it’s one of Pete Carroll’s favorite questions, whether within the midst of a press conference or rallying his players within the room. “Can you win the sport within the fourth quarter?” has been Carroll’s cry, and typically during his time in Seattle the solution has been “Yes.” On Sunday, his team provided a powerful example of the way to lose a game within the fourth. While it hasn’t always been textbook, the Seahawks under Carroll have rarely had an entire collapse within the playing period. The lead might get removed for a flash or two, but only on rare occasions have the Seahawks failed with their end-of-game execution.
Like Sunday. Seattle lost 33-30 to Tennessee in overtime after blowing a 30-16 fourth-quarter lead. The offense sputtered. The defense let Derrick Henry run 107 yards within the fourth and overtime. Jason Myers missed an additional point that changed a number of the maths. It took a collective series of mistakes to send Seattle (1-1) to the surprising loss. “There was a game to be won there. That’s why it’s a true disappointment to allow them to escape with it,” Carroll said Monday. While there was plenty that bothered Carroll, what stood out was penalties. Seattle was flagged 10 times for 100 yards, five of these personal fouls, including a taunting penalty on D.J. Reed. “We did not make the great decisions at the time of the top of the play,” Carroll said.
WHAT’S WORKING The Seahawks’ new offensive system isn’t lacking for giant plays. Seattle already has three touchdowns of 60 or more yards after Tyler Lockett’s 63-yard TD catch and Freddie Swain’s 68-yard TD reception on Sunday. Lockett also had a 69-yard TD catch in Week 1 against Indianapolis. The three TDs of 60 or more yards are the foremost in any single season for Seattle dating to a minimum of 1994, per the professional Football Reference database. And Seattle has accomplished it in two games.
WHAT NEEDS HELP Seattle’s late-game offense was abysmal and the maximum amount was a cause for concern because of the yards Henry churned out. The Seahawks had just two first downs on their final four possessions, with both of these coming within the closing seconds of the fourth. Seattle went three-and-out twice while leading 30-23, and in its only overtime possession, Wilson was overly aggressive with first- and second-down throws. Carroll wished Wilson would have gone with other options to undertake and obtain the offense moving. “I wish he would are ready to keep us moving with a few of check downs late within the game, within the overtime especially,” Carroll said.
While the overtime throws were noted, Wilson’s bigger misses were in regulation. On third-and-2, Wilson couldn’t connect with DK Metcalf on a downfield shot. On Seattle’s next possession, Wilson seemed slightly late together with his throw, and Metcalf was stopped 1 yard in need of a primary down.
STOCK UP Bobby Wagner set a franchise record with 20 tackles against the Titans. the very fact he needed to form 20 tackles speaks to other issues with the defense, but the perennial All-Pro was everywhere. The impressive part was Wagner had 16 solo tackles. “It’s cool, but we lost,” Wagner said.
STOCK DOWN While Wagner was everywhere, Carlos Dunlap and Darrell Taylor were mostly invisible. Neither player recorded a defensive statistic, and everyone saw their playing time reduced as Seattle appeared to accompany a much bigger defensive front to undertake to hamper Henry. Dunlap played just 30% of the defensive snaps and Taylor was certain 26%.
INJURIES Right tackle Brandon Shell sprained an ankle within the fourth quarter, but Carroll said initial MRIs came back optimistic it isn’t a big sprain. … WR Dee Eskridge could return in the week after suffering a concussion in Week 1 against Indianapolis.
KEY NUMBER 532 — The 532 total yards by Tennessee was the ninth-most allowed by Seattle during a regular-season game and therefore the most allowed since Pittsburgh had 538 in 2015. Tennessee also held the ball for 42 minutes, 33 seconds. NEXT STEPS The Seahawks begin a two-game road trip on Sunday at Minnesota. Seattle has won seven straight against the Vikings, including last year when the Seahawks escaped with a 27-26 victory reception on a 6-yard TD pass from Wilson to Metcalf with 15 seconds left.