BY Art Thiel 02:07PM 12/04/2017

Thiel: Seahawks made Eagles ‘look normal’

Despite key injuries, the Seahawks defense pulled together so well Sunday that they made the NFL’s No. 1 scoring offense “look normal,” coach Pete Carroll said Monday.

Pete Carroll was exuberant Sunday over his team’s play in knocking down the team with the NFL’s best record. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

After what he called “a beautiful night of ball,” Pete Carroll zeroed in Monday on the key development that held the NFL’s highest-scoring offense to a single touchdown in the 24-10 win Sunday over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Seahawks’ most significant win of the season.

Speaking of the injury-pickled defense, he said, “When everybody plays like they’re capable, all of a sudden, there’s an overwhelming effect. You don’t have to make extraordinary plays, don’t have to go superhuman on anybody.

“Even the best of the best don’t look like the best team in the NFL. We made them look normal.”

On his weekly radio show Monday on ESPN 710, Carroll gushed about how the Eagles were at the top, or nearly so, in several major offensive categories, which helped give them a 10-1 record entering the game and made Philly a six-point betting favorite, the biggest spread for a visitor since 2011.

“Not last night,” he said. “We’ve done that a lot over the years. The bigger the moment, the more we go to who we are. Don’t let the moment get to us. Last night was a beautiful illustration of that.”

On offense, the Seahawks’ first touchdown was the first allowed by the Eagles in the first quarter this season. Carroll said they planned a deliberate attempt to get QB Russell Wilson more physically engaged in the game from the start.

A read-option keeper by Wilson on the first scrimmage play went for seven yards, a rare play call so early.

“We wanted to see Russ engaged from the beginning,” Carroll said. “He was always ready. We had to create the opportunities to take advantage of him. Running on the first play, scrambling on the third or fourth play. He had couple of (third-down) conversions and away we go. He was sweaty from the beginning.

“The numbers don’t show it, but he took advantage of opportunities to be in full flow. Some were scrambles, some were duck-and-dodge in the pocket, some were checks (play changes at the line of scrimmage). He did everything we needed him to do. I loved how he was engaged the whole game.”

RB Chris Carson nearing return

In addition to getting improved, albeit modest, production from the run game (70 yards in 17 carries by four running backs, 64 from Mike Davis), Carroll reported that rookie Chris  Carson “is unbelievably head of schedule” from surgery to repair a broken ankle and is expected back before the end of the regular season.

A starter for the season’s first four games until he was injured, Carson is still the leading rusher among running backs with 208 yards. A seventh-round pick from Oklahoma State, Carson coming back could mean the end is near for RBs Eddie Lacy or Thomas Rawls, each of whom carried once Sunday.

“He was flying,” Carroll said about a Carson workout Friday. “On change of direction, you couldn’t tell he wasn’t fine. He has to show he’s back to full speed and can get on the practice field. I’m so excited, I can’t wait.”

Carroll didn’t say whether Carson’s return to practice is this week or next, but barring setbacks, he could be available for the Seahawks’ Dec. 24 game at Dallas.

Lacy is on a one-year contract, and Rawls will be a restricted free agent in the off-season.

Sunday was a rare game in which no new Seahawks injuries were reported.


  • I remember a few years ago when they made the number one scoring offense in the NFL look a lot worse than “normal.” The LOB was pretty green, then – a lot like some of our current starters. Methinks a parallel can be drawn.

    • It’s only Sports

      Young and hungry is a good thing. Mix that with key players whom other teams either gave up on or didn’t see them as players they wanted to keep going forward.
      That would be Brown Richardson Maxie and McDougald who all have slotted into valuable roles on this team. The chip on their shoulder crew.
      This last 4 games of the season is going to be fun!

  • It’s only Sports

    Last week I pointed out to friends all week long we not only have replacement guys on D fully capable of carrying the torch but key people are still on the roster that are deep disciples of the Carroll System. This team also eats up challenges when they are counted out and many in the media surely did.
    Its also a contract year for Jimmy Graham and that means trouble for opposing Defenses as we wind up these last 4 games.
    In this win they might have helped themselves out two fold. They had to keep pace with the pesky Rams. They beat a 10~1 team to do that.Check. They also opened up a can of worms in the Philly camp who haven’t lost for awhile. They know simply showing up in L.A. isn’t going to get it done so they are on double alert in meeting a similar defense as Seattle’s is and I am sure their practices will be lively and focused. If that helps in getting another loss out of the Rams? Well then we have benefited two fold from that win.
    As Russ said? Its December.Time for the intensity dial to be turned up. Expect the offense to be more fluid and the D to be of wrecking ball variety. And your final point of the article about Carson! A great Christmas present for RW so he doesn’t have to run as often!
    Go Hawks!

    • It’s only Sports

      BTW Art? The Dean Wormer character would have winced at your retort that he lamented the Japanese Bombed San Diego. Oh contraire!
      He would have bellowed out that it was that mutton head Bluto that screamed out was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?…. in fact.
      Today Bluto would point out that our sorority (the Hawks)have never in the RW era lost 3 home games in one season and you can tell the Germans we aren’t planning on it this season either! Followed by a long Goooooo Hawks as he runs down the Animal House bldg. hallway from whence they dwelled in Eugene.
      Good ole 1979. I was in college then and Toga Parties were happening all over America. Last Sunday many of the Hawk faithful were giddy enough over that home win in the Battle of the Birds to throw a west coast bird shin dig of our own.
      So while your poster got it wrong in locale(San Diego )his comment had merit.
      As Bluto correctly pointed out……it aint over Dean Wormer! It Aint over!