10/21/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/21/2019 17:36
In the aftermath of their 30-16 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens, their second home loss in four tries this season, the Seattle Seahawks were left to wonder where things went wrong against Lamar Jackson and Co. One day later, there's one moment that stands out.
Tied 13-13 midway through the third quarter, Seattle found itself facing a fourth-and-3 from Baltimore's 35-yard line. The Seahawks had three options: attempt a fourth-down conversion, punt to pin back the Ravens (who had just gone three-and-out on their previous drive) or try a 53-yard field goal.
Pete Carroll opted to go with the latter and didn't even consider the former. The result in the Emerald City mist? Jason Myers pushed the long try right, and the Ravens took the lead on their ensuing drive, an 11-play, 62-yard march that culminated in a Lamar Jackson TD run ... on fourth down.
Seattle never regained the lead, and Carroll was left to face the music on Monday morning.
'Total confidence that we're going to make the kick,' Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle. 'It's not too long of a kick; it's right within range from warmups and everything was fine. It was right at the point that we had already cleared that this is where we can kick it from.
'You, know, the other choice -- somebody said, would you go for it on fourth down? Well, the other choice was to kick (punt) the ball deep. My alternate was to put them in the hole if we weren't going to kick the field goal. But it was our spot, we're kicking it -- that's what we do. Just a great kicker and he's going to come through for us. That's the way our mentality's going to be and there's no reason for us to change.'
Asked why he didn't want to attempt to go for it on fourth down, Carroll told reporters later in the day, 'It's fourth-and-3, you know. There's a little difference -- I'm not going to give you the whole script -- but that's a little longer than you want to go for.'
Myers, who joined Seattle this offseason following a Pro Bowl campaign with the Jets in 2018, had attempted and missed just one 50-plus-yard field goal this season before his miss Sunday. But last year, Myers was lethal from deep, hitting six of seven attempts from at least 50 yards. Plus, Myers had made his previous two attempts, albeit short tries, on the day. Carroll's confidence in the kicker wasn't totally misplaced.
But critics of the coach's decision have been quick to point out that given the weather conditions and the odds, Seattle should have attempted to go for it.
Had the Seahawks converted, perhaps Seattle reaches the end zone, Jackson plays differently from behind and the Ravens don't rattle off 17 second-half points and the Seahawks their second defeat. But there's a lot of unknown in projecting alternate results in the game's final 22 minutes.
In the moment, to kick or not to kick was a difficult decision. Carroll's choice to not even consider going for it on fourth-and-short however deserves scrutiny, with or without 20-20 hindsight.