BY Art Thiel 12:17PM 12/11/2017

Thiel: NFL probing ‘ugly’ end to Seahawks game

The NFL will review the mayhem at the end of the Seahawks-Jaguars game. Meanwhile, coach Pete Carroll partially defended DE Michael Bennett’s play that was called dirty.

CB A.J. Bouye grabs one of the Jags’ three interceptions of Russell Wilson Sunday. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

The NFL is investigating the controversial conclusion of the Seahawks-Jaguars game in Jacksonville Sunday after some fans threw objects at Seahawks players, who had two ejections for unsportsmanlike conduct and a third, DE Michael Bennett, criticized for a dirty play.

“I’m so disappointed with how it ended — it was ugly,” coach Pete Carroll said Monday on his weekly ESPN 710 radio show. “What happens is, we get so high, so jacked, the belief is so strong that we’ll come back and win. Everybody to a man thought it was going to happen.

“The big play that we got stopped on fourth down (a defensive hold on WR Paul Richardson with 2:19 left in the game that went uncalled) ignited it for us. We didn’t handle it very well. Unfortunately, there’s some stuff to learn.”

On Bennett’s play during the Jags’ victory formation that seemed to be a dive upon the legs of Jags C Brandon Linder, Carroll offered a partial defense that Bennett was trying to hit the ball upon snapping.

“I heard that in the broadcast they thought he rolled up on the guy; Mike was trying to swipe the snap,” Carroll said. “Timing it up. That’s what he was down on the ground for. We came hard, and (the Jags) took some concern. I get that. Unfortunately, the game was out of whack.”

But after the whistle blew, Bennett appeared to go after Linder’s legs, drawing a penalty.

“After they got held up, that’s what happened,” Carroll said. “Unfortunately it’s a bad situation.”

Upon his ejection, DE Quinton Jefferson responded to objects thrown by fans by attempting to climb into the grandstand to pursue his assailants before security people pulled him back.

NFL spokesperson Joe Lockhart said Monday the league was reviewing the incidents.

“A home team does have responsibility for security,” Lockhart told “We work closely with all 32 of our clubs those issues. I think we are going to be looking in and talking to both clubs about a variety of things that happened in that game, particularly at the end where we had a series of ejections, on the field issues and then leaving the field.

“We will be working with the club to identify those who might’ve been involved in throwing objects and/or acting outside of rules that we expect from our fans. That has already begun, as well as in our football operations department looking at some of the on-field stuff. Nothing to report at this point.”

Jefferson after the game told reporters, “I’m walking. I’m not talking to nobody. I’m walking out. Someone throws a beer. Then someone throws another drink. What would you do?”

In the final seconds, Carroll also drew a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after he went onto the field to demand his own players stop fighting.

“It’s not like you don’t know it’s the wrong way to go,” Carroll said. “It’s just that it got the better of us and we got too emotional. We run so hot sometimes. We have have to curb it, and we didn’t. That’s why I went on the field, to stop it before we lose somebody else.

“I knew the game was done then. There’d probably be a penalty, or whatever. I had to stop what was going on. I just had to take the hit on it.”

On the fourth-down play when CB Aaron Colvin fell backward guarding Richardson, then grabbed and tripped him, Carroll said the non-call was a heart-breaker. The Seahawks were down 30-24, and a completion would have meant at least a first down in Jags’ territory, and perhaps the game-tying touchdown.

“He didn’t see it the same way. That’s all there is to it,” said Carroll, who raged along the sideline, of his conversation with officials. “It’s happened that way several times this year and it’s really frustrating. It doesn’t mean anybody’s right or wrong. They’re working their tails off to do great. But sometimes it breaks your heart.

“That’s the chance to win the game, or maybe not. It’s part of it.”

Carroll was asked where he draws the line on player behavior.

“You can’t hurt your team,” he said. “Same with me — I gotta control myself. We all have to have the poise at the right time to make the right choices to walk that line. Sometimes they do, sometimes as they get affected, sometimes they lose it.

“The point is, there are guys right next to that guy to help that guy out. That’s how we operate. That’s what ‘protect the team’ is. You’re always in tune. Not everybody is always going to think clearly. When you’re next to him, you got to take care of him.”

Carroll agreed with the assessment of a Fox broadcaster that the contest between 8-4 teams had the chippy intensity of a playoff game.

