Different things have gone wrong in each of Seattle’s four losses this season, but there is one common thread between the defeats.
The Seahawks have held a lead in the fourth quarter in all four of the games and seen their opponents pull in front before the final whistle. They were also a missed illegal bat call away from likely having it happen a fifth time against the Lions, so putting a lid on victories is obviously something that the Seahawks are struggling with this season.
There’s plenty of blame to go around for that, but the most surprising part of the team’s failure to close is the fact that their defense has been so tough on the way to the Super Bowl the last two seasons. They haven’t been up to that standard thus far, which calls some attention to the switch from Dan Quinn to Kris Richard at defensive coordinator following Quinn’s departure for Atlanta.
During an appearance on “Brock and Salk” on 710 ESPN, Carroll was asked for his thoughts on the job that Richard has done so far this year.
“I think Kris is doing a really good job,” Carroll said. “I’ve been really impressed with the way he’s handled this group. It’s a big challenge to take over [for Quinn] … I think he’s done a terrific job and he’s leading these guys and he’s got ’em to buy in. They’re following the lead, they’re playing real hard. I think we just have to play better and be cleaner. I think all those players would tell you that. That’s there to be done.”
Richard hasn’t changed the scheme dramatically and the offense could certainly make life easier on the unit, but they aren’t slamming the door in the way we became accustomed to seeing in the last few years. They’ll need to figure out a way to do it if they’re going to become the 15th team to go from 2-4 to the playoffs in the last 25 years.