Seahawks benefiting from close games, though Pete Carroll admits decisive wins would ‘be fun’
Dec 18, 2019, 4:14 PM | Updated: 4:15 pm
The Seahawks are no stranger to playing in tight games – especially this season – though it is to the evident frustration of some fans.
The Seahawks are 11-3 this year, and those 11 wins are by an average of just 5.72 points per game. All but one of those wins were by eight or fewer points, with Week 4’s 27-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals being the only outlier. Take that game away and the other 10 Seahawks victories have come by an average of 4.6 points.
The Seahawks are now just the second team in NFL history with 10 one-possession victories in a season. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll pointed to the team’s leadership at his Monday press conference for why they have been able to accomplish that.
“Well, I think we’re a poised team,” Carroll said. “I think it comes right from (captains) Russell (Wilson) and Bobby (Wagner). I think those guys on the field make other guys stay within themselves and not get scattered and continue to help us execute. It means really, the leadership that those guys offer, I would go right to that. We’re never out of anything. We don’t ever feel like that. To be like that and extend that message, you have to come across with poise or guys aren’t going to listen to you and it’s not going to have the effect. We have really good leadership. I would like to think that’s a big part of it.”
While a few of those victories were come-from-behind wins, like Week 5 against the Los Angeles Rams, some of those victories have been because teams have had late scores against Seattle, making games closer towards the end. That happened this past Sunday when the Seahawks won 30-24 against the Carolina Panthers.
“I’m sorry for the fans,” Carroll said of playing in close games. “Like I’ve said before, you’ve got to suck it up and enjoy the wins. Sometimes, they just come out later than you want.”
On Sunday, Carolina scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and could have had a chance to win the game if not for a few Seahawks first downs on their final offensive drive.
When asked about close games again on Wednesday, Carroll said playing in them are helpful.
“I love close games. I think they help you,” he said. “They make you stronger. They keep you in the game longer. They make you have to focus farther, and it prepares you for more kinds of things that can happen that you need background and experience in.”
Despite those positives, Carroll said it would be fine for them to win by more than one score.
“It would really be OK if we could win by a lot sometimes. That’d be fun,” he said. “This is this season. These seasons write a story and that’s kind of the story of what’s been going on all year long. We’re certainly not trying to let them back into it. That’s not the idea.”
These games are especially beneficial for the younger players. On Sunday, the defense was banged up and a lot of backups and first- and second-year players were on the field late in the game.
“I think all of the young guys that have been through those games, they’re not tensing up,” Carroll said. “They’re not worried about what’s going to happen next. Just keep thinking we’re going to find a way. That’s powerful. It really supports what the experienced guys have been around and how they think. It’s just the way it is.”
The Seahawks return home this Sunday against the only team they beat by more than eight points this year, the Cardinals, who are 4-9-1 and are coming off a 38-24 win over the Cleveland Browns.