NFL Seattle Seahawks

2013 NFL Playoffs: Pete Carroll’s Timeout Did Not Cost Seattle Seahawks A Win

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s get this out of the way first, Pete Carroll did not lose the game for the Seattle Seahawks. Everyone saw the timeout he called to ice Matt Bryant of the Atlanta Falcons before he attempted the game winning field goal with 13 seconds left, but that wasn’t the reason the Seahawks are going home instead of heading to San Francisco next week.

In every NFL game, there are plenty of plays that can affect the outcome of a game, so focusing on the timeout is foolish, especially with all the mistakes the Seahawks made throughout the game for it to get to that point. Marshawn Lynch’s fumble is one mistake, but the biggest mistake for the Seahawks was their time management at the end of the first half.

Russell Wilson cannot take the sack at the end of the first half when the Seahawks were in position to get points and gain some positive momentum heading into the second half. With those points the Seahawks wouldn’t have needed to play defense against the field goal to beat the Falcons because only a touchdown would have beat them. That, not the timeout, was a much bigger factor why Seattle lost to the game.

There is also no way of knowing if Bryant would have made the kick if Carroll had not called the timeout. Watching the kick live, you could see Bryant take his sweet time in lining up the kick before going through with it. The kick resulted in a miss but no one can be sure that Bryant went through his full motion after knowing the timeout was called.

The practice of calling a timeout right before a game winning field goal is attempted has been questioned and this timeout will not stop the debate but there is an even bigger issue with the play that needs to be changed. If a coach calls a timeout before the kicker approaches the ball, which happened in this instance, the kicker should not be allowed to get a free warm-up kick.

Pete Carroll called the timeout well before Bryant addressed the ball yet he still went through with the motion of the kick, which he missed. It was also something Carroll protested, with good reason. Bryant made the game winning on his next attempt and sent the Falcons to the NFC Championship game.

Everyone will focus on what happened at the end of the game and second guess Carroll’s decision to ice the kicker, but that wasn’t the reason the Seahawks the game. There were way too many other factors that contributed the Seahawks loss and blaming one play out of all the other negative plays Seattle made throughout the game is flat out wrong.

Pete Carroll didn’t lose the game for the Seahawks, they lost as a team by not playing well over 60 minutes of football.

you can contact or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi