Pete Carroll: Kicking on fourth down is what we do, no reason to change

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In the last few seasons, NFL coaches have become increasingly aggressive about going for it on fourth down, as more teams weigh the analytics that say going for it is often a better decision than punting or kicking a field goal. But Seahawks coach Pete Carroll won’t join in that trend.

Carroll twice kicked in Sunday’s loss to the Ravens in situations when the analytics would say to go for it. He said today on 710 ESPN that he stands by both of those decisions.

We’re kicking it. That’s what we do. That’s what our mentality’s going to be and there’s no reason to change,” Carroll said, via Adam Jude of the Seattle Times.

The first of Carroll’s questionable fourth-down decisions came on fourth-and-3 at the Ravens’ 35-yard line with seven minutes remaining in the third quarter. Seahawks kicker Jason Myers, who has struggled all year, missed a 53-yard field goal in the poor weather. It might seem, given Myers’ struggles and the rain, that it would have been a good time to go for it. But Carroll said going for it on fourth-and-3 was not an option. If Carroll hadn’t felt Myers had a shot at making the field goal, he would have punted instead.

The second, and even more questionable, decision came on fourth-and-4 at the Seahawks’ 44-yard line with 12:50 to play in the fourth quarter. Given that the Seahawks were trailing 20-13 at the time, they were running out of time to come back and win the game, and it would seem that trusting Russell Wilson to make a play that could gain at least four yards would be the wiser decision. But Carroll punted instead.

The Ravens’ ensuing drive took most of the remaining time off the clock and ended with a field goal that pretty much sealed the Seahawks’ loss. Carroll is adamant that he won’t change his ways about kicking on fourth down, but he ought to consider it. Those two decisions factored into his team losing a game that was close into the fourth quarter.

27 responses to “Pete Carroll: Kicking on fourth down is what we do, no reason to change

  1. First one go for it, the second one punting was fine. Now if he goes for it in the future people are going to talk crap. Now it’s in the back of his mind. That wasn’t a good answer.

  2. He also kicked a field goal with about 2 minutes left to make it 30-16 when it was only 4th and 3 or 4 and the game was over anyway

  3. Not sure why people are even questioning the punt on 4th and 4 from their own 46. They had 12+ minutes left in a one score game,D just couldn’t get a stop.

  4. If Myers makes the FG, then its was the right call. The Punt was the right call, still lots of time on the clock, try to pin the Ravens back deep and hope your defense gets a 3 and out …… very easy to sit back and 2nd guess the choices when Myers missed the FG and the Ravens had a time consuming drive. Good job Coach and the 49ers thank you ….. LOL!

  5. Analytics don’t really say anything. Probabilities for success over thousands of events that cannot consider all the variables in specific situation are just a decision making point for a coach who has to weigh many. Regardless of what Carroll says publicly I am sure he considers the probabilities presented by his analytics team in his decision making. If the team doesn’t execute the decision always look like the wrong one.

  6. Not sure the 2nd one was a bad call. 4th and 4 with almost 13 mins left?!?!? Pin them at their endzone and trust your D.

    First one though…yeah, should have gone for it.

  7. And always challenge iffy plays in the first half. He won’t change anything and teams know exactly what to expect from his team. That’s awesome game planning and scheming coach. If you ask him if he would have done anything different in last year’s Cowboy playoff game he will tell you…..’nope, just gotta execute. Run run pass was the recipe, we just didn’t quite get it done.’

  8. Long missed FG’s are like a turnover — Ravens seemed to grab some momentum when Myers missed that 53 yarder.

    As always, it’s super easy to second guess decisions when they’ve gone wrong, after the fact. Tend to agree that they should have gone for it there though.

  9. So is throwing when you’re on the goal line in the SB. Seattle still hasn’t recovered from that one…
    Well, Chargers tried to run the ball from the goal line just this Sunday. They failed.

  10. I personally think Schotty gets wayyyy too much unfair criticism. That aside, Pete worries me with his refusal to adapt to today’s game. To not put the ball in your MVP caliber QB’s hands in that situation (with the poor weather conditions no less) is just astonishing.

    Also the repeated pointless/dumb challenges, clock mismanagement and old man stubbornness have cost this team time and again and it is really starting to show more and more.

  11. Punting was definitely the decision to make on 4th and 4. If it was so easy to get 4 yards on 1 play they should have been able to gain more than 6 yards on 3 plays prior. As it is it was a 1 score game and plenty of time left to play defense and get the ball back but the defense faltered this time. Seattle also has a good defense so it’s not like he was counting on a bottom feeder defense to step up.

  12. Vs a better team he would go for it he thought they could stop the ravens high school offense and they couldn’t.

  13. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Pete has never let what he said in the past affect what he does now.

  14. Well, Chargers tried to run the ball from the goal line just this Sunday. They failed.


    Yeah, but they tried to run it with the Hold-Out Kid and not Beast-Mode.

  15. They weren’t 4th and 1 and if you don’t trust your kicker why have him? Besides Myers has not been terrible this year – just not a lot of chances

  16. Carroll doesn’t play to win. He plays not to lose.
    Here’s another horrible secret. Seahawks do not have home field advantage in wet weather.

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