A day later, film study only confirmed what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll saw during his team's 33-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints did a lot of things well in Sunday's game to earn a victory, but the Seahawks also did plenty to hurt themselves, from giving up a punt return for a score to a fumble that was returned for a touchdown to a penalty that led to a touchdown to some fourth-down decisions Carroll wishes he could have back.
"After watching the film, it just accentuates the frustration of not performing like we need to against a team like that," Carroll said. "I really felt like the Saints were a really solid team across the board. I really respect that kind of team because they're hard to beat. That's kind of how they played. They didn't get a lot of yards and they didn't stop us, yardage-wise and all that. They didn't need to; they just played good, hard football. They were up for the opportunities and maximized them. They did a nice job of it. We left ourselves behind by such a margin that there wasn't enough time to get back in it to do it right."
Carroll lamented his own role in the loss, noting that he made some decisions he wishes he could have had back, including some aggressive decisions to go for it on fourth down after the Seahawks got behind that he might not have normally made.
"We got back to sevens and here we go, the game starts over again," he said. "I needed to stick with that more. The game was a good, close game against a good team. That's why I've got some questions of myself. I've got to be better. I've got to coach better."
On the fourth-down calls in particular, Carroll said, "I just didn't feel like I controlled it right and we didn't come through either. We didn't make it. It makes it easy if they convert. I was just disappointed. I was really affected by the last one when we were backed up and nine minutes left or something. I should've kicked the ball there. I thought we should've kicked it and then play to the next couple series. That was really the one that influenced me."
The game wasn't all bad—there were strong performances on both sides of the ball, including big games from Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, Bobby Wagner, and K.J. Wright—and the Seahawks are still 2-1 with plenty of time to clean up the issues that hurt them on Sunday. But going forward, Carroll knows his team and his own coaching need to be cleaner if the Seahawks are going to reach their potential.
"We made enough errors and things too along the way that added to the frustration," he said. "We need to play a lot cleaner against a good football team, and we didn't do that. It's a missed opportunity at home for sure. There are just so many different areas of our game that we can continue improve at that we can see what the potential is, we can see that illustrated, but we need to come through and play cleaner. So that's really what the focus will continue to be. We haven't left that focus yet, but this game kind of accentuated it. As you know, I hate learning the hard way and we had to do some of the hard lessons in this game."