Featuring postgame quotes from the following:
Head Coach Pete Carroll
PETE CARROLL: It was a big opportunity tonight playing a really good team, good setting, good opportunity for us to be at home. The first half of this game we couldn't get out of our way enough to make them go long fields and they keep the football, and so they got off to a great start. Really good drive to open up; they go 45 with the next drive; then they scored, and 50 something with the next one. So the field was too short to hold these guys down the way we needed to. We got nothing done on offense in the first half, and so it really was halftime, here we go. What are we going to do about it. Our guys jumped back and got going in the game, moved the football better, we get off the field a few times, we get the turnover. There is a moment in there, there is a time that 14 points down where one more score and it's going to feel a whole lot different, and we weren't able to get that closed off. So they get a good win and away they go. This is a really difficult team to play when you give them stuff and give them the field position opportunities and we don't make our first downs. Hard for everybody I guess tonight, so we saw what that was like. It's a tough stretch coming up for up, as challenging as it can get, and we got to clean it up. We cannot give our opponents the opportunity to have short fields and expect to get the kind of results we want. So as always, the ball determines so much of it. The turnovers determine so much of it. It's like the one for us almost did for us, too. Kind of turns the whole feeling of the game around. So we go back to work. Got to get our stuff done. We got a really challenging game coming up next week, and we don't have any time but to get back to work and do stuff right, coaches, players, everybody, all of us do. Starts with me.
Q. How concerning is it with the opportunity this was that the started the way it did?
PETE CARROLL: Yeah, they put together a great drive, right down the field, couldn't do anything with it. We get nothing out of the first drive and Geno gets tripped in the second drive and gives us a long situation, and it just went their way early on. Yeah, it was concerning. It was really hard is what it was.
Q. How affected, if at all, was Geno by the arm injury?
PETE CARROLL: Had nothing to do with it. I think he was fine.
Q. How big was the play when Jaxon got held in the end zone? That was what you're talking, right?
PETE CARROLL: Yeah, you know, I didn't see it. The guys that advised me, they saw the TV copy, and said it was pretty obvious. I didn't see that so I can't tell you right now. That's a huge situation for us. We're tying to get right back in it and we felt it, everybody in the stadium could feel it, they were ready for us to turn the game around. We were there for the opportunity; just missed our shot there.
Q. What did your defense show in the second half?
PETE CARROLL: The game turned and, I don't know, looks like we outscored them in the second half. Something we'll hang our hat on and go back to work. I was thrilled that our guys turned that game back around where it felt like we were going to come back and get it done. We
had that sense at halftime, that we could, and so it was good to see that happen -- almost. It almost got there.
Q. What led to Michael Jackson taking over?
PETE CARROLL: Riq wasn't back all the way. He didn't tackle well with the shoulder and went into the game wanting to see if he could hold up and didn't feel like he was ready. Mike was 100% ready to go and we think Mike is a terrific football player, and no problem putting him on the field.
Q. Second stretch I think in the season where you got six quarters without an offensive touchdown. Where can you make changes or can there be changes that you can make to spark things here?
PETE CARROLL: We have to find our consistency. We're just not moving the ball steadily and have to find a way to do that. It's mixing the stuff we have and using the guys we have better than we have so far. So I'm saying Geno is fine. Maybe he wasn't fine. He won't tell you. You'll see him. He won't tell you it had anything to do with his night tonight. He did a good job just to get back out. That's for darn sure. We need to help him be effective. That's what this is, that is by running the football and catching the football and making our plays and converting on third downs. We have to help them in every way we can.
Q. The last couple times you have gone up against what people consider elite teams, 49ers, Baltimore.
PETE CARROLL: Yes, both those games were, I agree.
Q. What were you thinking...
PETE CARROLL: We got plenty of chances coming up. This is playoff time every week. We got plenty of chances with the teams we'll play in the next month that will show us where we are and where we fit with all that.
Q. How far, as you stand here, do you feel behind the 49ers?
PETE CARROLL: What?
Q. You spent this offseason and preseason...
PETE CARROLL: They played a really good first half and jumped on us. I can't make that determination at this time.
Q. What did you get out of your run game tonight without Ken Walker?
PETE CARROLL: I thought Zach ran hard as hell. He got after it and did a nice job when we gave him a chance, and didn't get much going in the first half. But he showed you. He can make guys miss. He's tough. He can finish his runs. He's a good football player. But yeah, we miss
Ken. Ken is a totally different style player than Zach, and I've told you a ton of times I love having that changeup; we didn't have that tonight.
Q. Talked earlier this week about the improvement at the line of scrimmage. What did you see against the run in this game, especially with McCaffrey breaking tackles?
PETE CARROLL: I need to see the film and see what happened on this. He ran well tonight. It felt like there was times when we were really solid and there was times when we got slashed pretty good. So we worked our front -- we were trying to play the running game and didn't play it well enough.
