Like most of the football-loving world, Seattle coach Pete Carroll watched Monday Night's offensive explosion between Kansas City and the Los Angeles Rams with admiration for the back-and-forth contest that featured a seemingly endless amount of big plays.
The Rams won 54-51 in the third highest scoring game in NFL history.
“Some really good defensive coordinators on those staffs too, I want you to know that, that were coaching ball last night," Carroll told reporters Tuesday during his weekly press conference. "The offenses were just crazy – it was crazy. There was some huge defensive plays in that game, but there was so much offense and just so much explosion in all. It was as good a game as I can remember seeing. It reminds you like the old AFL games back in the day, it was just such a shootout. It was amazing.”
The NFL has seen a rise in scoring this season led by Kansas City (9-2), the Rams (10-1) and New Orleans (9-1). Some of that is because of the fleet of hot young quarterbacks in the league, led by Kansas City's Pat Mahomes II and the Rams' Jared Goff, along with elite veterans like Drew Brees of the Saints and Indianapolis' Andrew Luck, who is having a career resurgence after a shoulder injury sidelined him last season. Another reason is the seemingly endless number of rule changes over the years that have benefited the offense. This, of course is nothing new. The NFL has been sweeting the rules to benefit offenses for decades.
“Yeah, I’ve said it before that it certainly has – this was the whole idea," Carroll said. "But I don’t think that’s the reason. I think it’s just ball continues to evolve in the throwing game, it continues to evolve, the level of the play of the quarterback position continues to evolve. Even when you look at Drew Brees, he’s maybe having his best year ever, you know, and he’s been playing for forever."
Indeed, offenses have evolved. More receivers are on the field more often and defensive backs can't touch them to make it more difficult to get open.
"The most difficult part for the defenses is there’s just no hands – you can’t grab anything at all," Carroll said. "That used to be somewhat allowed, but that’s a stricter part of it and you saw a lot of penalties last night just – illegal hand stuff, guys trying to stay with people. So that’s, that’s part of it.”
Carroll said there's no doubt the changes are designed to create a more wide-open game.
"It’s trying to make the game as explosive and exciting as possible," Carroll said. "Offense really does that for a lot of people. Protecting players too there has been a factor as well. It’s all fine, you know, it’s just the way it is. It’s relative and we’re coached and officiated the same, so it doesn’t matter.”
So where does Seattle fit in all of this? The Seahawks have an elite quarterback who has at times been known to light up the scoreboard as he did in the second half of the 2015 season when over seven games he threw 24 touchdown passes with just one interception. However, Seattle is all about running the football - the Seahawks lead the NFL in rushing - and playing defense. That strategy almost resulted in upset wins over the Rams, who won 33-31 at Seattle and 31-25 at home against the Seahawks.
Seattle hosts Kansas City on Dec. 23.
"I don’t mind being different at all," Carroll, who ran a traditional pro-style offense in college at USC, as well. "I didn’t mind it when we were in college either. We weren’t spreading out and doing all the stuff that other people were doing. We were running a pretty balanced attack back in the day and ran for a lot of yards (with) a lot of big time running backs. I think it’s a great way to play."