Seahawks’ Carroll: Looked like Graham was short of first down

Jan 13, 2020, 1:18 PM | Updated: Jan 14, 2020, 10:31 am
Seahawks HC Pete Carroll...
Seahawks HC Pete Carroll was upset with a late first down call Sunday. (Getty)

Just like at the end of Week 17’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, the Seahawks were just inches away from potentially winning a game. This time, however, it ended their season.

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Seattle’s season come to a close with a tough 28-23 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs.

When the Seahawks played the 49ers, tight end Jacob Hollister caught a pass from Russell Wilson on the final play of the game and was stopped just short of the goal line.

A tight end was involved again this time, but the Seahawks were on defense and the player catching the ball was former Seahawk Jimmy Graham.

On third down with less than two minutes left, Green Bay needed a first down to end the game. Graham caught the pass over the middle of the field and safety Lano Hill tackled him right around the line to gain for a first down.

Graham was awarded a first down on the field and the play was reviewed. Some angles looked like Graham didn’t get the necessary yardage. The referees still gave Green Bay the first down after review.

Head coach Pete Carroll joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant for the final Pete Carroll Show of the 2019 season and said he didn’t feel like Graham got enough yards to get the first down.

“I still wonder if Jimmy made it. I don’t think he did,” Carroll said Monday morning. “Had they not called it (a first down), they would have not overturned it had it been challenged the other way. It wasn’t really that close.”

Carroll’s sentiment was similar to how he felt with another play from the Week 17 game. Before Hollister’s catch on fourth down, he was the intended target on third down but made contact with a defender.

It looked like it could have been called pass interference, but there was no flag. The play was reviewed from the league’s office in New York, but they felt Hollister initiated the contact, so a flag wasn’t necessary.

If Graham was ruled short, it would have set up fourth down with less than a yard to go.

“We still would have had to stop them on fourth down,” Carroll said. “I think they probably would have gone for it there to try and end the game. I think we would have stopped them then away we go to see if we can win a football game.”

There was a time when the referees went back to review the play a second time because they got another view at the play that hadn’t been reviewed. It was still ruled a first down after that second review.

“When you watch the TV copy there at the end, they did show a look coming in from the right side that maybe they hadn’t looked at before,” Carroll said of the second look. “I don’t know where that came from. But that one really sealed the deal. He didn’t make it.”

The Seahawks will now turn to the offseason, with focuses likely being the defense as well as the offensive line.

Listen to Carroll at this link or in the player below.

Follow 710Sports.com’s Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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