As long as Pete Carroll has been coaching the Seattle Seahawks, there has been a big emphasis of treating every week the same and not looking beyond the task at hand or looking back at things that can't be changed. This week and every week going forward this season, that ability to "treat every week the same"—or in Russell Wilson speak "to go 1-0 every week"—will be paramount to Seattle's chances at turning things around after a 4-5 start.
For fans and pundits, it's easy to look back and lament all of those close losses and wonder what might have been or to assess blame what went wrong. And it's also tempting to look at Seattle's schedule, and those of other NFC foes, and try to project what possible scenarios could land the Seahawks in the playoffs or on top of their division, which Arizona now leads by three games—the Cardinals have a tough schedule, the Seahawks get another crack at them, etc. But what Carroll knows, and what he'll try to make sure his players live this week, is that if they spend too much time looking back or ahead, those hypotheticals won't have a chance to play out in their favor.
"We're going to keep working really hard and keep focusing on the stuff we can improve and make the adjustments we need to make and move on," Carroll said. "This season is this week. It's this week. We're good at doing that and we're going to do that really well. We're going to get back in and get to work and crank up a week's preparation that gets us a win and get this thing moving again and see if we can make some noise here a couple of months from now."
As Carroll noted himself, the Seahawks "don't have full control of everything at this point," because if Arizona keeps winning, the Seahawks can't catch them, but worrying about that now won't help the Seahawks beat the 49ers this week.
"We'll see if we can work our way back into that, that'd be great, but it's a long ways from that at this point," he said. "All of that still brings us back to right now and the focus of turning it around this week. I know that's kind of dull to you, but that is what it is."
Dull or not, Carroll's message seems to have taken hold with his players, even amidst the frustration immediately after the game.
"We've just got to take it one game at a time," linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "I know it sounds cliché, but you never know what is going to happen, especially in this division. It is a very tough division. We're just going to focus on the next game, get a win, and keep moving forward."
Carroll didn't have much news yet on linebacker Bruce Irvin, who has an MCL sprain, or receiver Paul Richardson, who injured his hamstring. Carroll said the status of both is "pending" though he did also use the word "legitimate" when describing both injuries. Richardson, who had one catch for 40 yards before the injury, was making his first appearance of the season after coming off the physically unable to perform list.
On Marshawn Lynch, who was questionable heading into the game because of an oblique injury, Carroll said, "He felt pretty good on Saturday, and Sunday morning he felt assured that he'd be fine. We really didn't know until he took off, and he did. He ran really hard and ran really well in the game. I think he's a little sore today but we'll see how it goes."
While Carroll deflected any questions designed to elicit criticism of the officiating in Sunday's game, he did talk about one interesting element of how his team prepares for an officiating crew in any given week. Because every crew is going to interpret things slightly differently, the Seahawks spend time every Friday studying how that crew calls a game, hoping to avoid outcomes like Sunday's game in which they were called for a season-high 14 penalties.
"We have a full day on Friday that we dedicate to the crew that's coming in, the tendencies of their calls," he said. "We show film of calls that they've made to make them aware, we go into great depth in that way because the crews have their own way, somewhat, so we take a lot of care there. We think it's such a big factor in the game that we want to know what we're dealing with, so we do that."
The Seahawks took on the Arizona Cardinals in an intense Sunday Night Football showdown at CenturyLink Field with divisional implication.