Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll pleads on a call by referees during Seattle’s 23-16 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at SoFi Stadium. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll pleads on a call by referees during Seattle’s 23-16 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at SoFi Stadium. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

POLL: Did Pete Carroll make the right call punting?

The Seahawks coach has been second-guessed for not going for it on fourth-and-inches in Seattle’s loss.

It was the coaching decision that launched a thousand second-guessers.

The Seattle Seahawks had the ball on the opening drive of the third quarter of their game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at SoFi Stadium. It felt like Seattle had been hammered by the Rams in the first half, yet somehow the Seahawks emerged trailing just 17-13, and Seattle received the ball to start the second half.

On third down quarterback Russell Wilson scrambled, and his dive left the Seahawks inches short of the first-down marker at their own 43-yard line.

During the first half the Rams steamrolled the Seahawks’ defense, opening the game with three consecutive long scoring drives. It appeared Seattle and its historically-bad defense was going to need every point it could muster to have a chance at winning this one.

However, needing just inches near midfield and having the league’s top-ranked offense, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll elected first to try and draw the Rams offside, then to let the play clock expire for a delay-of-game penalty before punting the ball away. Los Angeles proceeded to march 88 yards on 14 plays for a touchdown that made the score 23-13, and Seattle was never really in it after that.

Cue the Monday morning quarterbacking.

After the game Carroll vigorously defended the decision, saying he would “probably do it the same way again.

“That early in the game, when there was so much going on and so many opportunities, I don’t want to give them the ball at the 40-yard line,” Carroll explained. “That’s a turnover. That’s just like handing them an interception if you don’t make it. If they penetrate, make a play in the backfield, knowing (punter Michael Dickson) can kick to ball inside the 10-yard line and do something good with that, we’ll go ahead and play defense. That’s believing that we’re going to be all right. There are times when you go for it when the logic doesn’t add up the same. But that one right there, it was too early in the game, I was believing in our guys, we’re going to pull it off and have plenty of time to get back and play well. I didn’t want to give them a turnover right there, I felt like it wasn’t worth it.”

Quarterback Russell Wilson gave a tepid endorsement of the decision:

“I think it could go either way,” Wilson said. “Obviously you want to be able to go for it just because you want to convert and get that opportunity to keep going. But at the same time we’re on the other side of the field, so I don’t think it was a bad decision.”

Clearly the decision didn’t work out the way the Seahawks wanted. The offense never sparked to life in the second half, and the long field proved no deterrent to the Rams. One could argue that single decision cost Seattle game. On the other hand, Carroll was right. While the defense didn’t get the stop on the next possession, it did prevent Los Angeles from scoring the rest of the game, so to an extent the defense did justify Carroll’s faith.

What do you think? Should the Seahawks have gone for it on that fourth down, or did Carroll make the right choice in punting? Express your opinion by voting here:

Talk to us

More in Sports

Washington's Sami Reynolds runs the bases against McNeese during an NCAA softball game on Saturday, May 20, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Local softball stars Reynolds, Mahler set for WCWS

Washington’s Sami Reynolds (Snohomish) and Stanford’s River Mahler (Monroe) each play prominent roles on their Pac-12 teams.

Alberto Rodriguez.
Rodriguez puts on power display, leads AquaSox to series win

The 22-year-old outfielder mashed 11 extra-base hits, including six home runs, as Everett took five of seven from Eugene.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for May 22-28

The Athlete of the Week nominees for May 22-28 Voting closes at… Continue reading

Daniel Kim, left, and Ben Borgida, right, chat between holes during the Snohomish County Amateur golf tournament at the Everett Golf and Country Club in Everett, Washington on Monday, May 29, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Kim soars to 4-shot win in 92nd Snohomish County Amateur

The WSU freshman and Kamiak graduate’s 12-under final total was the historic tournament’s lowest since at least 2010.

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge gestures after hitting a solo home-run against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 30, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
Judge strikes again, Mariners lose to Yankees

Seattle falls 10-2 for a second consecutive lopsided loss.

Cooper Cummings from the United States celebrates after winning a men's downhill during the Cheese Rolling contest at Cooper's Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, Monday May 29, 2023. The Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an annual event where participants race down the 200-yard (180 m) long hill chasing a wheel of double gloucester cheese. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Arlington High School grad is the big cheese after winning UK race

Cooper Cummings, who grew up in Lake Stevens, defeated a world record-holder in Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake.

Jackson High School is awarded the 2023 WIAA class 4A softball championship trophy in Richland, Wash., on Sat., May 27. (TJ Mullinax/for The Herald)
Jackson wins state title over GP after game called by weather

The Timberwolves win 5-1 to hoist their third state softball trophy since 2018 after a game that ended in unusual fashion.

Lake Stevens’ Grant Buckmiller takes a peek at the clock as he runs to the title in the 4A boys 200 meter dash during the WIAA State Track and Field Championships on Saturday, May 27, 2023, at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
State track: Lake Stevens sprinter Buckmiller blazes to multiple titles

Also, Kamiak’s Kalia Estes and Jaedyn Chase claim championships and more on local title winners and state placers.

The Yankees’ Aaron Judge jogs the bases after hitting his second home run of the game a Mariners first baseman Ty France looks on during the sixth inning of a game Monday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Judge homers twice, Yankees clobber Mariners

Rookie standout Bryce Miller struggles against the New York lineup in Seattle’s 10-4 loss.

Most Read