Q. What did you see on the interception that Geno had on the comeback on the sideline? Anything you thought of?
PETE CARROLL: Guy made a really good play, settled on it, and jumped it. He had to really jump it to make that play, which he did.
Q. On Dee Eskridge
PETE CARROLL: Yeah, it was great. I thought he was gone, and I thought he was in the end zone right there. That was a huge play for us in the game and loved seeing that contribute, but it's nice to see him have a factor. The other play that was amazing play was what we saw Jaxon do tonight. That was an incredible play. Wish which would've finished that drive, the one where the PI happened. Just would've been a bigger factor in the game. Amazing play.
Q. How is a Jason Peters?
PETE CARROLL: He (had a stinger) and couldn't quite get the power back in it so Stone finished up.
Q. Regarding Jordyn Brooks, what does is that say about your defense, the resiliency and the opportunity that he took?
PETE CARROLL: Yeah, thrilled to see him make a play like that. I think that might be his first pick; is that right? Yeah, and to put it in the end zone in this setting, that was a great play. He was balling tonight. He was busting his ass and running all over the place trying to make his hits. Nice to see him get that play and convert it.
Q. Were there any other injuries of note?
PETE CARROLL: We're good, right. No, in good shape.
QB Geno Smith
Q. Geno, how did your arm feel tonight?
GENO SMITH: It was good enough to play, so wasn't thinking about it. Just trying to go out there and win.
Q. Do you feel like it was affecting you at all?
GENO SMITH: No, not at all.
Q. What did you feel like you guys need to do offense to find the consistency that hasn't been there?
GENO SMITH: I think kind of starts with every guy individually really just looking at his own film, his own tape, kind of looking himself in the mirror and say, what can I do to help the team? How can I be more consistent? How can I be more effective on a down-to-down basis and play better so that we can score more points than we are right now? It directly starts with me. But as you know, we're all connected out there, all 11, so every single guy has to look himself in the mirror, starting with me. We get time reflect on this. It's tough. We get the time to reflect on it, figure out ways to get better.
Q. Along the same lines, I think you guys had three offensive touchdowns in the last four games. How do you find that feel that you had last year to start moving the ball better, getting in the end zone when you get down there?
GENO SMITH: I still believe in the guys that we have. Still believe in our coaches. Still believe in the players. I think it's been a tough stretch for us, but I believe things will turn around. What we have to do is continue to work with hard, if not work harder. There is no excuse for it. There is no words that I can say that will make it better. What needs to be done is we need to work harder. We need to find a way. We got a lot of talent. We got a lot of good players on this offense. We got the right coaches. So we got to believe, continue to stay consistent in our work, and then we just got to work harder and find a way.
Q. Geno, how indicative or not indicative do you think tonight was to say where you guys are versus where the 49ers are?
GENO SMITH: It's one game. One game. We lost one game tonight. They beat us. Hats off to them. They're a really good team. They showed it tonight. But I don't feel like we need to let one game affect the next one. We got more games to play. We got to keep moving forward. Like I said, we got to work harder. I'm definitely going to do that starting tomorrow.
Q. 24-10 in the third down pass and Smith-Njigba. I don't know if you could see there was contact there.
GENO SMITH: Yeah, there was contact.
Q. Okay. That's my first question. How pivotal was that sequence? Instead of a one-score game, it was still a two-score game. How could it have changed?
GENO SMITH: I mean, we saw it last week with 'Spoon, right, how pivotal those calls or no calls are. I'm not one to get on the refs. I know they have a tough job. I don't know if they did or
did not see it, but from my vantage point I could clearly see him getting held, and it affected him being able to catch the touchdown right there and that affected us being able to get points, so that's a four-point swing, and in games like this, every point matters. So tough call, but, hey, that's how it is sometimes.
Q. You ran over there. Looked like you pleaded your case. What did the official tell you?
GENO SMITH: He had no words.
Q. Four defensive guys come in, all said the same thing: slow start was the reason for what happened today. Same on the offensive side. If so, how could that happen in a game of this magnitude, national TV, all those things?
GENO SMITH: You know, I don't know. I don't have the exact words, but what I can say is that it's football and sometimes games go like that. But I think that's the reason why they have four quarters. I don't think when we came into the halftime we felt like we didn't have a chance to win. We still felt like we had a chance to come out in the second half and turn things around, and I felt like we did but it just wasn't enough. We got the ball moving a little bit in the second half, got in the red zone, didn't finish, but I just feel like we got to be consistent throughout all four quarters. Like you said, we got to start faster. I don't know exactly why it didn't happen the way it should've or we felt like it would've, but that's something we got to correct.
Q. Execution is one thing; maybe this is a question for Shane. As the quarterback, what would you change in terms of game plan? Get the ball out quicker? To change the way things are right now.
GENO SMITH: Yeah, I don't know. I can't say anything about the game plan. I feel like Shane always does a great job. I've got his back 110%. He knows that. I feel like it comes down to us executing better as players. No matter what the play is called, it comes to the players making it come to life. Shane's called so many great games for us and is going to continue to do that. I just think overall, we just got to stay confident, got to keep believing in what we're doing, keep believing and trusting in our process. Shane will continue to call great plays, and we just got to execute them.
