Seahawks coach Pete Carroll sat down with the Brock and Salk Show for his usual Monday morning appearance on 710 ESPN following his team's 6-6 tie in Arizona. Here are six things we learned from Seattle's head coach after the first tie in franchise history:
1. The defensive effort was "just remarkable."
The Seahawks defense was on the field for 90 plays—95 including plays that were wiped out by penalties—yet they held the Cardinals to only 6 points. It was an effort that impressed Carroll at the time, and was just as remarkable upon reflection a day later.
"Knowing how the game went now, you look back and you can pick out all of the moments in there that were so extraordinary to just keep hanging, keep believing and demonstrate how you can keep the faith," Carroll said. "It gets hard when the offense is struggling like that. There's a moment in there where guys could take a look at each other and say, 'Oh, shoot, it's not going to happen today.' That wasn't even anywhere near anybody's brain. The resolve to just keep fighting and doing things right and chasing it and hitting it and doing all of that stuff, it's just remarkable. This was a great event, in a sense, to watch your team. You've got to love what these guys stood for and how they represented it, really how they came through all the way to the end."
2. A tie "feels like a scrimmage."
Following the game, Carroll said "my brain doesn't know where to go" with a tie.
A day later, Carroll had at least sort of wrapped his head around what a tie felt like: "It was like a scrimmage when it was over. What does it feel like? It feels like a scrimmage. You know how you go out and play football for two hours, three hours sometimes in the summer time, then it's over and you go home. There's no winning or losing, you just play to play. But I think we take a lot out of that. I think we take a lot away from that game and it'll help us and we'll be stronger and we'll just be more determined to do what we can do."
3. Third-down struggles kept the offense from getting going early.
The Seahawks offense struggled against the Cardinals, and in the first half in particular, one of the issues was an inability to stay on the field long enough to get anything going. The Seahawks ran only 19 plays in the half, in part because they were 0 for 5 on third down.
"It was a terrible start in that regard," Carroll said. "It's the same story we tell you. We were 0 for 5 on third down, and those third downs are so crucial. We've been counting on being such a good third down team, and in the first half we had a number of very manageable third downs, and we didn't convert them. When you don't convert, you go sit down."
4. Carroll has "never been around a group like this."
The Seahawks' 4-1-1 start to the season has them in first place in the NFC West, but perhaps just important as the record is what Carroll has seen from his team in terms of the players' resolve and togetherness, something he has yet to witness at this level in his time as a head coach.
"I've never been around a group like this," Carroll said. "I've never been around a team—because they've been together so long. I've never been so impressed with the people and the character and the makeup, and also their willingness to fit together and allow guys to be who they are and accept and love who they are, but yet still find a way to make it mix so well. This is a remarkable group. I don't know who's going to stop us. I think we're going to keep on getting after it and battling. I don't know what that means in terms of wins and losses, but nobody is going to fight harder and stick together better than these guys."
5. The Seahawks remain confident in kicker Steven Hauschka.
Steven Hauschka came into Sunday's game having made 87.0 percent of his career field goals, the third best field-goal percentage in NFL history. He also had made 92.5 percent of his kicks under 50 yards, the third-highest such percentage since 2011. So while Hauschka did have an uncharacteristic miss on a game-winning attempt, Carroll isn't worried about his kicker.
"Steven will be OK," Carroll said. "This is their life. I can't remember a time we've asked him to kick a game winner when he didn't get it, so I'm counting on him doing it this week. He has been phenomenal for us… That's behind us and we've got to move ahead."
6. Updates on Bradley Sowell, Thomas Rawls and Russell Wilson.
While several players were exhausted and cramping and beat up following Sunday's game, the only injury reported by Carroll was Bradley Sowell's knee injury that knocked the left tackle out of the game in the second half.
Carroll said after the game that Sowell has a sprained knee, and as of Monday morning, he did not yet have an update because Sowell had yet to have an MRI.
As for undrafted rookie George Fant, who took over for Sowell, Carroll said they remain excited about the former college basketball player, though he also added that veteran J'Marcus Webb could be an option at tackle if Sowell misses time going forward.
"We've been working with George Fant here with the thought that he's going to do something really special," Carroll said. "He has made enormous progress. He didn't play football before, so it's a little bit of a wait-and-see here, but he's busting his tail. As the game went on, he got more comfortable. We'll see. We have some choices with J'Marcus as well. We'll see how that works out."
Asked if a trade could be an option to find help at tackle, Carroll didn't completely rule the idea out—the Seahawks take pride in exploring every possible option to improve their roster—but he also didn't think it was a likely solution.
"I don't think there's a guy out there who's going to come flying in here," Carroll said. "Now if there is, John (Schneider) will figure it out. He'll figure it out if there's something we can do. We have never not been looking for another player at every position, we're always looking, that's the way we do it… This is the most difficult time to find a player just sitting there, so it's not likely."
When talking about the running game, Carroll gave a bit of an update on Thomas Rawls, who remains out with a fibula injury, saying, "There's a difference without Thomas Rawls playing. When he gets back—he's another week away, one more week and then the next week he should play—I think Thomas will be a really complement for Christine (Michael)."
As for Russell Wilson, Carroll said there have been no setbacks with the quarterback's knee and ankle injuries: "He has really steadily felt better.... He's doing great. Just to be out there playing right now—a lot of guys would have missed three or four games already, and he didn't do that. We're fortunate that he continues to make progress and make it through."
Game action photos from the Seahawks' 6-6 tie against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.