To kick off this afternoon’s day-after team meeting, Coach Pete Carroll had a simple greeting for his players.
“Congratulations, NFC West champs,” the head coach said with a massive grin.
Well-wishes were definitely in order, as the Seahawks were less than 24 hours removed from their division championship-clinching 16-6 win over St. Louis on Sunday night. It was a game that provided the perfect capper to an up-and-down regular season.
“Every single play could’ve decided the game,” Carroll told his players. “But we kept fighting, and what happened in the fourth quarter was awesome. We finished the right way.”
As vital as that fourth-quarter stranglehold was to Seattle’s victory, Carroll highlighted another glimmering aspect of the night. When the Rams, down 7-3, recovered a fumble on the Seahawks’ 21-yard line in the third quarter, the Seattle defense stepped up and held St. Louis to a mere field goal, making the score a 7-6 advantage instead of a 10-7 deficit. It was “the statement of the night,” according to Carroll.
“They had their chance right there,” the head coach said. “That was their moment. But they couldn’t capitalize because you wouldn’t let them.”
So now the Seahawks move forward to dive into preparations for Saturday’s playoff matchup against the Saints. Carroll encouraged his players to “remember what it felt like, what it looked like, so we can capture this opportunity again.”
“It doesn’t matter what’s happened before — it matters what’s coming up next,” Carroll said. “We’re in, and what matters now is, will we rise up again this week?”