There’s an abundance of words that could describe the Seahawks performance during their Super Wild Card game against the Rams. However, no term better sums it up better than “Hot Garbage”. The scoreboard showed a 10 point loss, but it felt like 30. If not for a meaningless late touchdown pass, the final score would’ve been 30-13. Without a doubt, this is officially the worst playoff blemish on Russell Wilson’s resume
Both Jared Goff and John Wolford combined to go 12/25 for 184 yards and a touchdown. You’d think quarterback play that pathetic would garner a blowout in Seattle’s favor. Luckily for Sean McVay, he was facing Pete Carroll’s Seahawks and not Russell Wilson’s. Therefore, it wasn’t even close.
There’s plenty of blame to go around for the abysmal loss. The offensive line couldn’t protect Russell Wilson from a wet paper bag. Brian Schottenheimer’s run, run, pass play calling was as useless as ever. It seems as if this version of the Rams defense is the perfect kryptonite to how Wilson plays. Ultimately though, it comes down to Pete Carroll.
Pete’s Past His Prime
Heading into the season, there was a microscope on Pete Carroll and whether or not he would adjust to today’s game. Whether or not he would “Let Russ Cook”. With Russell Wilson having been voted the number two player on the NFL’s Top 100 Player’s list, there was pressure to finally “unleash” him. And for the first eight weeks of the season, Pete did just that. Seattle was the number one offense in multiple statistical categories it had never been in the Wilson/Carroll era.
From overall grade, to scoring, to being the most pass heavy, there wasn’t much Seattle could do wrong. They cruised to a 6-1 record and were fun to watch while doing so. It seemed as if Pete Carroll had finally turned a new leaf. Using analytics to his favor, and giving Wilson the “keys” to offense, the season was shaping up to be his greatest MVP campaign. However, like a tiger, Pete couldn’t change his stripes. The stripes being his football philosophy.
thru the first 8 weeks:— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) January 10, 2021
Seattle was 6-1 and the #1 seed in the NFC and were the #1 most pass heavy offense in the NFL
fast forward to the end of the year:
Seattle reverted back to the run game, missed out on the #1 seed & lost their first playoff game
Instead of permanently burying their old offensive philosophy, Pete Carroll dug it back up. Once Seattle reverted back to Pete’s bread an butter, their offense became both offensive to my eyes and Seahawks faithful. Seattle sluggishly ended their season 12-4, and despite the record, all hopes of a Super Bowl seemed dead. Fast forward to Saturday afternoon. Pete Carroll looked overwhelmed, unable to make adjustments, and did his best Bill O’Brien impersonation by challenging unwinnable plays. In the end, it all adds up to another wasted year of Russell Wilson.
To the Pete Carroll Defenders
There are those out there that would claim Seattle needed to change their offensive philosophy to help their defense. It was even mentioned during the playoff broadcast. Pete Carroll felt that the only way to help his defense was to control the clock and keep them off the field. If you look at the second half of the season, some would claim it worked. However, I one could argue that the stats are misleading, and that Pete was doing more harm than good.
Through the first eight games, Seattle’s defense played an average of 74 snaps, with Seattle winning time of possession in five of the eight. Through the final eight games, Seattle’s defense played an average of 65 snaps, while the team won time of possession only four times. This was against the likes of the Jets, Giants, Washington, Eagles, and thumb-less Jared Goff. In conclusion, two things can be true.
The defense did get better with the addition of Carlos Dunlap and having Jamal Adams back, but the numbers are inflated due to facing horrible offenses. All Pete ended up doing was stymieing an all time great offense. This offseason, the Seahawks should do what they should’ve done a couple seasons ago.
Give Wilson What He Deserves
As much as I want to give Pete Carroll credit for trying to change, I can’t. For the Seahawks offense to go from the most efficient, to one of the worst because of Pete’s change of mind, is unforgiveable. Wilson is not absolved from blame, but we’ve seen Seattle struggle when playing this way in previous seasons. Let’s talk about some of the previous seasons. It’s now been six straight years that Wilson has been a top five sacked quarterback.
If the Seahawks don’t fire him for this seasons implosion, then fire him for being unable to build a decent offensive line. After all, he has say in who they draft and sign. Yes, Wilson does run himself into some sacks, but routinely Seattle has gone into a season with one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. Andrew Luck got the same treatment from the Colts, and look where he is now. And while Wilson has been he ultimate ironman, they shouldn’t push their luck with his health.
Pete Carroll is a future first ballot hall of fame head coach. He has one of the all time great resume’s, and has forgotten more football than most people will ever know. With that being said, times have changed, and the days of his philosophy working are done. With John Schneider possibly leaving the team, so should Pete. Not saying it’ll happen, but it’s what should happen.