“We learned about what happens when a coach gets hormonal and tries to freakin’ jam it down their throat for the touchdown there right at the half. That was a mistake. It would have been a good call if we made it. But we didn’t”. ~ Pete Carroll, October 30, 2011 after losing to the Bengals at home 34-12
History seems to repeat itself, and it almost did again this past Sunday for head coach Pete Carroll in the Week 14 matchup against the hated Santa Clara 49ers. The 49ers had the lead over the Seahawks 7 to 3 with the clock ticking down to halftime.
The Seahawks had managed to get the ball to the 49ers 29 yard line with a 35 yard catch by wide receiver Doug Baldwin (#89). The problem was that the Seahawks had no timeouts. The game clock had stopped due to an incomplete pass on the previous play. The decision was made to throw it one more time to the end zone or the sideline.
There’s a saying that goes, three things can happen when you throw the ball and two of them are bad. I’d argue that there are four things that can happen when you throw the ball and three of them are bad. An incompletion, an interception, and a sack.
In the above scenario, all four thing that could happen were bad. The completion would only be a good thing if it was to the sideline or in the end zone. Russell Wilson (#3) was put it into a difficult situation. The result was a pass to the center of the field targeted for Baldwin well short of the end zone. Even if Baldwin caught the ball, he more than likely would have been stopped before crossing the plane and time would have expired. Instead, the ball was intercepted by 49er safety Eric Reid, what ensued was a kamikaze run by Reid down the sideline in an attempt to score a touchdown. Reid knew time had expired and had to make it to the other end of the field. The Seahawks narrowly escaped the half by denying Reid to take it to the house. Wilson chased the convoy of 49ers surrounding Reid down the field and torpedoed himself into the melee. It was just enough to knock Reid off his course and running back Robert Turbin (#22) was able to make the tackle. To add insult to injury, left tackle Russell Okung (#76) was waylaid by a Niner defender throwing a block on the interception return. Okung was spitting up blood and suffered a bruised lung. He will miss next week’s pivotal matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.
If they failed to stop Reid, the 49ers would have gone into halftime with a score of 14 to 3, tilting all of the momentum in their favor.
I am not a football coach, but I just don’t see the logic in going for that 3rd throw with no timeouts remaining. Why not give your kicker Steven Hauschka (#4), who has been house money, attempt to kick the field goal? If he succeeds, the Hawks go into halftime trailing 7 to 6, and would be receiving the ball to start the 3rd quarter.
It has been awhile since I have seen Carroll get “hormonal” as he likes to call it. Or he has been hormonal and his gutsy calls have paid dividends and I’m to busy celebrating to notice. Let’s hope the coach gets his hormones under control for the upcoming playoff push.