Steven Hauschka’s misses in Seattle’s 35-6 win over Arizona were uncharacteristic, but the penalties — and the ridiculously lopsided nature of them — were a continuation of a theme.
The Seahawks came into the game with 1.9 times as many penalties as their opponents — the worst factorial since the 1953 Cleveland Browns, according to NBC’s stats folks. It only got worse as the Hawks were called for 11 and the Cardinals were assessed just one. Now the Hawks’ penalties outnumber their foes’ by an even 2-1.
Pete Carroll has decided to embrace the obvious bias of the officials.
“I’m not griping about it,” he told 710 ESPN on Monday. “Matter of fact, I kind of like … the (penalty) chasm. Let’s let the chasm continue to broaden for the heck of it and see what happens.”
The Seahawks had 10 penalties for 92 yards in the first half, and the Cardinals had one for five yards.
“It was pretty shoddy. It just marred the first half,” Carroll said. “We don’t know what the score would have been. We had (318) yards in offense and (92) yards in penalties in the first half. And amazingly they only had one (penalty). How about that?”
You could hear the sarcasm oozing through the microphone.
At halftime, Carroll said, “It was the first thing we were barking about when we got in there (the locker room). I call it the greatest halftime adjustments ever.”
Carroll said players were “so excited, they were over-trying a little bit. That’s something we always talk about: just trying too hard.”
Most of Seattle’s flags were merited — even if Carroll says Michael Bennett thinks he was not offsides on consecutive plays. Bennett is second in the NFL with 12 penalties — almost all of them pre-snap. Maybe he needs to get corrective eye surgery in the offseason.
The Hawks settled down in the second half and were called for just one penalty, which helped them put together three straight touchdown drives in the fourth quarter (after two missed field goals in the third quarter).
Still, the 11-1 margin in this game was the greatest “chasm” the Hawks faced this season. Carroll was so taken aback by that he had to repeat it. “Eleven to one.”
The Hawks have gotten used to the historically ridiculous disparity by now, and they are so good at this point that it simply does not matter.