For a second straight game, and a second straight loss, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was left scratching his head about a reversed call he felt also helped turn the game against Seattle.
Last week in a 17-0 loss to Green Bay, Carroll questioned an apparent early first-down run by Russell Wilson being judged as a yard short after a review.
Sunday, Carroll wondered what the officials saw in reversing an apparent interception by Sidney Jones midway through the third quarter.
Jones jumped in front of a Colt McCoy pass to the sidelines intended for A.J. Green on third-and-three, diving at the 43 to catch the ball and then getting up and returning it to the Arizona 11.
Seattle trailed 16-6 at the time, and as the offense headed onto the field, hope sprung anew in Lumen Field.
But just as play was about to resume a review was enacted and it was determined the ball hit the turf before Jones controlled it.
Asked later if he thought Jones caught it, Carroll said: “In my mind, no doubt. I don’t know how in the world the way that happened the timing of that you could ever — maybe you saw it better than I did. I didn’t see the replays other than on the big board, but he catches the ball.”
Jones was not available to talk to the media, but Carroll said, “He can’t even believe that they took that catch away,” adding Jones said, “I caught the football.”
Carroll somewhat confusingly then said that the ball “probably touched the ground.”
But his broader point seemed to be why the officials initially ruled it as good and then stopped the game to look at it.
“It was a great play, and I think you had to try really hard to want to turn that over because it was called on the field,” Carroll said. “You have to have whatever it’s called — indisputable or whatever.”
What wasn’t disputable is that instead of Seattle having first-and-10 at the Arizona 11, and possibly finally rattling McCoy some, the Cardinals instead had it back to punt on fourth down.
After the punt, Seattle started at its own 22, and after one first down, was punting the ball back to Arizona.
“That’s a 60-plus-yard swing (actually 67) in that moment right there,” Carroll said.
That reversal came after Seattle lost a challenge in the second quarter when Arizona’s James Conner picked up a fourth-and-one at the Seahawks’ 47 with the score 7-3.
Opponents are now 8 of 17 on fourth downs against Seattle this year while the Seahawks are just 1 of 6, another stat indicative of how the Seahawks have struggled to sustain drives on offense and end them on defense.
“We’ve got to get off the field again,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to win on those third downs. There’s a couple in there that were big wins for them, and it’s so different, you know? It’s so different. That’s why I challenged the spot on the sneak just because it’s such a big play. I know that the chances of them overturning that one wasn’t very good, but I took a shot at it because they’re so significant, and they got 40 minutes (of possession, officially 40:22). We got 20 minutes (officially 19:38). It really comes down to them being able to convert and us not.”
Tyler Lockett, Russell Wilson differ on how defenses are playing Seahawks
Maybe speaking to how the Seahawks are struggling to explain what has happened to their offense, receiver Tyler Lockett and quarterback Russell Wilson differed on whether the Cardinals — and other opponents — are confusing Seattle by showing a lot of new looks.
Lockett said defenses have continually come out doing things differently than Seattle had seen on film and that it’s taken a while for the Seahawks to adjust.
“Honestly, all of these teams are not playing what they play on film,” Lockett said. “They are literally not, so it’s hard to be able to get ready. Every time you get ready to go against a team, they might play man-to-man their whole entire seven to eight games, and then they play us, and they don’t play man once. When you look at what teams are doing consistently week in and week out, nobody is doing that against us, so we have to, like I said, I keep saying adjust because we have to understand what teams are doing. Once we finally figure out the game plan, that’s when we are able to get moving.”
But Wilson said Arizona didn’t show the Seahawks anything they hadn’t prepared for.
“I think they didn’t do anything surprising, to be honest with you,” Wilson said, saying Arizona played “typical NFL football. They didn’t do anything alarming or anything like that. I think we just didn’t execute on making plays.”