By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — With 7 seconds remaining in the first half of Monday night’s game between the Seahawks and Falcons, the replay officials decided to take a closer look at a Paul Richardson catch along the sideline.
This proved to be very bad news for the Seahawks — not because Richardson’s catch was in question, no. But rather, because it gave Pete Carroll some time to think.
And when Pete Carroll has time to think, bad things happen for the Seahawks.
In this particular case, the “bad thing” came in the form of a poorly designed and terribly timed fake field goal. It did not work.
The issues with the fake field goal were plentiful. Let’s start with the fact that the Seahawks had no timeouts left, meaning Luke Willson would have had to score a touchdown for the play to have been a success. Maybe — maybe –this would have been a fake worth trying from the 3-yard line. But it’s not a fake worth trying from the 17-yard line. Because it forced Willson to have to go 20 yards after the catch for a touchdown. He did not score a touchdown. He lost four yards.
Which brings us to the next problem: that play might be successful in practice, when the defense doesn’t make a push to try to block the kick. But in a real game, where the defense is trying to bowl over the offensive line to get to the spot of the kick, that play might work once every 25 tries. As fake field goals go, it was one of the worst.
And the biggest issue, as it usually is, was Pete Carroll’s rationale. When asked about the fake at halftime by ESPN’s Lisa Salters, Carroll said, “Look we were trying to score, we were trying to take a shot.”
No, Pete! That’s wrong! Erroneous!
You see, “trying to score” would have involved having your kicker use his foot to impact the football with enough force to travel through the air and through the uprights. Taking that shot would have actually put points on the scoreboard. (The Seahawks trailed by seven points at the time of the ill-fated fake field goal call.)
Pete actually tried to spin it after the game by saying that Willson didn’t have to score on the play. He said that if a touchdown wasn’t in the cards, Willson could have run the ball out of bounds to stop the clock.
And then what, Pete?
Then you would have kicked a field goal?
Which you could have just done in the first place?
Do I have that right?
Is that what we’re going with here?
After the loss, Carroll still felt no regret for his terrible decision, going so far as to repeat his famous line about the goal-line interception that cost his team a Super Bowl three seasons ago.
“That would have been a really good call if we made it,” he said. “We saw what we wanted to do. Terrific opportunity, right where we wanted it. Defensive tackle made the better play … he wasn’t supposed to be there.”
“Would have been a really good call if we made it.”
“The call would have been a great one if we’d caught it.”
Pete Carroll has done the impossible. Pete Carroll has out-Pete-Carrolled himself.
The Seahawks lost the game by three points.