Seahawks’ Pete Carroll Rips Referees After Close Loss to Cowboys

Pete Carroll

Getty Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll ripped into the officiating following his team's 41-35 loss to the Cowboys.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is not holding back following the team’s 41-35 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

In a game that featured non-stop scoring and zero punts — just the fifth game in NFL history — the Seahawks came out on the losing end despite carrying a 35-27 lead entering the fourth quarter. In a game that featured 19 penalties overall — 10 calls for 130 yards were against the Seahawks — Carroll couldn’t refrain from ripping into the officiating following the loss.

“It’s unfortunate that it feels like there was a whole ‘nother factor in this game,” Carroll said to reporters following the game. “I don’t know, you guys saw it a lot better than I did, but there was just way too many penalties in this game, for both sides. We’ve got to get out of that kind of football.”

It’s worth noting that there were also six declined penalties in the game. While the 19 penalties are not a season-high for a game this season — that distinction belongs to the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns when they combined for 25 penalties in Week 6 — it is a season-high for yardage at 224 yards.

Why Pete Carroll Is Upset Over High Number of Penalties

While the game clearly was a flag fest, the fourth quarter — and the game’s outcome — wasn’t impacted by any penalties or controversial calls. There was only one penalty in the fourth quarter. A lot of Carroll’s frustration likely stems from not only the high amount of penalty calls during the earlier part of the game, but a key one during the end of the first quarter.

With the Seahawks trailing 10-7, Seattle was about to a kick 37-yard field goal to tie the game. However, they were flagged for a delay of game penalty which meant they were pushed back five yards. Myers ended up missing the 42-yard field goal, which obviously would play a key role in the game’s end result.

Referee Explains Sequence That Led to Seahawks Penalty

Prior to the field goal, it had appeared that the ball was re-spotted without the play clock being reset. Carroll was seen yelling about wanting the play clock to be reset. Following the game, referee Clete Blakeman explained why the play clock was not reset, arguing that there was “no real delay.”

Via Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times:

“Following a play like that, third down going to fourth down, we have a process as it relates to transitioning the balls in and out, if the kicking team is coming out or not,” said Blakeman. “The scrimmage ball is transitioned out and the kicking ball is transitioned in. The umpire spots the ball. I’m dealing with eligibles reporting in and the kicking team in that regard. So, through this process, there was no real delay to either the scrimmage ball going out or the kicking ball coming in. It was just a normal process. Of course, at the end of the down the 40-second clock kicks in. We felt there wasn’t any unique delay in any way. It was a normal procedure.”

Obviously, Carroll and Blakeman’s officiating crew were not on the same page during the game, with the Seahawks head coach referring to the sequence as an “error” by the referees.

While Carroll and many NFL observers may have an issue with how the game was officiated, the Seahawks still had an opportunity to win the game in the fourth quarter. However, both of their offensive drives stalled out on failed fourth down conversions around midfield. Seattle was 0-for-3 on fourth downs in the game,  which has been a problem all season long. The Seahawks rank 29th in the NFL in fourth-down conversion percentage.

Seattle will look their losing streak — they’ve lost three straight and four of their past five games — when they face the 49ers in a Thanksgiving rematch in Week 14.

Read More