The aggressive playcalling by the Seahawks coaching staff was called into question during Monday night’s game against the Falcons, after a fake field goal that failed miserably blew up in their face.
Atlanta emerged victorious from CenturyLink Field with a 34-31 victory after Blair Walsh missed a potential game-tying field goal from 52 yards out in the game’s final seconds. It was sweet revenge for the Falcons, who lost to the Seahawks 26-24 in last season’s matchup at the same venue, and later went on to blow a 28-3 lead against the Patriots in Super Bowl LI.
The Seahawks, who faced a 14-point deficit in the first quarter at home for the first time since 2010, fought hard and turned in a solid performance. They managed to hold Matt Ryan to only 195 passing yards, breaking his streak of 64 consecutive games with 200+ passing yards. Seattle outgained Atlanta in total yards, 360-279, but points off turnovers really hurt the home team. The Falcons made good use of a short-field scenario by turning Russell Wilson’s first-quarter interception into a touchdown, and Adrian Clayborn later returned a fumble by the Seahawks quarterback for another score.
Pete Carroll’s questionable decision at the end of the first half loomed large in the loss as well, as he elected to run a fake field goal with only seven seconds remaining in the half — rather than attempting a 35-yarder. The decision to fake it was a head-scratcher, as it was fourth down at the time, so Seattle would’ve had to pick up a first down, and then likely would’ve only had time for one more play anyway, with just one timeout remaining.
Carroll defended the questionable call after the loss. Here’s what he had to say to reporters about it.
The Seahawks head coach then added that Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett “wasn’t supposed to be there,” so it’s possible that the coaching staff elected to run the fake because of something it had previously seen on film.
The Seahawks have now lost two consecutive games at CenturyLink Field — which is as shocking as Carroll’s decision to attempt the fake field goal.