Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll pointed the finger directly at himself after his team’s painful, 24-21 loss to the Miami Dolphins here at Sun Life Stadium.
Seattle’s head coach said that he should not have given his team the entire week off during the bye week. And that with one of the youngest teams in the league, he should have held the reins a little tighter over the past, couple weeks.
The Seahawks are now 6-18 all-time in games after the bye week. Carroll is 1-2 during his tenure in Seattle.
“I screwed it up,” Carroll said. “And that’s just the way it is. I can tell these guys played hard and they wanted to play right. But we made too many mistakes, and that’s just not doing the job the right way.
“I gave them a bunch of time off, and maybe we’re too young to do that. … We played hard, but we played really sloppy. It kills me to have to tell you that, but that’s what it is.”
Of course, Carroll’s players were not having any of that.
“I hate excuses,” receiver Doug Baldwin said. “I mean, we had numerous opportunities to go out there and perform well. We could have put more points on the board. We could have stopped them from putting points on the board. I think the bye week had nothing to do with it. We just didn’t take advantage of the opportunities.
“You have a team over there that’s very talented, and they had their backs against the wall. They handled their business and did what they were supposed to do. We didn’t.”
Whether Carroll or the players want to accept the blame, Seattle’s loss continues a disturbing trend for the Seahawks – who now sit at 1-5 on the road this season.
For whatever reason, Seattle has not figured out how to bring the same intensity and close out games on the road.
“There’s nothing more we can do to play better on the road, besides playing better,” linebacker Leroy Hill said. “We have it in our head that our road record is not where we want it to be. Our home record is undefeated, so we know what we can do. But, I don’t know, it’s crazy. We came out flat, and we just didn’t play our ball today.”
The loss puts Seattle at 6-5 overall on the year, but doesn’t hurt them as much because it’s to an AFC team. Tampa Bay and Minnesota also lost, so they sit at 6-5 overall.
But it does make Seattle’s game on the road at Chicago a more crucial game to somehow come out with a win.
Thomas upset with roughing the passer call
Earl Thomas said he’d do it all over again.
Of course, he’s talking about the roughing the passer penalty in the fourth quarter that gave the Dolphins new life, and ultimately turned out to be perhaps the most pivotal play in the game.
On first and goal from Seattle’s 7-yard line, Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill scrambled to his right and threw back against his body toward the middle of the field, attempting to force the ball to tight end Anthony Fasano.
It was an awful decision, and Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner picked off what looked like his second interception of the day.
However, Thomas was flagged for roughing the passer. While attempting to block the Tannehill pass, Thomas appeared to fall on top of the Miami rookie quarterback.
Mike Pereira, former director of NFL officials who now works for Fox Sports, said via Twitter that he thought the call was marginal.
In SEA/MIA game. I thought it was marginal at best but you error on the side of safety and he was hit in the head.— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) November 25, 2012
But in a game of close plays, Thomas’ inability to defy the law of physics may have cost his team a win.
“I definitely felt like the ball was still in his hands,” Thomas said, when asked if he left the ground after Tannehill released the ball. “And I even tried to turn by body kind of over, not to even land on him. But when I’m going at my speed, I can’t just stop in mid air like magic. So it’s just definitely frustrating, and that definitely changed the game.
“We had an interception on that play. They definitely can’t slow the game like that for us, and take the game like that from us.”
With the questionable call, Thomas said he believes the officials had a direct affect on the outcome of the game.
“It was a tough loss, but the refs definitely need to get out of the way when it’s a crucial situation like that,” he said. “They control the game, and that was a great example right there.”
“The whole game, it seemed like we weren’t getting a lot of calls our way,” Thomas said later. “The first play when Bobby Wagner got the interception, I blitzed. And I got mauled, with my jersey hanging off, but they don’t see that.”
Russell Wilson – ballin’
He won’t say it, but Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson knew the stats.
Heading into the Miami game, Wilson was the 31st ranked passer in the league with a 65.8 passer rating, all eight of his interceptions and four touchdown passes.
Well, Seattle’s loss wasn’t because of poor quarterback play. Wilson finished 21 of 27 for 224 yards, two touchdown passes and no interceptions. Wilson also ran for 38 yards, and posted a 125.9 passer rating.
At one point, Wilson completed 16 straight passes, one short the team record of 17 set by Warren Moon against Oakland on Nov. 1, 1998.
“I don’t really focus on the stats, but obviously the goal is to get completions and keep the ball moving,” Wilson said. “That’s a good stat. I think that’s important to keep the ball moving and to complete the passes. I’ve got to look at the film and see where I can complete some more. That’s the focus, how can I do a better job to put us in a situation where there is no doubt.”
* While it should have played a larger role in the outcome of the game, Seahawks return man Leon Washington’s 98 yard kick return for a touchdown tied him for the career record with Cleveland’s Josh Cribbs, who also has eight in his career.
Washington had not returned a kick or punt for a touchdown since Dec. 12, 2010, a 92-yard kick return for a touchdown in a 40-21 loss to San Francisco.
“There’s no consolation prize after a loss like that,” Washington said. “But I’m just glad I was able to score on that play. My wife was in the stands saying I had to get it, so with her pushing me, I knew I had to go out and do it.”
* The Seahawks gave up 189 yards on the ground on 28 carries, for 6.8 per carry. It’s another disturbing trend for a run defense that was considered one of the best in the game at the beginning of the season.
* Leroy Hill suffered a right ankle injury, but returned to the game. The same goes for offensive guard James Carpenter, who suffered what appeared to be a right leg injury during the game.
* Usually a gambler, Carroll curiously chose not to go for it on fourth and a yard from Miami’s 38 yard line in the second quarter, punting it instead.
It would have been about a 55-yarder for Steven Hauschka, who has a career long of 54 yards. And Carroll has twice tried 61-yard field goals.
Carroll also passed on a potential 53 yard field goal in the first quarter after a Bobby Wagner interception, choosing to take a delay of game penalty instead and punt the ball.
“I was really on it, thinking about it,” Carroll said. “But at that time we thought we’d kick the ball deep. We were playing good enough. We thought if we put them backed up again, we might be able to make a play.
“The call that we were thinking, I just wasn’t ready to call it right there.”