Despite taking a season-high five sacks and 11 quarterback hits Sunday, Russell Wilson is fine.
“He got smacked around a couple of times, but he’s a stud,’’ said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll during his regular day-after-game radio show on 710 ESPN Seattle. “I checked with him last night. He’s doing all right. He’ll make it.’’
Not that Wilson had shown any evident injury during the game, but given Wilson’s importance to the team it’s at least good to get that out of the way.
But Wilson surviving Sunday was one of the few rays of light on a tough day in Buffalo.
Here’s more of what Carroll had to say Monday morning:
Dunbar dealing with chronic knee issue
Quinton Dunbar fought through a sore knee to play 54 of 68 snaps. Because he struggled as much as he did, giving up seven receptions on eight targets (according to Pro Football Focus) and also had one official missed tackle, it was obvious he was not fully healthy.
Carroll said Dunbar is dealing with a “chronic’’ knee issue that requires rest each week during practice, which is making the problem worse — not practicing much leads to some rustiness on game day.
But with Shaquill Griffin and Ugo Amadi out with hamstring injuries, Seattle had no real options — little-used Linden Stephens played the rest of the snaps in place of Dunbar.
Carroll called Dunbar “day to day’’ for now, and it’s unclear if/when Griffin and Amadi will return.
“We are managing it,’’ Carroll said. “That’s what we have to do.’’
No real update on Chris Carson or Carlos Hyde
Seattle had six players sit out the game due to injury, including running backs Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde, and Carroll did not have updates on any of them as of Monday morning in terms of whether they can play Sunday against the Rams.
That may be beginning to sound a little more ominous about Carson — recall there was initially some optimism he could play against the 49ers on Nov. 1 and then did not practice at all last week.
But Carroll gave a pretty strong comment on how much Seattle missed Carson and Hyde when he said, “It’s pretty fun to play football with Chris Carson back there and Carlos Hyde. … You know about their reputations because of who they are and what they do.’’
Defensive issues fixable
The 44 points allowed were the most for any Carroll-coached Seattle team, and even with four turnovers leading to 16 of those, there was still a ton of defensive leakage.
But for those hoping Carroll might say the defense needs a total overhaul, he instead said he doesn’t think the problems are so much they can’t be fixed.
“We made some real mistakes early in the game, some fundamental things in coverage that we can do right and do right a lot, and we just didn’t read things properly,’’ Carroll said.
Carroll said the plan wasn’t necessarily to play as soft in coverage as the team did early on — he didn’t say it, but Dunbar’s issues probably contributed to that.
“It made it easier for them because we were playing off in the deep end and we gave up some ops (opportunities),’’ Carroll said. “ … We can do better. There are things that we practiced that we didn’t execute in the game.’’
Indeed, that was Carroll’s message throughout about the defense — that the scheme and the team has it in them to fix much of what ailed them Sunday.
“We just have to keep getting better and clean things up,’’ he said.
Carroll also repeated what he said after the game, that the Seahawks did not expect Buffalo to be as pass-happy as it was Sunday — the Bills had a 28-3 pass-to-run ratio in the first half, determined by ESPN to be the largest of any team since 2008. The Bills came into the game passing it about 58% of the time, 15th in the league.
“We were not prepared for them not to run it,’’ he said.
But Carroll said “we had to adjust and we did, if you watch.’’
The snap counts largely back that up.
Nickel corner D.J. Reed was on the field for all but 10 snaps — 58 of 68.
“It wasn’t just that he was throwing it,’’ Carroll said of Josh Allen, who threw for 415 yards. “He completed it.’’
Not the best day for the offensive line
Carroll most weeks has heaped praise on the offensive line, having said several times in recent weeks it has been playing as well as any in his time with the Seahawks.
But that was not the case Sunday, with Wilson taking the sacks and hits.
Carroll noted correctly that the Bills being in the lead from the start helped Buffalo tee off quite a bit, not all that worried about the running game without Carson and Hyde.
But he also said the Seahawks didn’t handle that as well as they have most other weeks this season.
“We’ve got to protect better than that,’’ Carroll said. “We can’t let him get banged like that.’’
Wilson had two interceptions in the game. Carroll said he had no issue with the pass on fourth down that was picked off in the end zone, saying he put Wilson in that situation by deciding to go for it on fourth-and-one. And that’s where not having Carson undoubtedly made the Bills probably play for the pass more.
The other came on a third-and-25 play in the fourth quarter when it was 34-20. Carroll said Wilson was just trying to make something happen, hoping for either a completion or a flag (DK Metcalf was the intended receiver). He said Wilson’s only real mistake was throwing the ball a bit too late for such a deep throw.
“He would tell you he probably shouldn’t have thrown it that late,’’ Carroll said.