The Seahawks and 49ers are still battling for the NFC West crown, which means every win counts. Yet, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll seems to think that a loss to the 49ers two weeks ago was actually the best thing for his team.
In a back-and-forth battle in San Francisco, Seattle allowed Colin Kaepernick to drive the 49ers 76 yards late in the fourth quarter to set up Phil Dawson‘s game-winning field goal. The 19-17 victory kept the 49ers’ division chances alive and handed the Seahawks their first loss in eight weeks. Rather than being frustrated by the close loss, though, Carroll actually views the hiccup as the best thing for his team on their quest for a Super Bowl.
“It would have been a different challenge,” Carroll said per Pro Football Talk. It would have been an entirely different challenge for us mentally; for the coaching staff and for the players as well. I mentioned it last week that this could be the best scenario that you have to stay in it and keep battling. I’m more concerned about losing the edge that we’ve gained and it’s taken months and months and months to get here, and then all of sudden you kick into a month mode where it could be different.”
The NFL’s hottest teams heading into the playoffs haven’t exactly had the most playoff success in recent years, and the Seahawks were on a seven-game winning streak before falling to the Niners. Carroll likely views the defeat as a much-needed wake-up call for the Seahawks, especially as they prepare for what they hope is a long postseason.
The Seahawks (12-2) have a two-game lead on the 49ers in the NFC West and could clinch both the division and a first-round bye with a win against the Cardinals this weekend.