“The way we look at it is we never should have lost that game,” Pete Carroll said. “We had plenty of chances and opportunities to really take the game in command and (we) didn’t seize those opportunities as we came down to the end of the football game in the fourth quarter and in overtime. We had chances on both sides of the ball and we didn’t finish the way we needed to, so they get a great win, and we go home and try to regroup, get right and play better.
“When you have games when you get plus turnover ratio, you score on defense, score in the kicking game, any one of those three factors generally wins games for you,” Carroll said. “We had all of those — time of possession, all kinds of stuff.”
The Seahawks won turnovers 3-1, got a superfecta from Cary Williams (sack, fumble, recovery, touchdown) and Tyler Lockett scored on his first NFL punt return. They also had the ball for eight minutes longer and outrushed the Rams 124-76.
The Hawks lost because they were 1 for 4 in the red zone and let themselves get bumped out of field goal range a couple of times.
The offensive game plan was very conservative — a good idea considering Russell Wilson was not going to have time to throw deep.
“We really wanted to get the ball out and see if we can catch and run and keep the pass rush from being a factor,” Carroll said.
But the coach was otherwise pretty aggressive in the game. He eschewed long field goals twice — a 58-yarder on the first drive and a 59-yarder in overtime.
Based on Steven Hauschka’s overtime kickoff, we can see why Carroll passed on the long field goals. Hauschka whiffed on a kick that was supposed to go to a specific player but barely went 10 yards.
“We were kicking the ball deep to the big tackle,” Carroll said. “We wanted him to return it and see what he could do with it, which is something we had in the game plan. They had left him there throughout the game, so there was a shot at it. The ball was supposed to go all the way down to the 25-yard line. That didn’t happen; we just missed the kick.”
The Rams ended up with the ball at Seattle’s 49-yard line and kicked a 37-yard field goal, which stood up as the winner when the Rams stuffed Marshawn Lynch on fourth-and-1 from the St. Louis 42.
“Our guys took it hard,” Carroll said. “They took it tough, but they realized every one of these games is so difficult and so challenging, whether it’s in the division or out of the division, on the road, at home — they’re all really, really hard.”
“Hopefully we’ll toughen up and be hardened by it,” Carroll added, “and just be better for it and get ready for an amazing matchup going into Green Bay. We have a terrific game coming up, with a great opponent as well. This is what the NFL is all about and this is what the league offers us. It’s difficult challenges week after week after week, and we need to get ready to get going.”