The Pete Carroll Show: Defensive stand before missed FG was huge for Seahawks
Coach Pete Carroll joined “Brock and Salk” on Monday as he does the day after every Seahawks game, this case being Sunday’s 10-9 wild-card playoff win at Minnesota. The podcast of their conversation can be found here. A few highlights are below.
Late defensive stand was huge. Everybody will remember Vikings kicker Blair Walsh’s missed 27-yard field-goal attempt in the final moments of the game that allowed the Seahawks to escape with the narrowest of victories, but Carroll said what Seattle’s defense did leading up to that moment is what sticks out in his mind. “My favorite sequence in the game was the last three plays on defense,” he said. Each of those plays were stops of Adrian Peterson, the NFL’s leading rusher, after a 24-yard pass from Teddy Bridgewater to Kyle Rudolph put the Vikings in the red zone. “There’s a lot of teams that can’t stop Adrian Peterson right there,” Carroll said. “They’re running downhill and they’re coming at you. They weren’t just trying to kill the clock. Our guys stepped up and smacked them and smacked them again, and the final hit of that three-play sequence was Kam (Chancellor) hitting him in the back of the head right there, right short of the sticks so it’s fourth down and they’ve got to kick it. It gave us as much time as we could possibly have. That finish right there to me, that was an emotional sign I thought. After a huge day and an extraordinary event that we were in, to finish it off and then have that kind of result was just awesome.”
Carroll didn’t worry. Even with the stand the Seahawks’ D made, there wasn’t much doubt that Walsh was going to make good on the chip shot that would have effectively ended Seattle’s season. Of course, Carroll being Carroll, doubt wasn’t really an option. “It was a lighter moment (more) than a heavier moment because we kept thinking all the things that could go wrong for them,” he said. “They gotta snap it, they gotta catch it, they gotta put it on the ground, they gotta kick it – all those things have to happen. They might jump or whatever, and the sun was in his eyes. We were talking about all of that.” And as it turned out, all those things that had to go right for Walsh and the Vikings didn’t. “We were holding on to a great thought and fortunately we get to move on,” said Carroll.
Thawing out. After spending hours outside during the third-coldest game in NFL history, how long did it take Carroll and the Seahawks to get warm after the game? “We warmed up pretty quickly. We had so much fun running around the locker room for a little bit that we warmed up pretty quickly,” he said. While the victory celebration helped them thaw out, there was one instance during the game when Carroll really felt the minus-6 degree cold. “There was a chill that came over me when the guy (Rudolph) caught the pass down to the 20. I thought it was the chill of death. That was the first moment I felt the cold. I didn’t feel it the whole day and all the sudden, ‘Oh my goodness what was that?”
Luke Willson could return this week. Carroll didn’t have any further update on the status of Marshawn Lynch, who surprisingly decided to not travel Friday to Minnesota after practicing all last week for the first time since his abdominal surgery in November. He’s optimistic another injured player, tight end Luke Willson (concussion), could be back in time for Sunday’s divisional round playoff game at Carolina, though. “Luke should be back. Luke almost made it back (vs. Minnesota),” Carroll said. Willson, who suffered his concussion in Week 16’s loss to the Rams and missed the regular-season finale at Arizona, practiced last Wednesday for the first time since the injury but sat out the rest of the week. A hamstring issue for fullback Will Tukuafu was the only new injury from the Vikings game that Carroll reported.