Seahawks HC Pete Carroll on officials in shutout loss: 'They were a huge part of the game'

Not since Week 2 of the 2011 season had the Seattle Seahawks been shut out.

But after tallying just 208 yards of offense on Sunday, the Seahawks, for the first time in the career of quarterback Russell Wilson, were shut out in there 17-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

While the Seahawks offense no doubt stumbled, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll took particular objection with the officiating on Sunday playing a part in the game’s outcome.

“They were such a big part of the game yesterday,” Carroll said Monday on 710 ESPN Seattle, per ESPN.com. “They were a huge part of the game yesterday. So in an effort to try to make sure that we’re really on the same page and we’re working through it and we call the game together in a sense, you work at it during the course of the game. I’ve known some of these guys for a long time and they always show respect and I try to show respect, too. They’ve got a job to do and we’ve got a job to do, and we’ve got to figure it out. We don’t always see eye to eye, that’s for darn sure, and that happened yesterday.”

Carroll took particular umbrage with three calls: a Wilson scramble in the first quarter, an Aaron Rodgers fumble in the second quarter and a Kevin King interception of Wilson in the third.

The issues commenced quickly. On the Seahawks’ first drive of the game, a Wilson third-down scramble was spotted for a Seahawks first down. However, play was stopped due to an injury to a Packers player and officials then ruled Wilson was short of first-down line, causing a fourth-and-1 from the ‘Hawks 41.

“There’s a fellow hurt on the play and so time passes,” Carroll said. “We got a first down and we were in the huddle, we break the huddle, we’re at the line of scrimmage ready to go and they stop the game and reverse that play. The way we understand it is that the booth has like 20 seconds to make those decisions to overturn a call that might have been wrong on the field. But they had minutes and minutes and minutes. I don’t know, did they open up the span of time to look at it? I don’t know. I don’t know how that happened.”

Carroll conveyed that officials told him the spot was unlikely to be changed to give the Seahawks a first down if he were to challenge. He added Monday that he felt hurried to make a decision given the running play clock.

“I’ve never seen that happen before like that,” Carroll said. “As they’re explaining it to me, they already started the shot clock, so I don’t even know what the distance is on the play until I’m looking around. It’s fourth down. Oh, heck, we’ve got to kick the football and kick them deep. That’s what I’m thinking. I didn’t have a chance to even figure that out in enough time to go ahead and decide to go for it.”

Rodgers fumbled a snap in the second stanza and Seahawks defensive lineman Darrell Taylor came out of the dogpile with the football, but the Packers were ruled to have recovered possession. Carroll challenged this time and the ruling was upheld.

“Darrell is laying on top of the football and the quarterback was reaching underneath him,” Carroll said. “Darrell had it from the moment that ball’s on the ground. He got his chest on the ball and was laying on it … I don’t know how they looked at it. He’s laying on the ground and the guy’s reaching underneath him and they gave it to the offense and that’s a big play. God, that’s such a big play in the game.”

In the third quarter, replays of King’s interception appear to show the Packers cornerback losing the ball when he hit the ground. The turnover came on a third-and-10 play from the Packers 12. Hence, had it been ruled an incompletion, conventional wisdom leads to the Seahawks having a shot to tie the game on a short field goal attempt.

“When we throw the ball, Russ throws the interception in the end zone, I don’t know, I see the ball on the ground,” Carroll said. “The guy’s got to finish the catch and I don’t know why that was looked at in that manner. They called it, they saw it and all that. But that’s points on the board. Russ took a chance right there and it didn’t work out for us. We were right down there to kick a field goal.”

The Rodgers fumble and the Wilson interception each happened with the Seahawks still trailing by a 3-0 score.

In the final box score, the Packers nearly doubled the Seahawks in yards (393-208) and the penalty tally saw Seattle flagged five times for 38 yards and Green Bay penalized three times for 43 yards.

Carroll believes, however, that calls that were not made played a pivotal role in the game and outside of the numbers for the Seahawks, who dropped to 3-6.

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