Was the Seattle Seahawks’ playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys the fault of the offensive play calling? A majority of readers believe it was.
This week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers to weigh in on the Seahawks’ 24-22 loss to the Cowboys in the wild-card round last Saturday. After the game there was much furor on Twitter, with a segment of observers placing the blame for the loss on head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer for sticking with an ineffective run game too long, thus not giving quarterback Russell Wilson a chance to win the game for Seattle.
So the question was posed to the masses: Was play calling the primary reason why the Seahawks lost to the Cowboys? Here’s how you voted:
POLL: Was play calling, in which Seattle stayed run-first most of the game, the primary factor in the Seahawks’ playoff loss to Dallas? Full context here: https://t.co/E5M34nqyBx
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) January 7, 2019
Add the two together and essentially two-thirds of the voters agreed that play calling was the main reason Seattle lost to Dallas. The final numbers were 66 percent saying play calling was the primary reason for defeat, with 34 percent saying it wasn’t.
This week we saw a substantial discrepancy between the vote on the Twitter and the vote on the blog. On Twitter the breakdown was 60-40 percent, but on the blog it was 82-18 percent. In the introductory poll blog posts I try to provide the relevant information to the poll, and this week I tried to lay out exactly what happened in the game and the argument for each side. Maybe those who read the post found the argument that play calling was the reason for the loss more convincing than the argument against. However, given the grade I gave for coaching following the game, I hope my own opinion didn’t come out too much in the presentation of the facts. Maybe it did.
Based on what I’ve seen on Twitter since the poll was posted, this argument has been anything but settled. Here’s one exchange that characterizes the two positions:
We're now seeing football commentary go through all the same battles that baseball & basketball have been through https://t.co/lRoqnofumY
— i believe in math BUT (@benbbaldwin) January 7, 2019
We’ve also now heard from the principals. Carroll defended Schottenheimer, saying that he (Carroll) is responsible for the team’s overall philosophy, and that if the philosophy is to blame it’s on him rather than his offensive coordinator. Schottenheimer then told his side to 710 AM ESPN radio Thursday morning:
OC Brian Schottenheimer asked on @710ESPNSeattle about criticism #Seahawks didn’t have Russell Wilson throw more at DAL: “The biggest issue that we had was on 3d down…There were certainly things where we wanted to do more.” Said he didn’t get to all on play sheet bc 3rd & longs
— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) January 10, 2019
Schottenheimer says how team played this year isn't necessarily the offensive philosophy it will have next year. "We are always looking to grow,'' he said.
— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) January 10, 2019
Third down really is the crux of the issue. Seattle was 2-for-13 on third down, which is terrible. But was the Seahawks’ inability to convert an issue of execution, or was it because Seattle found itself in third-and-long too often because of the inability to gain yards running the ball on first and second down?
The debate rages on. But when it comes to the Herald’s readers, the majority fall on the side of Seattle’s play calling being the main reason why the Seahawks are packing up and heading home, rather than preparing for a divisional playoff game this weekend.