To be blunt, we all need to quit complaining about how Carroll calls his game.
The fake punt was part of the game plan for the Seahawks heading into the game with the Bills, regardless of the score or quarter.
As Seattlepi illustrates, in hindsight Carroll regrets letting the play go through, but it was simply something the coaching staff had decided earlier in the week based on how the Bills were aligned in punt coverage:
“There was something that was there for us; we look for it every time we’re gonna punt, and it was just there. I should have stopped that from happening, in the sense that there was something wrong,” Carroll said. “You know, we’re trying to make first downs. And I don’t know how much time was left in the game, but we executed it beautifully, the guys were excited about doing it, and I just should have stopped it in the sense that it looked bad.”
Seattle would go on to win the game 50-17 in front of a Canadian audience in Toronto. The punt itself was a great play, which resulted in the Seahawks retaining possession.
This isn't the first time in the past couple of weeks Carroll has come under fire for his play-calling and aggressiveness.
Two weeks ago against the Arizona Cardinals with a 50-0 lead, Carroll and his staff elected to throw a pass into the end zone rather than punt on 4th-and-23. While it was an aggressive move, it was one Carroll and his staff thought was necessary at the time.
The fact that we're complaining about NFL head coaches being aggressive with a game already in hand is ridiculous. Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots is another head coach that receives an unwarranted amount of criticism for how he calls games.
Look no further than Sunday Night Football between Belichick's Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers as a reason why we shouldn't be upset with aggressive play-calling from the likes of Carroll.
With his team down 31-3, Belichick the Patriots went on a scoring frenzy and tied the game in the fourth quarter. San Francisco would wind up winning the showdown 41-34, but the shootout remains an example of why we as fans shouldn't be angry at coaches running up the score.
No lead in the NFL is safe.
Furthermore, this isn't college. These are professional teams that shouldn't put themselves in a position to be blown out in the first place. Teams such as the Bills and Cardinals have no right to complain about tactics such as these because the team should have played better and the organization should have done a better job of assembling a roster.
Is what Carroll and others do a bit much? Maybe. Instead of being angry about having no mercy, NFL fans should be happy to watch teams as great as the Seahawks and Patriots blow out other professional teams week in and out.
Carroll has the Seahawks at 9-5 and on the fast track to the playoffs. At the end of the day, Carroll is a winner. You can bet he wouldn't complain if his team was on the losing end of a blowout. He'd find a way to correct the mistake and move on.
Fans should do the same.