Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll made a controversial decision in the third quarter to punt the football on fourth-and-one rather than go for the first down. The Rams ended up driving the length of the field to score a touchdown but after the game Carroll doubled-down on his decision emphasizing he would do it the same way again if given another chance.
“The logic of saying because we’re such a high-scoring team we should go for it there doesn’t fit in my brain,” Carroll explained in his post-game press conference. “I don’t understand that. That’s not really the case right there. It’s really about playing the game more than the potential of our play and all that kind of stuff. The players would have loved to go for it, I know that and I would have loved to go for it, too. So, I have to work against my nature to go ahead and kick the ball right there but I would probably do it the same way again.”
The Seahawks trailed the Rams 17-13 but opted to punt the ball on their opening drive of the third quarter. Los Angeles orchestrated a scoring drive of more than 90 yards calling into question Carroll’s decision not to try to take the lead.
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Carroll on Decision to Punt on 4th-and-1: ‘There’s Too many Opportunities to Give Them That Advantage’
Carroll was asked if he had too much faith in his defense given its recent struggles compared to the offense which has been the much stronger unit this season. The Seahawks coach cited the field position as a big factor in his decision to punt the ball.
“The game there, it wasn’t worth giving them the football as well as they had done in the first half there,” Carroll responded. “I didn’t mind giving them the ball inside the ten-yard line and we’ll go play defense back there. There’s too many opportunities to give them that advantage. What if they took the ball and went down and scored right there? Then the game feels like it is lopsided and you’re way behind it. So, that didn’t factor in. I wish we could have gone for it and made it on third down. We missed it by an inch.”
The Seahawks Miss Chris Carson on Offense
The Seahawks offense clearly misses Chris Carson as the team has not been able to establish a consistent rushing attack in his absence. Carroll hesitated to answer when he was asked if the Seahawks may have opted to go for the first down if Carson was playing in the game.
“At this point, we don’t feel the same,” Carroll admitted. “We don’t feel the same in our mix and we’re working. The guys are busting their tails to get it done and all that, but I fell in love with Chris’ [Carson] play a long time ago and his style of play and all that. I think it adds something to us and to me, as well. Again, we might not have been in fourth-and-inches if he was there, but he’s not there. So, we have to keep figuring it out and got to play with what we got and try to figure out the game. To keep believing, there’s no reason to feel desperate is what I didn’t want to do. So, that’s why that [the punt] happened.”