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.