Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said his team got what they wanted from Arizona’s defense in the final minute of the game.
The Seahawks had seven chances to score from inside Arizona’s 15-yard line, but failed to convert.
“We were there,” Carroll said. “We had four great shots. We used the whole clock and everything worked out fine time-wise and everything.
“We had our shots at it.”
Carroll said that even though the clock was on their backs, Seattle could have ran the ball in that situation. In fact, the Seahawks did run the ball on first and goal from the 6-yard line, with Marshawn Lynch picking up two yards.
“You could run it,” Carroll said. “It’s just a long ways to get in there if you don’t hit it clean.”
But Carroll said that’s not where Seattle lost the game. The Seahawks’ inability to score touchdowns in the red zone finally caught up to them in the team’s 20-16 loss to Arizona.
The Seahawks finished 1 of 4 in the red zone on Sunday.
Carroll said that while rookie quarterback Russell Wilson struggled in his first NFL start. But he fought back and played well in the second half.
“I thought Russell battled,” Carroll said. “And it was hard in the first half. They pressured a lot, and made it tough on us. But he hung in there, and he came back and did a very nice job of getting us back in the game in the second half.”
“He put us on the 7-yard line and we were ready to win the game,” Carroll added.
Wilson says he’ll chalk up his first start as a learning experience.
“I felt great about the opportunities we had,” Wilson said. “I think we put ourselves in a good position. We just fell short.”
Confusion on the timeout
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said the replacement officials told him that he still had a time out left after Doug Baldwin went down with an injury in the end zone with 47 seconds left, and had to be attended to by Seattle’s medical staff on the field.
Carroll said the officials told him that Seattle did not have to use it’s final timeout on Baldwin’s injury because the play was incomplete, which stopped the clock.
However, the officials were incorrect in making that ruling, according to referee Bruce Hermansen, when asked by the pool reporter.
“It was my error,” Hermansen said. “We gave them (Seattle) the additional timeout of the incomplete pass stopping the clock before the injury occurred. When in effect, the clock has no bearing on the play at all, whether it’s stopped or running, we should not have given them the additional timeout.
Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt was aware that the officials had made the incorrect call, but he didn’t want his players to use it as an excuse.
“I don’t care,” Whisenhunt said. “We made a big thing with our team about not letting any of that affect us, and staying focused on what you have to do, and they did that.”
Defense falters when it matters most
The Seahawks defensively were dominant for most of the game, except for when they needed a stop to close the game out.
After a 39-yard-field goal by Steven Hauschka put Seattle up 16-13 with 9:20 left to play, the Cardinals promptly marched 80 yards on 11 plays, going up for good on Andre Roberts’ 6-yard touchdown reception.
The surprise was what quarterback was leading the drive – backup Kevin Kolb
Kolb replaced starter John Skelton two plays into the drive, when the Fordham University product suffered what appeared to be a broken ankle when Brandon Mebane fell on his leg after Skelton complete a 17-yard pass to Roberts.
Skelton’s leg was placed in an air cast, and he was carted to the locker room for further evaluation.
Kolb, Arizona’s high-dollar quarterback who lost his job to Skelton this preseason, was greeted by boos from the Arizona faithful.
But he finished 6 of 8 for 66 yards on the drive.
“They just got into a rhythm,” Seattle safety Earl Thomas said. “We saw everything they tried to throw at us, but they just go in a rhythm at the end. We just have to hold them. When we gave up all those yards at the end, we just have to hold them to a field goal at leas, just give our offense a better chance.”
“Let’s talk about how poetic that was,” Arizona safety Adrian Wilson said. “The guy didn’t get any reps in practice really. John got all the reps, and he cam in there and led the game-winning drive. Defensively, we just went out there and did our job. Kevin is really the one that should be talked about right now.”
Carroll said that offensive tackle Russell Okung suffered a twisted knee on Seattle’s final drive.
Receiver Doug Baldwin got the wind knocked out of him on the diving attempt at the catch in the end zone, according to Carroll. And defensive tackle Alan Branch suffered a pinched nerve in the first half, but returned to action.