Just because NFL coaches are professionals and get paid to make million dollar decisions doesn’t mean they’re immune to machismo at times. After his team’s loss to the Bengals Sunday, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll admitted he was overcome with a surge of testosterone and cost his team three points before halftime.
Seattle was down 17-3 and had a 4th and 2 at the Cincinnati three yard line with 14 seconds left. They had just used their final timeout of the half. They could have gone for a touchdown or attempted a field goal. Pete Carroll elected to go for the touchdown and called for a handoff up the middle to Marshawn Lynch. The call worked in some respects — Lynch gained the first down, but he was stopped at the 1. Because Seattle was out of timeouts, the clock ran to zero and the half ended with the Seahawks down 17-3.
Seattle added a field goal in the third and a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Had they made the field goal before halftime, they would have been a two-point conversion away from tying the game. They failed on their two-point attempt and ended up down 17-12. Seattle’s defense gave up 10 more points and they also allowed a special teams touchdown, so they ended up losing 34-12.
The poor call by Pete Carroll didn’t cost his team the game, but it shows us that sometimes coaches get obsessed with a desire to prove something and it can cost the team. Norv Turner made a similar decision in the second quarter of his team’s week two loss to the Patriots and it cost them the game in my opinion. Taking the easy three is often the right move.Google+