Featuring postgame quotes from the following:
Head Coach Pete Carroll
OPENING STATEMENT: "Well this is not the way to have the happiest of Christmases for us, but I still wish a happy holidays to everybody. This was a tough game for us. In the first half, we just couldn't get going and couldn't make a first down. We didn't get anything going at all and just had to wait it out. Once we found our rhythm in the second half, you could see us play. We played with these guys. That is a terrific football team, and we know it. The defense held their own with these guys. They kept their running game down. They were able to get the third down wins that we needed. There were a lot of three and outs. It made a big difference and gave us the chance to be in the game. You could tell that we were in the go-for-it mode throughout the second half of the game. In fourth downs, using those and just trying to see if we could find a way. Tough ball game for us today. The weather had nothing to do with anything. It was just not a factor. I don't know what the temperature was, but that factor was not there today. Our guys handled it beautifully and it was not even an issue."
Q: Can you talk about missing Tyler Lockett today?
CARROLL: "He is a great player and you miss him. There are so many chances on third downs and early downs to be a factor like he is. We missed him."
Q: What happened on Geno Smith's interception?
CARROLL: "He took a shot throwing the ball and there was one up the side and the safety made a really good play. It is the right read to take it. The ball just has to get up and down before the guy gets there. The safety was all over it. I don't know what happened. I couldn't tell. Our guys were trying to grab it and you guys would know better than me. I didn't see that. He was just making a really aggressive play. That is not the wrong play to make. You just have to get the ball up and down before the guy gets there."
Q: Can you talk about Kenneth Walker III's day?
CARROLL: "It is so important. He is such a good player and our guys up front blocked their tails off today. You can see how we run the football. I think we ran it 11 times in the first half to nothing. We just didn't get anything going. We were just determined enough to go back out in the second half and make them find out if we were going to run it or not. We did. The guys up front did well. Blocks at the line of scrimmage were very efficient. That is who we want to be."
Q: Can you discuss fourth downs?
CARROLL: "Think about how close these plays were. DK (Metcalf) play in the back of the endzone. The use of the clock, I was really happy with the way the guys handled it there. We did everything we could to take a shot at it. That was Laquon (Treadwell). I think there was another one where we came up short too just by a bit."
Q: Did Patrick Mahomes have a lot of time in the pocket?
CARROLL: "Yeah he did. The play passes worked for them. He was hanging onto the football and getting a second look. He is really dangerous. They didn't throw the ball that well today. They had some miscues, just throwing and catching. That worked for us. He was able to find Travis Kelce. He was just looking right at him and waiting for him to get open. Time allowed that to happen. Those guys showed why they are the kind of magic they are."
Q: Can you talk about starting Johnathan Abram at safety?
CARROLL: "Yeah, we wanted to start Johnathan to see how he did and give him a shot. I don't have any observations on that right now, but I am anxious to see how he did."
Q: Big picture: what are you thinking with two games left?
CARROLL: "I saw Minnesota kicked a field goal and we will see what the 49ers do today. It could turn out if the 49ers are fortunate and win their game, that these last two games will be enormous for us obviously. We are playing the championship of the season right now. That is how we are going to approach it and get it done and give us a chance to be in it in the end."
Q: What do you need to stop the losing streak these last few games?
CARROLL: "We have to be more efficient. We were not efficient on third down. We need to be more consistent on offense. The last couple of weeks, defense has really started to step it up and that is what we need. It is everything. We need to do a little bit better everywhere. We didn't get the football today We are minus one the last couple of weeks. It has been that in the last stretch five out of six it has been the football. We threw plus five or six at one point. We have worked our way back out of that. That tells the story as much as anything too. There are efficiency things we have to be better at too. We have to take care of the football and get the football. That is how the game works.
Q: What happened to Abraham Lucas?
CARROLL: "His elbow just kind of gave out a little bit. It had an issue with it. He was okay to play, but we said let's get him out of there. We didn't want to tax him too much. I don't think he reinjured it so much as aggravating it."
