Seahawks coach Pete Carroll admits he made a mistake by going for a touchdown instead of kicking a field goal at the end of the first half Sunday against the Chargers. It's part of what the team calls "Tell The Truth Monday."
RENTON — The confidence stemmed from Pete Carroll’s experience coaching college football.
The lesson Sunday, however, was more elementary.
Thou shalt not waste scoring opportunities. Not in the NFL. No matter how good you feel about the quarterback draw that’s called on third-and-one at the opponent’s 2-yard line, you can’t call that play in that situation. At least not when you don’t have a timeout to make sure you can attempt a field goal if the quarterback doesn’t score.
“I got a little bold about our situation,” Carroll said. “We need to take care of business better. I need to do a better job, and make sure that we get our points when we get our opportunities.”
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Seattle still won the game, beating the Chargers 27-20. That downgraded it from a critical problem to a growing pain.
To review, Seattle had the ball at the San Diego 2 with 19 seconds left in the second quarter. The Seahawks ran Matt Hasselbeck, who was tackled at the 1. Seattle tried to shuttle its field-goal unit onto the field to attempt a kick, only to have time expire before the ball was snapped.
It was aggressive. In hindsight, it was too aggressive.
“I like the thought … we stuff it at ‘em and knock it in the end zone and get a touchdown right there,” Carroll said. “But we really, in that instance, we’d like to have had a fourth-down opportunity, too, and that eliminated it.”
That honest assessment is part of the weekly schedule for the Seahawks, who have a name for every day of the week, whether it’s “Competition Wednesday” or “Turnover Thursday.”
But it all starts with “Tell the Truth Monday.”
“It’s a good way to go,” Hasselbeck said. “You usually get to fix the real problems when you call it like you see it.”
Carroll said his success at USC emboldened him at the end of the first half. The Trojans’ edge in talent was sometimes prohibitive, and if a gamble didn’t pay off, it wouldn’t be long before Carroll’s team had another chance.
“We scored so many times and we were successful in situations when we were bold so much that you get accustomed to it,” Carroll said.
Seattle had options. The Seahawks could have thrown the ball into the end zone. A completion would have produced a touchdown; an incompletion would have stopped the clock.
But one thing Carroll decided the Seahawks couldn’t do was wait for the officials to decide if Hasselbeck gained a first down on the draw. That would have allowed the Seahawks to spike the ball and stop the clock and then bring on the field-goal unit, but Carroll said there was no way to know if Seattle had earned the first down.
“We weren’t going to be able to find out if he was short,” Carroll said. “Because they might not have stopped the clock in time to measure it.”
Could the Seahawks have asked for a measurement?
“You can, but you don’t know if they’re going to stop the clock in time,” Carroll said. “We weren’t going to take the chance on it.”
Instead, the Seahawks tried to hustle out for a field-goal attempt, but wound up kicking themselves after failing to score.
• Rookie Russell Okung is expected to practice this week for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain on Aug. 21 in Seattle’s second exhibition game. Whether Okung starts at left tackle in St. Louis on Sunday will depend on how he practices this week.
• Four Seahawks starters suffered injuries in Sunday’s game: DT Brandon Mebane (calf), CB Marcus Trufant (ankle), WR Mike Williams (shoulder) and LB Aaron Curry (shoulder). None has been ruled out for this week. Williams returned to the game after a first-half shoulder injury, but was very sore. Curry suffered a cramp that wouldn’t loosen and indicated he expects to be OK.
Danny O’Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Seahawks gave up 518 yards of total offense to San Diego, the eighth-highest single-game total ever allowed by Seattle. The Seahawks are 4-10 when they allow 500 yards or more of total offense:
580/vs. San Francisco/Sept. 25, 1988/49ers 38, Seahawks 7
579/vs. Buffalo/Dec. 23, 2000/Bills 42, Seahawks 23
557/at San Diego/Sept. 15, 1985/Seahawks 49, Chargers 35
552/vs. Kansas City/Nov. 24, 2002/Seahawks 39, Chiefs 32
538/vs. Denver/Nov. 26, 2000/Broncos 38, Seahawks 31
530/at Oakland/Oct. 8, 1995/Raiders 34, Seahawks 14
523/at N.Y. Giants/Oct. 5, 2008/N.Y. Giants 44, Seahawks 6
518/vs. San Diego/Sept. 26, 2010/Seahawks 27, Chargers 20
512/at Kansas City/Dec. 27, 1987/Chiefs 41, Seahawks 20
511/at Denver/Dec. 27, 1998/Broncos 28, Broncos 21
509/Chicago/Dec. 5, 1976/Bears 34, Seahawks 7
507/vs. Raiders/Nov. 30, 1987/Raiders 37, Seahawks 14
506/at New England/Sept. 21, 1986/Seahawks 38, Patriots 31
504/at Denver/Sept. 13, 1987/Broncos 40, Seahawks 17