Pete Carroll Show Takeaways: Areas where Seahawks must get better

The Seahawks didn’t bounce back from their Week 10 loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as expected, falling 40-34 Sunday to the Las Vegas Raiders in overtime in Week 12 after their bye week.

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It drops the Seahawks to 6-5 on the year and puts them on the outside looking in for the NFC playoff picture.

So what went wrong for the Hawks on Sunday? Head coach Pete Carroll shared some thoughts and observations during The Pete Carroll Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM Monday morning.

The Raiders, who are now 4-7, have played in close games all year long, Carroll said, including a Week 11 overtime win over the Denver Broncos.

“And sure enough, we’re in it and we got our chances to win the football game and we’ve got to go get it, and we just didn’t seize the opportunity really on both sides,” Carroll said. “Defense came through in overtime, got the ball back for the offense, and we don’t make anything of it, and then the sudden death feature shows up.”

After the Raiders missed a long field goal to start overtime, the Seahawks went three-and-out and punted. On the first play of Vegas’ next drive, star running back Josh Jacobs rushed for an 86-yard walkoff touchdown.

That run further exemplified what went wrong for Seattle as the Hawks struggled mightily to stop the run; Jacobs rushed for 229 yards, and added 74 receiving yards for good measure, too.

Additionally, the Raiders’ defensive line dominated the Seahawks’ offensive line, stopping Seattle’s run game and making life hard for quarterback Geno Smith.

“We didn’t win the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball, and that was really devastating,” Carroll said. “And it turns into another third-down day where they’re good and we’re not.”

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Run D struggles

The Seahawks allowed 283 yards on the ground to the Raiders, and in their last game they gave up 161 rushing yards to the Bucs.

The Hawks struggled early in the season to stop the run before figuring things out, but this is now back-to-back games of poor run defense. Are old issues creeping up again? Not quite, Carroll said.

“It’s a totally different style of attack and we didn’t handle it,” he said. “Understanding what happened against Tampa, we tried to come back with our stuff to fix it and we didn’t get it done, so we’re still working at it. There’s some things you have to clean up. Schematically, we have to commit more possibly.”

By committing more, Carroll clarified that meant putting more players at or near the line of scrimmage and loading the “box” to try and stop opposing run games.

As far as the current struggles, Carroll stressed that the Seahawks need to “work together better in all phases.”

Linebackers Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton played downhill and were “attack-oriented,” but the Seahawks missed “shots” with their safeties in the run game and their defensive line didn’t penetrate enough, Carroll said.

“We need to help them more as coaches, and like I said last night, I need to do better and we all need to do a bit better,” he said.

Rushing attack falters again

When we last saw the Seahawks, they rushed for just 39 yards on 14 carries against Tampa Bay. On Sunday against Vegas, they rushed for only 65 yards on 23 attempts.

That’s obviously not something Carroll wants to see.

“We didn’t run the ball at all like we need to,” he said. “And it’s a couple weeks in a row (where) we don’t have the balance that we need. We relied on throwing the football.”

Smith played well and it was a “classic game for him.”

Smith did throw an interception that Carroll called “a mistake” – not necessarily by Smith but because the play and route didn’t work out correctly. Both Sunday after the game and then Monday morning, Carroll said Smith could have opted not to throw the ball but that he expected the play to work out differently.

The Seahawks’ starting QB was also credited with a fumble deep in Vegas territory in the second half on a read option when the ball “nicked off his hip.” Carroll said that was a “fundamental issue” that can be fixed going forward.

The lack of a rushing attack impacted Seattle’s offense despite the Hawks putting up 34 points. Carroll pointed to third down, where the Seahawks converted just 3 of 9 opportunities.

“If we run the ball better, we control the third down distances better,” Carroll said. “We had too many longs and didn’t come through.”

Nobody home on pass rush

When the Seahawks were in Germany facing the Bucs, Tampa quarterback Tom Brady wasn’t sacked at all and was hit just once.

On Sunday, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was sacked just once and hit only four times by Seattle’s defense.

“We were not effective yesterday like we wanted to be. And we tried to use our situations and the tendencies and stuff like that so we made sure that we could (generate pressure),” Carroll said. “They blocked us up pretty good. We did not get anything from the edge like we like … We need more rush to factor in. You saw (Carr) standing back there some, and when you get after any quarterback it makes it harder for them. And we did not make it difficult enough for Carr yesterday.”

You can listen to the full Pete Carroll Show in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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Pete Carroll Show Takeaways: Areas where Seahawks must get better