Q: What happened to Marquise Goodwin?
CARROLL: "He had been nursing a wrist and it just got jammed again."
Q: What about Travis Homer?
CARROLL: "Sprained ankle."
Q: What about Joey Blount?
CARROLL: "Joey had an issue with his knee. Something with his kneecap. I don't know exactly what it is, but it kind of got knocked out a little bit and came back. He was in a lot of pain and discomfort. It is not a knee injury. It is a patella situation."
Q: How did you feel about Kenneth Walker III's day?
CARROLL: "I thought he played great. He jammed his ankle a couple of times and he had to let it quiet down. This is a reaggravating type of situation we are in and when it happened he needs a break and goes out and then comes back in. He is doing everything he can and admirably so. I thought he ran great today."
Q: Can you talk about DK Metcalf's day?
CARROLL: "They really put two guys on him a ton during the day and he was just battling. He made some really tough catches. I really just wish we would have gotten him in the back line on that touchdown. He has shown the consistency of a great player and he is still growing and still getting better, which is amazing He is 25 years old. He is just getting going. We are as pleased with him as we can be. I love the way he battles. We just keep battling and he is great."
Q: Was it a conscious decision to keep with the run in the second half?
CARROLL: "It was a real commitment in the second half to see if we could turn the game around."
Q: Do you think the success was because of a change or just staying with it?
CARROLL: "Yeah, it was staying with it. Not being affected by the score being behind by a little bit. The game was close. It was a close enough game where we could get right back in it with one drive, so we were looking for that drive."
Q: In general, how do you think Geno Smith played?
CARROLL: "He was fine. He played good football again. I wish he would have taken off to run on the third-down play. He saw a little opening and threw it, but man he had 25 or 30 yards up the middle. It would have been a huge play. He went aggressive on the interception. Everyone was counting on him throwing that ball. That was what we were looking for. I don't know how long he held it. It was the one we wanted to take a shot at. We needed to help him out. The third downs in the first half were too long, 11s, 12s and 13s. That is why we needed to mix the run game in there so we could get into normal third down situations. The third down day was not a good day in general."
Q: Do you think your offense has the efficiency for what it takes to make these last two games count?
CARROLL: "Absolutely. You just saw it happen in the second half. How we moved the football up and down the field and really had plenty of chances to score. In another game, we would be kicking some field goals. It would have been a different way of going about it, but in this game, we needed to keep going for it. When you can run the ball like that and give Geno a chance, he is going to find what we need. It would great to see Tyler playing for us. It would be great to have him back out there. I don't know if we will get that or not."
Q: Was that the message that you were trying to send? Was your second half offense exactly what you've been trying to find?
CARROLL: "No, I didn't tell them that."
Q: What was your message?
CARROLL: "It was about how it felt like to play in this setting against a great team like this and
how our guys sensed what we were able and capable of doing. I didn't want them to miss that.
Because we were able to do it all, we could stop them, we could run the football, and we could
protect and we could throw it. We could do all of those things. This team needs to stay in touch
with what we are capable of doing. Because we're not quite there yet. But it's there for us. And
they can feel it. It's there in truth. All of the numbers, except for third-down numbers shows
you that we played a lot better than what the score looks like."
Q: You mentioned that in another game, that you would have gone for field goals there. Why
did you feel like you needed to go for it on fourth down today?
CARROLL: "Because it's in respect to them and the offense that they have and the players they
have. I wasn't sure that we were able to hold them down as well as we did. Our defense got
better in the second half and just kept playing better. They did a great job. There must have
been two or three three-and-outs that made a big difference. We were really good on defense
today against the best third-down team in the NFL. Knowing what they're capable of that's
what dictated the decision. Honestly, that's the way I went for it. You guys can say whatever
you want about it."
Quarterback Geno Smith
Q: What happened on that sack where it took you a bit to get up from the ground?
SMITH: "I just fell on the ball and got the wind knocked out of me. I just had to take a knee and catch my breath, but I'm fine."