“Very much so,” he said. “(The Jags) are trying to get on top of this thing, and they’re battling. They’re a feisty, tough, physical group. They weren’t going to take any garbage from anybody. They were out to do that. The whole night was that kind of game. We’re OK with that. We’re all right.

“Within that, maybe a young guy misinterprets something, or whatever. We had penalties that were not the kind you’ve seen us get. A shove on the sidelines (by TE Jimmy Graham); not a terrible thing, but it was a shove on the sidelines. (LT Germain Ifedi) was chirping (at an official over a holding call). Those were so far wrong, out of line. You can’t give up that kind of margin. Unfortunately, it happened.”


  • Ron

    Glad to hear that Pete felt that the penalties on Ifedi and Graham were out of line. Ifedi seems to be a penalty liability in just about every game. Graham had no apparent positive impact on that game, but on two targets did drop one of critical importance, and on the other allowed an interception. I don’t see a positive cost-benefit ratio for Graham.

    • Bayview Herb

      I agree re: Graham. We could use the cap room for other stuff better.

      • art thiel

        He’s eligible for a contract extension, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets it because he’s a red-zone target the Seahawks otherwise do not have.

    • Chris Alexander

      So you’re going to ignore the 9 touchdowns he has this season – a Seahawks record for a tight end, I believe – because he had a bad game when he was only targeted twice? And the INT was only partly Graham’s fault; the DB “baited” Wilson on that one and turned on the jets once the ball was in the air.

      • Ron

        Tight ends should be able to block, which would help the ground game, and also help prevent Russell from constantly running for his life. Besides, how many of those 9 TDs were him lined up as a receiver?

  • Kevin Lynch

    There’s a lot of sublimated anger with a number of guys on the defense. It’s usually channeled but sometimes it gets out of hand. It’s created penalties and it’s proven a distraction. Hard to say if it’s had any impact on the unusual number of injuries this season. But you can’t allow a Blake Bortles to keep a clean jersey and drop 30 big ones on you in such an important game. That’s probably what produced most of the anger yesterday.

    • art thiel

      Players were pissed at themselves, and I think they were irked with JAX players. Not getting to Bortles was the game’s biggest surprise from the Seattle side.

  • John M

    I’m not going to put this mess on the players. There were critical non-calls all game, and don’t try to say those things even out – they don’t when the Hawks play on the east coast. The zebras lost control of the game by doing a lousy job. Coaches have to say nice things about them, which is unfortunate. Then security ignored the drunken slobs in the row right behind the Hawks bench even after it lead to cursing, cans, etc., being thrown at players. You can’t just say this is the NFL and we can be incompetent. And now people want to blame the players for being pissed beyond discussion . . .

    • art thiel

      As I responded above, the league has security videos of the punks. But you’re right, stadium security was nowhere to be seen in the lower grandstand.

      But the fights between the players, while not unusual, are worthy of sanctions.

  • Michael Galey

    Loved this game to see the Hawks get angry. The no calls were stunning and the loss of cool was entertaining to a point. After the eject those fans need to be identified and then locked in a room with Quentin a pay per view extra perhaps. Next week will reveal if the team has the snot to sweep the Division. Are there any outside chance of finding a LB needing work?

    • art thiel

      They’ll go for one game with what they have. Carroll said Monday that Wright had a good day after his concussion, but nothing definitive. Wagner news less encouraging.

  • Husky73

    It was a bad day at the office. Move on.

    • art thiel

      Standards. Gotta have ’em and hold ’em.

  • Chris Alexander

    The ugly scene at the end was hard to miss but the Jacksonville fans were throwing things at our players all game long. There’s a GIF floating around that I saw earlier that shows one of our receivers get hit with a can after a touchdown. It was ridiculous and the league needs to address it.

    • art thiel

      Tyler Lockett was indeed hit in the back after his TD catch. Said he didn’t feel it. The team and the league have videos of several crap-throwers and promise punishment.

  • ll9956

    It appears that PC doesn’t plan to file any sort of complaint to the NFL on the take-down of Baldwin that could have been game-changing. I sure don’t understand that at all.

    • art thiel

      Carroll rarely announces his plans with the NFL on complaints, nor does he often share the NFL’s responses. Frustrating for me, as well as fans, but I get why he’s careful around the in-house politics. Public shaming of officials/execs rarely works.