Tuesday night saw the Seahawks botch their time management in a crucial situation. This issue has been an overly familiar one in Pete Carroll’s tenure as head coach, although the reasons for the mistake in their eventual 20-10 loss to the Rams looked as if they were growing overly besotted with their up-tempo mode of offense that had moved them down into the red zone.
After Russell Wilson completed a miraculous (it was intended for DK Metcalf) 34-yard pass to tight end Gerald Everett, the Seahawks had the ball at the Rams’ 14-yard-line. The following 1st and 10 situations with 53 seconds remaining in the half saw Wilson, moving up in the pocket to scramble, sacked for a loss of 2 yards.
And then Seattle chose to let the clock tick. The offense could have opted to take one of its three timeouts, keeping 49 seconds left to play. Instead, Wilson and company snapped the ensuing 2nd and 12 with 26 seconds remaining, essentially wasting 23 seconds of valuable time. The vanilla four verts passing concept resulted in a well-covered incompletion that brought up 3rd and 12. Seattle faced this down and distance with just 20 seconds left to play, despite having all three of its timeouts remaining.
The alternative for the Seahawks, if they had taken their timeout at the 49-second mark, would have been a more measured approach that could have played the red zone situation in a more neutral fashion. This was their first trip inside the Rams’ 20 and a major moment in the game. This would have allowed them to regather their play-calls and even brought the potential of a run into play—keeping the defense honest and from totally teeing off versus this pass.