Q: What things were working well for you guys in the second half offensively?
SMITH: "I think we just played better and executed better. Ken [Kenneth Walker III] was running the ball great. The offensive line played tremendous in the second half, they were really moving the line of scrimmage. Overall, we just played with more tempo and more passion, more of a fight. I'm really proud of the guys and the way they fight, week in and week out. It's been a tough stretch but everyone is locked in and focused. It's not an effort thing or a want to thing, we're just coming up short and not executing to the best of our abilities."
Q: You made it into their territory multiple times but couldn't execute on third or fourth down. How frustrating was that?
SMITH: "It was extremely frustrating. I think that is something that we've been trying to correct the entire season. We've had our ups and downs. We've had our really good times and we've had our times where we couldn't get it done. I'm always very optimistic about the guys that I'm playing with. I really believe in these guys and that we can get these things done if we just do things right. We're really going to try and find ways to correct it because we obviously have the guys. We have the guys and we know what to do. We're just not getting it done right now but we'll turn it around."
Q: You've played every game until now with Tyler [Lockett]. How much did you miss him out there?
SMITH: "Tyler brings a lot to our offense and he's another weapon. He's hard to guard one on one, hard to guard in man coverage, which we saw a lot today. The other guys stepped up and played tremendous. I thought Laquon [Treadwell] made some really big plays. I thought Marquise [Goodwin] had some really big plays. On that one third down where he popped over the middle, if I get that ball up, then you never know, he's running. I thought other guys really played hard. They had opportunities and they showed up."
Q: What happened on the interception?
SMITH: "It was just a bad pass by me. I didn't put it in the right spot and gave them a chance to get it and they did."
Q: Was there any miscommunication on that interception?
SMITH: "No, I think Marquise [Goodwin] did what he was supposed to do. He felt the coverage and broke open and I put it in the wrong spot. I gave the safety a chance to make that play. That's completely on me, not on Marquise. I have to correct that and make sure that doesn't happen."
Q: What did the two-minute drill at the end of the first half do for you guys in terms of the tempo?
SMITH: "I think it got us into a rhythm, we started to move the ball, got our confidence up. I think guys started to get their feet under themselves. When you start making positive plays, even if it's just a few yards a play, it makes you feel good. The more you progress the ball down the field, the more confident the guys get, the more confident the play callers get. I feel like we were really good in the middle of the season with our tempo and playing fast but something slowed us down. We have to get back to it."
Q: What is the vibe like in the locker room since you guys are still in the middle of the playoff race?
SMITH: "We're right in the middle of the playoff race and we have two games at home, what more could you ask for. The vibe is that we don't want to lose any games. We had a tough stretch but that's in the past. That has to be in the past. We have to evaluate this stuff really hard but we look forward to these next two games. Obviously, it starts with one. You have to focus on that one and then you can move on to the next."
Q: Do you think that big run Ken [Kenneth Walker III] had in the second half was a product of staying with it like maybe you haven't done in the second half of previous games?
SMITH: "I think every game is different. Ken did give us a spark, he had some really good runs and the offensive line did a tremendous job opening up those holes for them. I think we stuck with it, but I don't think it had anything to do with our previous games. I think we just committed to running it and committed to making it work. Shane [Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron] called some great plays. The line did a great job of moving the line of scrimmage. Ken was great and was decisive with his runs and it helped us get into a rhythm."
Q: Do you think not having Tyler [Lockett] impacted you guys today on third down?
SMITH: "Anytime Tyler isn't out there, it's going to impact our offense. That's just the reality of who he is and what he does for us. Obviously, we have other guys who can step up and they did. I'll have to go to the film and see exactly where we failed on those third downs. That really hurt us today. We have to look at that and see where we can do better."
Q: You guys didn't have any first downs in the first four possessions today. What has to change early in the game for you guys?
