This is the time of year when coaches will try anything to make sure their team is properly motivated.
So who knows? Maybe that’s what is at the root of a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter this week that the Saints feel as if the Seahawks ran up the score in the first game, a 34-7 Seattle win.
The report got around enough, however, that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was asked about it Tuesday during a conference call with New Orleans reporters.
Said Carroll, when asked if he had ever been accused of anything like that before:
“Yes (laughter). As a matter of fact at (USC) there were a lot of times when that was brought up. I think people can say whatever they want and are entitled to say whatever they want about that. It’s never a thought in my mind in what we’re doing. We don’t have any kind of a plan to be in that mode. We’re just trying to win football games the best we can.”
To refresh the memory of the situation, Seattle scored its last touchdown with 7:07 left in the third quarter, after having led 27-7 at halftime.
From that point on, the Seahawks largely ran the ball — 12 of 16 plays on their two fourth-quarter drives (other than a kneel down at the end of the game) were called runs.
Possibly irking the Saints is that the Seahawks did go for it twice on fourth downs on what was their last full drive of the game.
Seattle got the ball at its own 22 with 9:37 left and moved to the New Orleans 41, using 13 plays, 10 of which were called runs.
Seattle went for it on a fourth-and-one at the New Orleans 46 with 4:25 remaining, with Robert Turbin picking it up with a 2-yard run. That came four plays after the Saints had called their last time out.
Seattle then went for it again on fourth-and-seven at the New Orleans 41, failing to get it when Derrick Coleman gained just four yards.
Russell Wilson did play the entire game, but threw just three passes, completing two for 12 yards, in the fourth quarter. Otherwise, Seattle subbed liberally throughout the final quarter on offense — Turbin and Coleman got all the carries.
Being that Saturday is an NFL playoff game, which come with pretty obvious inherent stakes, it’s hard to figure any of this will mean much in the end.