The Seahawks are back from what head coach Pete Carroll described as "a mess" of a game in Green Bay, and they know they don't have time to dwell on that loss, not with a Thursday night game against the Los Angeles Rams coming up. Carroll did, however, take the time to go over Sunday's 38-10 loss to the Packers during his regular Monday morning appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle, even if the team is already in a Wednesday mindset in term of preparation.
Here are five things we learned from Carroll's appearance on the Brock and Salk Show, the first two from digital media reporter John Boyle, and the final three from digital media content manager Tony Drovetto:
1. Sunday was a "classic illustration" of the importance of turnovers.
A lot of things went wrong for the Seahawks on Sunday, but no factor was more obvious that the Seahawks turning the ball over six times, a very unusual occurrence for a team that had the best turnover differential in the NFL over the past five seasons coming into the game.
"What a mess," Carroll said. "It's a classic illustration of the ball and how crucial it is. You've got to take care of it, you've got to do everything you can to protect it. We haven't seen a game like that, but it's a classic example of, the snowball started rolling and it just got bigger and we couldn't stop it."
"We saw a great quarterback yesterday. He was awesome. Moving around, floating, and the accuracy was really extraordinary. They took advantage of everything and they played a great football game, and we looked like garbage out there."
Yet as bad as Sunday's performance was, Carroll is confident with how his team will respond: "You've never seen us look like that. That was a strange game, they won good for them.
"We ran into a bit of a buzz saw in this one… Honestly, I ain't worried about it. I'm ready to go."
2. The conditions "shouldn't have been an issue" but might have been a factor.
Heading into the game there was concern that snow could affect the game, but the snow ended up stopping before kickoff. Even so, Carroll said the cold might have impacted his team more than it should have.
"We were prepared for it to be much worse, but there was no snow, it wasn't snowing by game time, and it really wasn't that bad," Carroll said. "It shouldn't have been an issue. The field looked like it was going to be loose and soft, but it played fine… However, we didn't handle the ball as well. You can see we misplayed some catches that were really uncommon for us, so it looked like it was a little bit of a factor. It looked like Russ missed some throws he would normally hit."
Carroll mentioned some throws were slightly underthrown, including the interception late in the first half on a pass intended for Doug Baldwin, something that sometimes can happen in cold weather, though on the flip side of that, two deep shots early were overthrown.
"It seemed like there was a factor there that we were not managing as well," Carroll said. "It didn't seem like it was an issue until it was and we were in the middle of it and having some problems."
3. The Pass Rush "Hit The Wall"
After recording 31 sacks through their first 10 games, the Seahawks have just one in their last three matchups, with that one coming from defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin in yesterday's game against the Packers. Seattle didn't sack reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton in last week's 40-7 win over the Carolina Panthers, but Carroll said he liked the Seahawks' pass rush in that game. Against Green Bay, however, Carroll said the pass rush was "a little disappointing" containing Aaron Rodgers, who had time to move out of the pocket and connect with receivers down field after they had ran their initial routes, with Carroll adding of Rodgers, "He hit almost everything. He was on fire."
"All of the sudden we just hit the wall," Carroll said of Seattle's pass rush. "I liked our pass rush last week. I thought we harassed the quarterback, the quarterback had a bad day. But yesterday, in part we went in to try to keep him in the pocket and keep him from floating around and he still was able to manage and spin and twist and found room anyway and did a marvelous job. Now you look at the game as it's going and we're nowhere near the guy is what it felt like, so I think that partly was the plan — we wanted to keep him in the pocket — but then he outdid us. Then by the time we needed, 'OK, we've got to get after this guy' we weren't able to. It just didn't happen. They blocked us very well and we didn't get anything going."
Carroll said coaching to keep an opposing quarterback in the pocket, as the Seahawks did heading into this week's game against the Packers, isn't "the way you like to do it."
"You like guys to go for it," he said. "So it's somewhat of a pitch, as well as we wanted to do a really good job of not getting offside, not jumping, because they take advantage of you when you jump. So our guys were very tuned into that and that was part of the thought that we have to move on movement, we can't listen to the sound. So we did that. We actually played the line of scrimmage way better than we have in the past, but that does take a bit of an edge off jumping off the football, so that contributed to it as well. We didn't give him those plays, which that was kind of how he beat us last time, so we eliminated that. But it all added up to not a good day rushing the passer and unfortunately they took advantage it."
4. The running game remains a bright spot.
One of the few bright spots from Sunday's game was the play of running back Thomas Rawls. A week after rushing for a season-high 106 yards and two touchdowns against Carolina, the second-year pro carried 12 times for 67 yards against the Packers, good for an average of 5.6 yards per touch, and not to mention an encouraging sign that Rawls is feeling good after returning from the leg injury he suffered in Week 2. With Seattle facing a 28-3 third-quarter deficit, Rawls saw limited action as the game carried into the fourth quarter, but Carroll came away satisfied with the way Rawls played, and where the run game is headed, with Seattle averaging 163.8 rushing yards per game the past four weeks.
"He ran well," Carroll said of Rawls. "We were OK running the ball at the line of scrimmage. I think that's something still. You look now it's a month now we're able to run the football and so we need to keep doing it and stay with it. It's going to be really important this week. This is a really good front that we're playing and a terrific attacking defense, so we're going to have to run the football this week for sure."
5. The challenges of a Thursday night game.
If you listen to the head coach's interview, you may hear him reference today as Wednesday, when in fact it is most definitely a Monday. But in terms of the Seahawks' week of preparation for their next game, which comes on Thursday Night Football against the Los Angeles Rams at CenturyLink Field, today will look a lot like how the team operates on a Wednesday during a typical game week, with the team scheduled to hold workouts, meetings, and a walk thru practice. Carroll commented on the challenges of working on the short week.
"It only changes that you don't have as much time to install everything, so you have to be careful and not overdo it," he said. "It's how much is too much, that's kind of part of the problem. And you can't have a fundamental week. You can't run these guys very hard, they're just recovering when it's time to play, so that's different. But again, it's relative. But you do have to be careful that you try to do a normal game plan in a shorter amount of time, so what's going to be the result of that? So we have to be careful there."
Action photos from the Seahawks' Week 14 game against the Packers at Green Bay's Lambeau Field.