Q. How is your ankle or foot?
GENO SMITH: I'm okay. I'll be all right.
Q. You said you plan on working harder. What does that look like?
GENO SMITH: I don't know if you guys will be able to exactly see that, but hopefully the results will show on the field on game day.
In terms of just overall, everything, you just got to work harder. It feels like I've been putting in 20 hour days lately, but maybe I got to put in 24 hour days to get this thing right.
Q. How do you feel like you played today?
GENO SMITH: I haven't seen the film yet, but wasn't good enough to get a win, score any points, so definitely not up to my standard.
Q. Why do you think the games against the 49ers, last four you played, have gone this way?
GENO SMITH: They beat us. Simple as that. Can't make an excuse for if. It's football, sports. Sometimes a team comes out and beats you. But the good thing about it is we got another chance to go against these guys in a few weeks. I think everyone has to take that personal. I know I am. We all got to take it personal. Can't keep coming out here and letting them beat us like that.
LB Jordyn Brooks
(On what the defense did better in the second half) "I think we didn't come out ready to go. The first drive, they were running the ball, throwing the ball. I don't think we were all the way there mentally. That's why they ended up with seven points right out of the gate."
(On whether he is concerned that the defense wasn't there mentally to start the game) "I'm not concerned. That's just football. It's week-to-week. This week wasn't our week."
(On what they have to do to make next week be their week) "Look at ourselves. Hold ourselves accountable and be truthful for what we see on the film and how we can get better. We've got six games left? It's playoff mode right now. I think we just got to come to work and come ready to work and take it day-by-day."
(On his touchdown play) "It was a great play. I think I was in the right place at the right time. I think the ball tipped off of McCaffrey, and I was just right there to catch it."
FS Quandre Diggs
(On how he would describe that game) "I think we need to start faster on both sides of the ball. You can't come out and let those guys get momentum and jump up and try to fight your way back in the game. Because at the end of the day, when you have to throw the ball and those guys are ready to rush, and when they're up, they can run the ball and kind of play their game. For us, we need to start faster collectively as a team and we have to play complimentary football. That's all it really is."
(On how indicative this game is on where they are compared to the 49ers) "We'll see them in two weeks and we'll go from there. We need to worry about what we need to do next week and go from there. We need to put the work in, come to work and have an attitude ready to go out and compete and have some pride about ourselves. That's first of all."
(On what went better for the defense as the game went along) "We got stops, but you can't spot them 24 points in the first half. Whether that's sudden change and they're getting the ball in our territory. Whatever it is, we have to get stops and find ways to get the ball. At the end of the day, we have to be better. If that's the way the game is going, then we have to stand on our team and be better."
CB Devon Witherspoon
(On what happened tonight) "We lost; there's nothing more to say. They came out, and they beat us."
(What went better in the second half compared to the first half for defense) "We just came together as a whole; we just gave ourselves that pep talk, 'Who are we? We got to show our identity out there.' We just went out there and played ball, man, to the best of our ability. We just go out there and ball. You know what I'm saying? Go out there and play ball."
(On describing the start of the game) "They drove the ball down on the field. They drove the ball down the field on us. We had to just come out and make adjustments, but we started the game
real slow on defense; we can't do that. That just gives the other team confidence, and we just got to shut that down. You just got to come out and be more aggressive, or we just got to come out and just try our best when we come out there."
LB Bobby Wagner
(On how he feels with their record at 6-5 with the schedule they have coming up) "We just have to win. We have to clean up things, and we've got to get back in the win column."
(On where things were with their tackling today) "We just weren't. We didn't do a good job tackling. Especially on key downs, third downs, things like that. I believe that they got first downs off of that and missed tackles. It just wasn't a good day for us to have that in our game."
(On what his message is to the locker room after a game like that) "We just have to get back to the basics and get back in the win column."
NT Jarran Reed
(On the level of concern) "I'm not concerned at all. This game is played over 60 minutes. It's all about how we're going to finish a game. It's all about heart right now. Who's going to show their heart."
(On if he saw heart in the second half) "I don't know, I have to go to the film and I have to watch. But I felt like we started to get a little run, the offense started to pick up, and on defense, we have to play that much better."
(On what accountability needs to take place after a loss like that) "I think everybody needs to go and look at themselves, they need to have a reality check with themselves and ask themselves are they playing with the passion, with the heart that they need to play with for us to win games. Because right now, we've got to pick it up. We have got to pick it up."
(On why he's not concerned) "Because I have faith in this team. I've got faith. I got plenty of faith. We work hard, we run hard, we're together. We just have to put it all together. And we've got to do that quick."
Check out some of the best action shots from Week 12 vs. the 49ers at Lumen Field on November 23, 2023. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery. This gallery will be updated throughout the game