BY Art Thiel 07:40PM 09/22/2014

Carroll says Seahawks played better than SB

Seahawks coach was pleased with the defense’s game against the Broncos, whom he said deployed on the last series a set of pass routes that confused the secondary.

WR Jermaine Kearse displays less than classic form in delivering a throwback pass to QB Russell Wilson in first quarter trickeration against Denver Sunday. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Usually one to deflect hyperbole, coach Pete Carroll may have started some. He was so pleased Monday with the 26-20 overtime win over Denver that he said that the Seahawks played better than in the 43-8 win over the Broncos in the Super Bowl. While the claim may be hard to prove, it was a major uptick from the 30-21 loss in San Diego that is still burning in Carroll’s mind. “It was good-looking film,” he said of the Broncos review. “We played really hard on defense. I was anxious to see if we would play (well), and looked like we played back in the Super Bowl against these guys, as far as breaking on the ball and running and hitting. I thought we did better.”

There was, however, the large matter of the final minute, when the Broncos fooled the Seahawks with fresh pass routes that led to an 80-yard, six-play drive that took QB Peyton Manning just 41 seconds.

“There was one concept that they threw at us that we just misplayed,” Carroll said. “They threw it four times in a row. We stopped the first one, the second one (42 yards to WR Emmanuel Sanders) got us, the third one we were OK, and the fourth scored the touchdown (26 yards to TE Jacob Tamme).”

The Broncos’ scheme included crossing Sanders and another receiver deep downfield to confuse FS Earl Thomas. The mixup in coverage was made worse when SS Kam Chancellor collided hard with teammate CB Marcus Burley and knocked him from the game, forcing the Seahawks to insert newcomer CB Josh Thomas.

‘”Just a route principle we didn’t play well and they did a really good job,” he said. “Josh just couldn’t quite get there.”

The other play burned LB K.J. Wright. Although Wright and CB Byron Maxwell said after the game they had not seen the routes in film study, Carroll said he alerted the defense to get deep on the sideline routes.

“Other than that drive, we kept them underneath us all game long,” Carroll said. “The guys just did a fantastic job and gave us a chance to play a dominant day of defensive football.”

The Seahawks are into their bye week, which gets a one-day extension because the next game is a Monday nighter at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6 in Washington, D.C. It’s the same as a year ago when they had the entire week off after beating Minnesota before playing the Saints on a Monday. Then it’s 13 consecutive weeks without pause.

Notes

Bone spurs in his ankle “really got in the way” of Chancellor’s play in San Diego, Carroll said. But treatment during the week helped enough that he had one of his best games against Denver. A Fox Sports report said that surgery was considered, but Carroll didn’t confirm that. He did say that it “might be” a season-long situation . . . LT Russell Okung left the game with what appeared to be a fairly serious left shoulder strain, but returned quickly. “He knew something happened,” Carroll said. “I think he took the time to really pray that it wasn’t something bad. And when he jumped up he felt like his prayers were answered. He felt a lot better . . . he came back and finished the game and did a nice job. Really cool how he could bounce back from that.” . . . LB Bruce Irvin (hip soreness from surgery) sat out Sunday but Carroll said he should play against the Redskins  . . . Carroll said he wished he had thrown the challenge flag on Marshawn Lynch’s two-yard run to the goal line on Seattle’s first possession, which eventually produced a field goal. He thought Lynch had crossed the plane, but assistants reviewing the play couldn’t be definitive. Lynch was called down but may have been atop other players and squeezed over the line.

 


YourThoughts

  • Matt712

    I thought the Hawks played at least as well as their SB win, overall. Anyone who thinks the difference in this game was a flip of the OT coin needs to take an honest look at the game stats.

    The only disappointment that persists for me is the offensive play calling in the second half. Bevell needs to find an effective balance between #24 and #11. After all the talk of opening the play book up, it’s inexcusable for a playmaker like Harvin to get so few touches, especially while getting shutout for most of the second half. If ‘barely scratching the service’ in reference to their options for Percy meant just using him as an $11 million decoy, then I’ve got some plastic ducks I’d like to sell.

    • art thiel

      Harvin led Seattle with seven receptions, and his decoy ability opened up the ground game to allow Lynch 88 yards. He had 36 in SB. The biggest mistake Wilson made was forcing the ball to Harvin on a go route that wasn’t there. He was picked.

  • jafabian

    After seeing Aaron Rodgers avoid Richard Sherman the Chargers and Broncos seemed determined to show they aren’t intimidated by the LOB and have had some success here and there. Moreso than teams did last season. The LB’s have picked up on this and are pitching in but last season the secondary would more than answer the bell. Be interesting to see how this turns out as the season progresses.

    • Matt712

      Jaf, I credit the Broncos defense as the difference in this game (damn near shutting out the Seahawks in the 2nd half). Statistically, Denvers offense ended with almost identical numbers as the SB – and that’s WITH that last 80 yard drive.

      Nobody (opp passing) is getting behind the Seahawks secondary, opting instead to ‘dink & dunk’ their way down the field with back shoulder passes and quick routes that come back to the ball, and then hoping to make a play in the red zone with a big tall receiver or tight end. Until that last drive, Manning’s passing numbers were pretty dismal. In fact, he almost got shutout on TD throws (shovel passes shouldn’t count).

      Intimidation or not, teams have altered not only their offensive game plans for the LOB, but their entire philosophies. Not even Phillip Rivers was throwing downfield.

      • art thiel

        Rivers and the older Manning have adjusted to shorter routes for all opponents. It’s a strategy that works until they fall behind. To the point about defense, you’re right: The Broncos stopped Seattle (including missed FG) on first 5 drives of the second half and got two points. They gave Manning the chance to be patient and stick with the game plan.

      • RadioGuy

        I suspect you and Art have nailed how opposing OC’s will go against Seattle’s defense: Lots of short passes into the flats like you’d see in the West Coast or even Run & Shoot, but keeping the running game active enough that the Hawks can rush the passer (or take away his angles) or the LBs can stay home in pass coverage.
        To borrow baseball terminology Seattle isn’t a team you’re going to beat with the long ball…you’ll have to hit ‘em where they ain’t.

    • art thiel

      DCs understand the vulnerability in Seahawks D is between the rush and the secondary. LBs rarely blitz, so they’re in coverage, and a tad slower than receivers. SD’s patience with the four-yard gain showed how it can work, if patience is practiced.

  • Big

    PC needs to coach up Kearse. Awkward looking pass technique. Wilson caught the ball looking like a WR. Trick plays can be tricky. Good win for the Hawks.

    • jafabian

      I thought Jermaine looked like Charlie Whitehurst when he threw it!

    • art thiel

      Then again, what better way to surprise a defense?

  • T.O. (the good one)

    Pete is all about defense and that is everything, except that he let Wilson write his own playbook in overtime last week. If not for that I think the Hawks would have lost the game. So I guess what I’m saying is that defense is almost everything. Wilson is everything else.
    Go Hawks!