Pete Carroll knows running the ball is the best way to not screw things up

Getty Images

Monday night’s game between the Vikings and Seahawks features a pair of old-school defensive coaches who harp on running the ball offensively. So why do defensive coaches want to run the ball so much?

“Because it’s the best way to not screw it up,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Thursday.

“It’s the best way to play the game because the games are always lost [when] you make errors. That’s why the turnover issue is of paramount importance to us. It’s the most important thing that we taught. It’s the first thing I ever say to our team every single year we get together. Every year I start there because that’s what determines the outcome of the games. When we don’t turn the football over, our winning percentages are ridiculously high. . . . When we’re in the plus, our numbers are phenomenal and they always have been. How can you play to make that factor a strength of yours. Right now, we’re plus-11. That’s a good spot to be, but if we wind up plus-18 or something like that, we’re going to have hell of a finish this season. We’ve got to keep going and pushing on it. That calls both sides of the ball and everybody’s consciousness to get that done. I think most all defensive coaches are pretty tuned in to that.”

The approach has worked well for the Seahawks, who have turned a rebuild into a reload and, at this point, a likely playoff berth.

“We have a chance to finish and do something with this season,” Carroll said. “There’s a chance. Hope is alive. Hope is strong in the building and in the locker room and we’re in control of it. If we play really good football this week, then we set up next week. Each one of these weeks, they’re playoff weeks and they’re championship games. I know you hear me say that a lot, but this is what we’ve been preparing for — to play at this time and play really well and be familiar and comfortable with the challenge of that. Nothing better than finishing in sports. You finish well and you do right at the end of the games and the end of seasons, and this is it. It’s fourth quarter time.”

Indeed it is, for both the Vikings and the Seahawks. And while the Seahawks can arguably lose on Monday night and still nail down a playoff berth, the Vikings are getting closer and closer to the loss that will knock them out of postseason consideration.

17 responses to “Pete Carroll knows running the ball is the best way to not screw things up

  1. “There are three things that can happen when you throw a pass, and two of them are bad.” – Woody Hayes

  2. Vikings went 3-1 in October and 2-1 in November. We will see how the Vikings finish in December but if they follow the trend & go 4-1. The Vikings would have a 10-5-1 record at the end of the year. This Seattle game will have a playoff feel to it for both teams.

  3. Unless you hand off to AP in a playoff game because he will fumble away the win, fumble away the Super Bowl. Fumble away hope………………

  4. The Vikings may loose this game but it doesn’t really matter because the Bears are going to loose to the Rams, Packers & Vikings so they will be out and the Vikings will win the division by 1/2 game @ 9-6-1

    fmc651 says:
    December 7, 2018 at 12:41 am
    Vikings went 3-1 in October and 2-1 in November. We will see how the Vikings finish in December but if they follow the trend & go 4-1. The Vikings would have a 10-5-1 record at the end of the year. This Seattle game will have a playoff feel to it for both teams.

  5. Imagine how good their running game would be if they ran more than the same read action play that they run 60% of their offensive plays. Or if Wilson kept more than 1 of those options per game when they’re wide open for him.

  6. Seattle is going to go 1-3 in their last four games and miss the playoffs. Time to start the rebuild!

  7. Pete Carroll just demonstrated that he cannot fully analyze the statistics. The real issue is productive possession. Failure to get a first down is a turnover. The difference between running or passing is of no consequence, if the drive results in giving the ball away to the other team, instead of scoring.

    That is, it is all about the total number of opportunities to score. Imagine how in baseball, the batting average stats would change with 4 strikes allowed, and how the scores would change with 4 put outs required. That is effectively what the NFL has been doing with rule changes. The simplest rule change to generate more points would be to allow 5 downs.

    What is the team’s +/- stat on 4th down turnovers combined with formal turnovers?

    Seahwks are ranked 17th this season with 245 total first downs [ESPN, downs]. +11 moves them up to 13th with 256 [my spreadsheet from ESPN stats]. The Browns are 16th with +10 turnovers, but only 250 combined 1st downs. The Chiefs are 3rd with just +6 turnovers, but 298 combined 1st downs. The Rams are 1st with 314, and Saints 2nd with 305.

    Seahawks ratio of punts to offensive scores is 1.0. They only score 1/2 the time. Seahawks are in the middle of the pack with 6 other teams. The Saints and Rams have a 0.4 ratio of punts to scores, and the Chiefs are 3rd at 0.5. I cannot find stats on number of posessions.

    The numbers don’t lie, despite what chimerical Carrol claims. The key to success is number of opportunities to score. Turnovers are just one part of that equation.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!