaways from Carroll’s interview on Tuesday morning.
Lockett injury update
While the Seahawks’ upset victory is obviously good news, the game did see two notable injuries on Seattle’s offense.
Star wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who leads the team in basically every statistical receiving category, left the game with a leg injury and did not play in overtime. Tight end Luke Willson also left the game with a hamstring injury.
Carroll didn’t have much of an update on either of them but seemed optimistic about Lockett’s injury. It was reported that Lockett stayed in a hospital in the Bay Area overnight due to swelling in his leg that was feared could have been compartment syndrome, and thus didn’t make the flight back home with the rest of the team.
“When we took off last night he was feeling better,” Carroll said. “He just had a big bruise on his shin and the swelling issue is what was of concern. It should be OK. It shouldn’t be a big problem going forward, and it’s great we have the (bye) week. There’s concern when that happens that you can have complications and stuff like that.”
The loss of Lockett was felt in a big way, Carroll said, as the game felt “totally different” with him on the bench.
“Fortunately guys picked up the slack and (quarterback Russell Wilson) did a great job and it worked out,” Carroll said, “but his absence was so obvious.”
The most positive thing about Lockett’s injury is that he’ll get an extra week to get healthy with Seattle off until a Nov. 24 road game against Philadelphia. Carroll said in a press conference Monday afternoon that while Lockett will stay in the hospital one more night, he doesn’t expect Seattle’s top receiver to miss any games.
Pass rush finds its groove
While the offense capitalized on some San Francisco mistakes, it also had some of its own. The team had five fumbles, losing three, and Wilson threw an interception inside the 10-yard line on the first drive of overtime.
Luckily for Wilson and company, the Seahawks defense had arguably its best game of the season, making life very difficult for Jimmy Garoppolo. It helped that the 49ers quarterback was without his two main targets in tight end George Kittle, who was ruled out before the game, and recently acquired wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who left the game with a rib injury and never returned.
“I love the way our defense played last night,” Carroll said. “I’m so excited about that.”
The defense was swarming the 49ers offense, stuffing the 49ers’ second-ranked rushing attack, getting repeated pressure and hits on Garoppolo and also knocking down passes.
“We could have had five picks, easy, so it was a fantastic night to see the hardball-style of play,” Carroll said.
The defense has struggled throughout the season, especially in the passing game. The pass rush had been next to non-existent but came alive in Monday’s showdown. Namely, Seattle’s two best defensive lineman had their best games of the season.
“You would have thought that (Jarran) Reed and Jadeveon (Clowney) would look like (they did on Monday),” Carroll said. “It just hadn’t quite hit yet and they just were on fire and everybody complimented as well, but those two guys really were big factors.”
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Carroll gave some especially lofty praise to Clowney, who had a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and multiple pressures and quarterback hits.
“He had the best game I’ve seen a guy play for us in a long time.”
New-look secondary shuts down passing game
Sticking with the defense, Carroll said the new-look secondary, which had recently-acquired safety Quandre Diggs in the lineup for the first time at free safety, was extremely active on Monday.
With the help of Clowney’s constant pressure on Garoppolo, Diggs and strong safety Bradley McDougald laid the thump on the 49ers receivers.
“If you look downfield, their receivers after a while realized it too that the safeties were knocking their jocks off,” Carroll said.
In addition to sound play against the pass, the Seahawks utilized the secondary in rushing the passer. Tre Flowers had a sack, fellow cornerback Shaquill Griffin was called on to blitz a number of times, and McDougald had “a half dozen pressures,” according to Carroll.
Griffin had two passes defended, including a critical third-down deflection in overtime. He also had an interception that was waved off by a holding penalty by cornerback Jamar Taylor. McDougald and Flowers were tied for second in tackles behind linebacker Bobby Wagner, and McDougald had one of the biggest hits in the game on 49ers receiver and former Washington Husky Dante Pettis.
“I thought the guys played the most aggressive game that we’ve played overall, and I just love the style of it and we were a factor in causing problems for the (49ers) offense,” Carroll said.
Diggs made an immediate impact for Seattle’s secondary with a number of big hits and an interception. Carroll called Diggs a “savvy vet.”
“We really did benefit from that last night and I think it helped Bradley play better too,” Carroll said of Diggs’ veteran presence. “The play out of the safety position was the best we’ve seen all year and I was really fired up about that.”
Carroll also gave praise to wide receiver Josh Gordon, who made his Seahawks debut, the team’s run defense, kicker Jason Myers’ two clutch field goals, backup quarterback Geno Smith’s coin toss-calling ability and much more. Listen to the full show at this link or in the player below at the 19:27 mark.