Pete Carroll Show: WiFi failure gave Seahawks tense moment during final seconds of 49ers-Falcons

Dec 16, 2019, 11:03 AM | Updated: 11:04 am

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll...

The Seahawks' celebration of the 49ers' loss that put them back in first place was delayed. (Getty)


One of the Seahawks’ team doctors was a lifeline of sorts for the team after Sunday’s game, but in a strictly figurative sense.

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That’s because Dr. Ed Khalfayan had what may have been the only WiFi connection as the Seahawks’ chartered flight sat on the tarmac in Charlotte and San Francisco’s game against Atlanta neared a really dramatic conclusion.

“There’s a whole crush of guys hovering around Dr. Khalfayan’s Wi-Fi hookup,” said Seattle’s coach Monday during The Pete Carroll Show on 710 ESPN Seattle.

The Seahawks watched as Atlanta appeared to pull ahead on Austin Hooper’s TD catch only to have that play overturned on video review. That left five seconds on the clock with the Falcons trailing by five points, and officials ruled the game ended a play later after Atlanta’s Julio Jones was tackled at the San Francisco 1.

“There’s a still of the ball looking like it’s across the goal line, the WiFi shut down right there,” Carroll said. “So it was frozen on the screen so we didn’t know what happened and everybody’s screaming.”

Everybody was screaming again two minutes later when Seahawks assistant quarterbacks coach Steve Shimko informed everyone that Jones was awarded the touchdown and the Falcons had won.

“It was a great moment,” Carroll said. “We had a real blast of a time just cheering ‘em on.”

Yep, it’s that time of year when a team is doing everything it can to take care of its own business – which the Seahawks did with their 30-24 victory in Carolina – and then keeping an eye on the scoreboard. Just don’t go thinking that means Carroll wants a briefing on all of the various playoff scenarios involving his team.

He made that clear first-hand when I offered to definitively sort through all of the playoff possibilities and Seattle’s coach said he wasn’t at all interested.

“I don’t care,” Carroll said. “I really don’t. Because we have to go win the game. And then we have to go win another game and then we’ll see where we are. That’s the only thing that really matters to me.”

He’s right. If Seattle wins its final two games, it is guaranteed not only the NFC West title, but a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs.

Now that the coach isn’t listening, we can flesh that out a little bit. If Seattle wins its final two games, the Seahawks (11-3) are likely to be the No. 1 seed. The only scenario in which the Seahawks would be the No. 2 seed is if New Orleans (11-3) also wins its final two games and the Green Bay Packers (11-3) lose at least one of their final two games.

If Seattle beats Arizona this week, the Seahawks would be assured of being – at the very least – the No. 5 seed. If the Seahawks beat the Cardinals this week AND the San Francisco 49ers lose to the Rams in a game that will be played Sunday night, Seattle would still have a slight chance of winning the NFC West even if San Francisco won the regular-season finale between the Seahawks and 49ers. For that to happen, Seattle would have to avoid losing on the strength-of-victory tiebreaker, which means that the sum total of victories between the Vikings (10-4), Eagles (7-7) and Falcons (5-9) – whom the Seahawks beat – would have to exceed the sum total of victories between the Packers (11-3), the Washington Epithets (3-11) and the Saints (10-3).

Not that Seattle’s coach is interested in hearing any of those possibilities.

“You only have so much focus and you want to maximize it,” Carroll said, “and why would we spend time on things we can’t do anything about that other stuff? We can cheer for them like we did down the stretch last night, and that was fun. But other than that it doesn’t serve us well and to me it’s a distraction we can’t afford.”

After Sunday’s win, the Seahawks are in the playoffs. Two more victories and they’re guaranteed a division title and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Listen to The Pete Carroll Show here or in the player below.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny O’Neil on Twitter.

More Seahawks coverage

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Pete Carroll Show: WiFi failure gave Seahawks tense moment during final seconds of 49ers-Falcons