GREEN BAY, Wis. — Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll took issue with several calls that went against his team in its 17-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers and said the officials were a “huge part” of Sunday’s game.
“I’ve got some gripes about this,” Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle on his Monday radio show.
The Packers led 3-0 when Rodgers fumbled a snap near midfield. Seattle’s Darrell Taylor emerged from the pile with the football, but officials had already ruled that Green Bay recovered. The ruling was upheld after Carroll challenged.
“Darrell is laying on top of the football and the quarterback was reaching underneath him,” Carroll said. “Darrell had it from the moment that ball’s on the ground. He got his chest on the ball and was laying on it … I don’t know how they looked at it. He’s laying on the ground and the guy’s reaching underneath him and they gave it to the offense and that’s a big play. God, that’s such a big play in the game.”
The score was still 3-0 when King intercepted Wilson in the end zone on a third-and-10 throw from the 12. Replays showed King losing the ball when he hit the ground.
“When we throw the ball, Russ throws the interception in the end zone, I don’t know, I see the ball on the ground,” Carroll said. “The guy’s got to finish the catch and I don’t know why that was looked at in that manner. They called it, they saw it and all that. But that’s points on the board. Russ took a chance right there and it didn’t work out for us. We were right down there to kick a field goal.”
On Seattle’s opening drive, the official’s initial spot gave the Seahawks a first down on Wilson’s third-down scramble. Play was stopped because of an injury to Green Bay linebacker Rashan Gary. Officials then ruled that Wilson was short of the line to gain a first down, bringing up fourth-and-1 from Seattle’s 41.
Carroll took issue with the amount of time officials had to change the spot.
“There’s a fellow hurt on the play and so time passes,” Carroll said. “We got a first down and we were in the huddle, we break the huddle, we’re at the line of scrimmage ready to go and they stop the game and reverse that play. The way we understand it is that the booth has like 20 seconds to make those decisions to overturn a call that might have been wrong on the field. But they had minutes and minutes and minutes. I don’t know, did they open up the span of time to look at it? I don’t know. I don’t know how that happened.”
Carroll said after the game that officials told him the spot was unlikely to be changed back to a first down had he challenged. On his radio show, he said he might have gone for it instead of punting had the running play clock not hurried his decision.
“I’ve never seen that happen before like that,” he said. “As they’re explaining it to me, they already started the shot clock, so I don’t even know what the distance is on the play until I’m looking around. It’s fourth down. Oh, heck, we’ve got to kick the football and kick them deep. That’s what I’m thinking. I didn’t have a chance to even figure that out in enough time to go ahead and decide to go for it.”
Carroll also seemed to disagree with a hold that was called on guard Damien Lewis near the end of the first half that pushed Seattle out of field goal range. Carroll said Lewis “got run over” on the play without elaborating.
Carroll was talking generally about his communication with officials during games when he circled back to Sunday.
“They were such a big part of the game yesterday,” he said. “They were a huge part of the game yesterday. So in an effort to try to make sure that we’re really on the same page and we’re working through it and we call the game together in a sense, you work at it during the course of the game. I’ve known some of these guys for a long time and they always show respect and I try to show respect, too. They’ve got a job to do and we’ve got a job to do, and we’ve got to figure it out. We don’t always see eye to eye, that’s for darn sure, and that happened yesterday.”
The Packers led 3-0 until AJ Dillon‘s first touchdown run with 10 minutes, 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Dillon’s second score at the two-minute mark made it 17-0, the final score in Seattle’s first shutout loss since 2011.
“It’s really disheartening because that opportunity was there and our guys were ready to go,” Carroll said. “We weren’t able to get it done and they were. So we always will give them credit and it was a nice win for them, of course, but that was a chance for us in a really big moment to take advantage of something.”
Carroll reiterated what he and Wilson said after the game, that the quarterback’s surgically repaired finger wasn’t an issue in his return. Carroll relayed how he told Wilson that his monthlong layoff might have been a factor.
Wilson went 20-of-40 for 161 yards and two interceptions.
“As you look at the game, he wasn’t as sharp as we wish he would have been,” Carroll said. “But neither was the other guy. Everybody missed passes and stuff. So there was some conditions and stuff that play into that. I know everybody wants to go ahead and chase this whole thing about Russell wasn’t ready to play. He was ready to go and he did everything he needed to to get that done, and it didn’t come out as clean as we needed to in a lot of areas of our football — not just him.”