Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talked about having some fans in the stands in Miami, going for it on fourth down late in the first half and more during his weekly radio show Monday morning on ESPN 710 Seattle.
Here are some highlights:
Aggressive play-calling is about belief in players
Two times in the first half when Seattle could have played it safe offensively, the Seahawks instead chose to attack, continuing what has been an early-season trend of putting the team’s trust in Russell Wilson more than ever.
One worked — deciding to try to move quickly down the field when Seattle got the ball back on a kickoff with 24 seconds left in the first half at its own 25. Seattle scored a touchdown with three seconds left to take a 17-9 lead at halftime after Miami had cut the lead to 10-9.
One didn’t — eschewing a field goal and deciding to go for it on fourth-and-3 earlier in the first half. Seattle led 10-6 at the time with 4:45 remaining in the half.
Carroll explained that each decision basically revolves around one person — Wilson — and the trust the team has in him to do the right thing.
“The key to it all is Russell,’’ Carroll said. “He has to know what’s going on and make the right decision and the right read.’’
Wilson was sacked on the fourth down play and the Seahawks didn’t get any points. With the way offense has been playing Carroll undoubtedly figured it was worth a shot to take a two-score lead at that point.
Miami drove the field for a field goal to cut the lead to 10-9.
Seattle had two time outs remaining, which Carroll said played into the decision to try to move down the field. Wilson hit Greg Olsen for 11 yards to jump-start the drive, then David Moore for 57 to get Seattle close.
Seattle’s last play of the drive began with six seconds on the clock, and there is obviously risk there of a sack or being tackled in the field of play and time running out.
But again, Carroll said he trusted that Wilson would do the right thing — meaning, throw the ball in the end zone or incomplete to stop the clock.
“We are going to continue to look to those opportunities because we believe in our guys,’’ he said.
Offensive line rotation was due to heat
The Seahawks gave three backup offensive linemen at least 10 snaps each to give starters some rest in the Miami heat, with only left tackle Duane Brown and center Ethan Pocic playing the entire game.
Cedric Ogbuehi got 13 snaps filling in for right tackle Brandon Shell, while Jamarco Jones (19) and Jordan Simmons (10) filled in for starters Damien Lewis and Mike Iupati at right and left guard.
Carroll said “it was certainly the intent’’ to rotate those three line spots because “it was a messy day down there.’’
Carroll liked hearing fans
There were 13,000 fans at Hard Rock Stadium, the first time this year the Seahawks have played before a crowd of any kind.
While it was hard to tell on TV, Carroll said that, in person, there was a noticeable contingent of Seahawks fans.
“Even to have a small number of fans was a better part of the experience because someone was reacting,’’ Carroll said. “You could feel the natural reaction.’’
The Seahawks will not have fans at their home game Sunday against the Vikings, but no decision has been made on the final five regular-season games.
Carroll applauds defensive backs
For the second straight game Seattle got interceptions from defensive backs Ryan Neal and Shaquill Griffin, each giving Seattle good field position and setting up short touchdown drives.
Neal now has two interceptions in 100 snaps in the last two games filling in for the injured Jamal Adams, while Griffin has two on the season after not having any in 2019.
Seattle now has six interceptions for the season, second in the NFL behind the Colts (seven) and has a plus-five turnover differential for the season, tied for second in the NFL.
The two picks combined with Seattle limiting big plays by the opposing offense better than it has all season — Miami had no player longer than 26 yards and only two longer than 18 — to make for the best defensive game of the season for Seattle.
Carroll said he thought in earlier games some of the defensive backs might have “tried too hard to make things happen and overshot some things.’’
Sunday, he said he felt the players stayed true to the team’s “intentions’’ to keep everything in front of them.
“It certainly felt different in this game,’’ Carroll said.