Seahawks vs. Dolphins: Carroll Takes the Blame for 'Hawks' 4th-Quarter Collapse

Tyson LanglandNFC West Lead WriterNovember 25, 2012

Nov.25, 2012;  Miami, FL, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins won 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post reported after the game that no one but Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll would take the blame for today's loss:

Pete Carroll on coming off the bye: "I didn't do this thing right with the week off. I didn't handle it well and I screwed it up."

— Ben Volin (@BenVolinPBP) November 25, 2012

I'm not so sure all the blame should fall on the shoulders of Coach Carroll. Seattle played well for three quarters and looked lethargic in the fourth—it's as simple as that. Not to mention, Mike Sherman out-possessed Darrell Bevell's offense 4-2 in the fourth quarter.

Three of Miami's four scoring drives came in the fourth quarter. The first fourth-quarter touchdown drive spanned 82 yards on seven plays, and the second one covered 80 yards on six plays. To average 12 yards a play 13 plays in a row is quite the feat.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Gus Bradley's defense had only allowed 208 yards on 36 plays. In the fourth quarter alone, his defense allowed 227 yards on 21 plays. Why couldn't the defense get off the field in the fourth?

There shouldn't have been any questions in terms of freshness, because Seattle was coming off of its bye week. The third-down defense was OK, as it surrendered four conversions on nine attempts. However, when an offense rolls up 435 yards of total offense and only faces nine third-down attempts, it usually means one thing: your defense didn't do a good enough job on first and second down. 

It's unfortunate Bradley's defense couldn't get the job done because rookie quarterback Russell Wilson carried the Seahawks' offense on his back the entire game. The Dolphins' mission coming in was to stop Marshawn Lynch dead in his tracks. They succeeded by holding Lynch to a season-low 2.4 yards per carry.

Wilson took advantage of a loaded box more often than not. He looked razor sharp as he threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns on 21 completions. Moreover, his 125.9 quarterback rating was the fourth game this season where he eclipsed the 125-plus quarterback rating threshold.

Today was also the first time this season where No. 3 finished with a quarterback rating above 100 on the road. His pass protection up front helped him move around so he could find open throwing lanes. Even though he was sacked twice, Miami didn't finish with more than 10 total pressures on the day.

Quarterback sacking extraordinaire Cameron Wake was held in check by the often inept Breno Giacomini. Wake finished the game with one quarterback hit and that was it. As well as the offensive line played against the Dolphins' strong pass rush, it wasn't enough to help them garner any offensive points in the fourth quarter. 

BREAKING: Seahawks CBs Richard Sherman & Brandon Browner face 4-game suspensions for violating PED policy (via @adamschefter)

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 25, 2012

Heading into Week 13 at 6-5, the Seahawks face a must-win game against the Bears. But that may prove to be incredibly tough if Seattle's top two defenders miss the next four weeks. Adam Schefter of broke the news that both Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner will be suspended for taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Tough blow. If both players don't win their appeals, the 'Hawks could be kissing their playoff hopes goodbye.


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