SMITH: "We've got to start fast and get into a rhythm early. We can't not have any first downs in the first couple of drives. It hurts our offense but it also hurts our defense. It makes them have to play out there more than they should. When we get into a rhythm where we control the clock, we control the tempo, it really helps our team overall. We've got to get back to that. We look forward to these next two games and trying to get there."
Cornerback Tariq Woolen
Q: What did the defense do well today to limit Kansas City's explosive plays?
WOOLEN: "We did a good job of containing explosive plays. We homed in on trying to stop the run too. It always feels good when you hold a team less than a hundred or in other stat categories that shows you're better than the other team, but at the end of the day, we want a win."
Q: Could you tell that the defense was flustering Patrick Mahomes?
WOOLEN: "We were just out there playing our game. We just go out there and trust each other and execute certain things. We just got to go look at the film some more and see all of the things we messed up on too."
Q: How close were you to intercepting the ball on the play in the first quarter?
WOOLEN: "I was pretty close to picking it off. As long as I made a play on the ball and it wasn't a touchdown, I was happy."
Q: Did the cold weather today play a factor in the game?
WOOLEN: "A little bit. When you first get here, it's cold as hell. Coming from Seattle, where it's 30s, 40s, 50s and then you come here and it's 10, -5. You had to move around a little bit, but it's still cold. When you move around it makes it smooth."
Running Back Kenneth Walker III
Defensive End Quinton Williams
Q: What did Patrick Mahomes do to escape Seattle's pass rush?
JEFFERSON: "He's crafty. He's a great quarterback. He has great presence in the pocket and is aware of the rush. I knew we had to stay active and keep hunting, keep hunting. Just get him off the spot and make him uncomfortable so that he can't set his feet. I was just trying to stay active, stay alive. I think he felt it. We were trying to hit him often and as much as possible. I think we did a good job for almost three and a half quarters; they had that one drive at the end of the game and that hurt."
Q: What was going well on the run defense?
JEFFERSON: "I think guys just being accountable. I think we could have been even better. I think everyone knew the implications coming into this game, especially playoff implications. They're a great team, but they're kind of arrogant in what they do, so we know where the runs are going. Just being accountable and being where you are supposed to be. Just playing technique and everyone was on it today."
Q: Is it deflating to have this outcome?
JEFFERSON: "It's not deflating, because everything is still in our hands. We got to go win these next two. We know we still got a complete game to play on both sides."
Q: What do you tell the younger players going into next week?
JEFFERSON: "We just got to keep going and control what we can control. And that's coming out and having a great week of preparation and stacking together another great game. That's all we can control. If we win this next one, we give ourselves a shot. We got to keep going."
Wide Receiver DK Metcalf
Q:How bad were you shaken on the play where you got hurt?
METCALF: "I'm fine. It was just a cramp."
Q:How frustrating was it to get into Chiefs territory and not convert on fourth down multiple times?
METCALF: "I don't think it was frustrating. We just have to believe in ourselves and execute better and finish drives. The defense gives us many opportunities because they stop their offense. We have to return the favor and score and put more points on the board."
Q:What do you think went wrong with not converting most of the fourth downs?
METCALF: "It was simple mistakes. I didn't get my feet in on one play and we just didn't execute on offense."
Q: You have lost five out of six but still have a shot at the playoffs. What is your mood right now?
METCALF: "It ain't over until the end of the season. We won't let the NFL and the standings kick us out but we are still going to fight these last two games and try to get in."
Q:How much did you miss Tyler Lockett today?
METCALF: "It is always good to have Tyler out there. We missed him a lot today."
Q:How did you feel about your own game today?
METCALF: "I have to be better for the offense, whether it's running routes or blocking. I just have to be better."
Tight End Colby Parkinson
Q:How did you get so wide open on the touchdown drive?
PARKINSON: "I think there was a busted coverage and Geno [Smith] was able to have plenty of time to find me down the seam. That was a great set up play to get Noah [Fant] the ball in the endzone."
Q:What was the message on the sideline after the touchdown drive?
