After what he called “a beautiful night of ball,” Pete Carroll zeroed in Monday on the key development that held the NFL’s highest-scoring offense to a single touchdown in the 24-10 win Sunday over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Seahawks’ most significant win of the season.
Speaking of the injury-pickled defense, he said, “When everybody plays like they’re capable, all of a sudden, there’s an overwhelming effect. You don’t have to make extraordinary plays, don’t have to go superhuman on anybody.
“Even the best of the best don’t look like the best team in the NFL. We made them look normal.”
On his weekly radio show Monday on ESPN 710, Carroll gushed about how the Eagles were at the top, or nearly so, in several major offensive categories, which helped give them a 10-1 record entering the game and made Philly a six-point betting favorite, the biggest spread for a visitor since 2011.
“Not last night,” he said. “We’ve done that a lot over the years. The bigger the moment, the more we go to who we are. Don’t let the moment get to us. Last night was a beautiful illustration of that.”
On offense, the Seahawks’ first touchdown was the first allowed by the Eagles in the first quarter this season. Carroll said they planned a deliberate attempt to get QB Russell Wilson more physically engaged in the game from the start.
A read-option keeper by Wilson on the first scrimmage play went for seven yards, a rare play call so early.
“We wanted to see Russ engaged from the beginning,” Carroll said. “He was always ready. We had to create the opportunities to take advantage of him. Running on the first play, scrambling on the third or fourth play. He had couple of (third-down) conversions and away we go. He was sweaty from the beginning.
“The numbers don’t show it, but he took advantage of opportunities to be in full flow. Some were scrambles, some were duck-and-dodge in the pocket, some were checks (play changes at the line of scrimmage). He did everything we needed him to do. I loved how he was engaged the whole game.”
RB Chris Carson nearing return
In addition to getting improved, albeit modest, production from the run game (70 yards in 17 carries by four running backs, 64 from Mike Davis), Carroll reported that rookie Chris Carson “is unbelievably head of schedule” from surgery to repair a broken ankle and is expected back before the end of the regular season.
A starter for the season’s first four games until he was injured, Carson is still the leading rusher among running backs with 208 yards. A seventh-round pick from Oklahoma State, Carson coming back could mean the end is near for RBs Eddie Lacy or Thomas Rawls, each of whom carried once Sunday.
“He was flying,” Carroll said about a Carson workout Friday. “On change of direction, you couldn’t tell he wasn’t fine. He has to show he’s back to full speed and can get on the practice field. I’m so excited, I can’t wait.”
Carroll didn’t say whether Carson’s return to practice is this week or next, but barring setbacks, he could be available for the Seahawks’ Dec. 24 game at Dallas.
Lacy is on a one-year contract, and Rawls will be a restricted free agent in the off-season.
Sunday was a rare game in which no new Seahawks injuries were reported.