Carroll has just 2nd winning streak with Seahawks
RENTON, Wash. (AP)
Not only does Pete Carroll now have a win streak for just the second time in his two seasons back in the NFL, he also saw the blueprint for what he wants this Seattle Seahawks team to look like the rest of the regular season.
Stopping the run and sticking with Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks' rushing attack is working.
''We were hammering it and knocking them around a little bit and get the thing going and in the meantime if we didn't make it, punt the football and let the defense play,'' Carroll said Monday. ''I really think that's the makeup we want to be in and we want to be very productive in that makeup but that adds to the balance and fits together with the way I've been thinking about it since the day I got here. I'm really pleased that we're feeling it. We didn't do great. We struggled, but you can see the format and that's how we like to play it.''
Seattle's 24-7 win over St. Louis on Sunday marked the Seahawks' first two-game win streak in the regular season since October 2010 when they picked up consecutive wins over Arizona and Chicago. They handled the Rams with ease thanks to a defense that gave up just 185 yards, limited the Rams to 13 first downs and forced three turnovers, including 340-pound defensive end Red Bryant dropping into coverage on a designed play and intercepting a deflected pass.
''We're going to double that. We have one,'' Carroll joked about Bryant's pass coverage plays. ''He had to reach back into yesteryear to pull out that drop and it was a very good one, if you saw. He broke down really good, had his hands out and was ready to go, then the ball was thrown and he didn't move a step. But then when the ball got tipped, then he took off so that was pretty good.''
While Carroll could joke about Bryant's interception, Seattle's defense has been a constant for most of the season while its erratic offense tried to find some identity. The win over St. Louis was the fourth time in the past five games Seattle has surrendered less than 325 total yards to its opponent, with a 23-13 loss at Dallas the lone blemish.
During those last five games, the Seahawks have forced 10 turnovers - six in the last two weeks - and have 11 sacks. Seattle sacked Sam Bradford five times Sunday, a season high. The big defensive numbers this week came against the worst offense in the NFL, statistically, but only backed what the Seahawks had done in previous weeks.
Carroll also noted his team's ability to adjust quickly. The Seahawks had not prepared for the Rams to go with four wide receivers sets, and had to quickly make changes when St. Louis all but abandoned its run game Sunday.
''We're farther along than we were last year,'' Carroll said. ''To get that kind of execution in almost 30 plays of a game - half of a game - in a different mode than we prepared for, that's going back to the reservoir and having guys remember the calls and how they fit together and the principles we need to play that stuff. That's when you're maturing as a group.''
Lynch had his own streak of consecutive 100-yard games end at two, but still put forth a strong effort with 88 yards on 27 carries. Seattle finished with 126 yards rushing and 39 attempts, a week after running 42 times in a win over Baltimore. It was the third straight game Seattle topped 100 yards on the ground, the longest such streak since Carroll arrived. And the commitment to run so much each of the last two weeks is rare for the Seahawks. Since the beginning of the 2007 season, Seattle has had 39 or more carries in a game only two other times than the last two weeks.
Carroll says it's the same game plan he had while at Southern California and what he hoped to bring to the Seahawks from the beginning. It's only come together recently and worked this past week despite two new starters on the offensive line due to injuries.
''We were more explosive as a team (at USC) but the commitment to being balanced was within 15-20 plays it seemed like at the end of the season every year. So we've maintained that philosophy and that's what we're trying to do now,'' Carroll said. ''You can't just run it and you can't just throw it to be a really long-term, winning football program.''
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