PARKINSON: "Just keep believing. Keep trusting our guys to do the right thing. Whether we get the onside or our defense gets the stop, we will just keep driving, keep going, one play at a time mentality."
Q:When you guys committed to the run in the second half, what did that do to your offense?
PARKINSON: "It opened up the entire offense. Once the run game gets going, we are able to open up our entire offense. Once the run game gets going, we are able to open up our play passes, our pass screens and really spread the ball out more."
Q:Why was it tough to get the run game going in the first half?
PARKINSON: "I think it was multiple things. I think we just need to get back to our technique and make sure we are able to take care of those things."
Q:You seemed to outperform the Chiefs in many categories except the final score. What does that tell you?
PARKINSON: "I think it comes down to the turnover ratio, and I think it comes down to execution. We had a few fourth downs there we needed to convert, and we didn't get it done. We will look back at the tape and be ready for next week."
Q:What are the biggest lessons you can take from this game?
PARKINSON: "We are right there. We are real close. We just need to have those great execution plays on those fourth downs, on those critical plays, so we are able to keep drives going."
Free Safety Quandre Diggs
Q: What is your takeaway from the defense the team played, especially in the second half?
DIGGS:"I think we played good. It's another opportunity to compete against a really, really good offense and a really good team. For the most part, we played pretty well. There are a lot of things we can clean up, a lot of simple things to clean up. We have to keep pressing and pushing to get better. At the end of day, no matter who's opportunity it is to get those shots to go out and play, we have to be ready to go when it's your shot."
Q: How do you feel about finishing up the remainder of the season?
DIGGS:"Finish strong. At the end of the day you want to finish strong. You want to give yourself the opportunity to win these last two and let the chips fall. We are just going to do our jobs and try to get better and finish strong and go in with some momentum. Whatever happens, we just control what we can control. Hopefully, that's winning these last two. Stacking two big wins and if we get into the playoffs, then we have some momentum."
Q: What was it like to have Teez Tabor and Johnathan Abram out there with you today?
DIGGS: "It's different. It's probably the third and fourth or fourth and fifth safeties I've had to play with this year. My communication has to be different. Me and Ryan [Neal] have played a lot together. Having Teez and J out there is definitely different. For me, that is my job. It's to communicate the best I can and get those guys lined up. Hopefully, give them enough tips where I can help them make plays. If the plays don't come our way or I don't have the opportunities, I just want those guys to succeed."
Q: How do you feel you guys played on third down today?
DIGGS: "That's winning football when you can hold a team like to three of 11. That's big time. I think we had a fourth down stop too, so that was pretty good. I think where we have to capitalize, it's the redzone. If those guys get down there, we have to hold guys to field goals. That's something that we have emphasized here for a long time. We can't let them come away with touchdowns. You have to make them kick field goals the best we can."
Q: I don't think Kansas City had any explosive runs today. What changed in the run defense?
DIGGS: "I think we just took a stand and knew what we had to do. This is one of those offenses that you don't want to give them an opportunity to run the ball, to pass the ball and have whatever they want. I think we did a good job of limiting them to one thing and get some stops on third down, which gets us off the field and gets our offense back on the field."
Q: Have you seen improvements from the defense the last couple of weeks?
DIGGS: "We still lost. There are no moral victories. I don't want to say I've seen noticeable improvement, but I've seen some improvement, for sure. There are some things we can take into these last two games and hang our hat on. I just don't want to see us go backwards. I want the team to get better and finish these last two games strong."
Q: What kind of fight do you want to see from your guys these last two games?
DIGGS: "Heck, you have an opportunity to go to the playoffs still. This is what you want at the beginning of the year. Nobody ever thought we would be in this position, anyways, to have the opportunity to go to the playoffs. For us, we want to fight, and we want to give ourselves those options. We want to finish 2-0 and finish strong. That's what it's all about. We haven't played this last quarter of the season like we wanted to but we have a shot still. For us, we just have to take advantage of that."