Pete Carroll declared “it feels like 2012 all over again” and vowed this is just the start for a Seattle Seahawks team that came up short against the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers are headed to the NFC Championship game to face the San Francisco 49ers after winning a thrilling Divisional Round game 28-23 at Lambeau Field.
Leading 21-3 at the half, the well-oiled Packers had to hold off a resilient Seahawks, as head coach Carroll noted similarities with their 2012 season.
On that occasion, quarterback Russell Wilson was in his rookie campaign as the Seahawks came up short at the same stage to the Atlanta Falcons.
The following season, the Seahawks hammered the Denver Broncos to win Super Bowl XLVIII, and 12 months later were beaten on the biggest stage by the New England Patriots.
“This is the start, I think, of this team. It feels like 2012 all over again,” head coach Carroll told reporters.
“This is so similar. There was not a guy on that sideline that we were connected to that thought we weren’t going to win that football game, all the way until we didn’t.”
Together through it all. pic.twitter.com/0xE6ujpYRm
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 13, 2020
A contentious call at the two-minute warning saw the Packers awarded a first down, despite some replay angles suggesting Jimmy Graham was just short as he was tackled.
Carroll remonstrated with the sideline referee after the call was upheld but was philosophical when addressing it following the game.
“My guys just were telling me it was short, you know?” he added. “It looked short and had they called him short, then it would’ve been short.
“It’s the same thing last week: you call them a score, you let them score. They wouldn’t overturn that one – I’m going back to the Niners game, I guess. That’s how it goes.”
Wilson was influential in the Seahawks’ fightback, completing three straight touchdown drives.
“He did everything he could have done,” Carroll said of Wilson’s performance. “His courage and his toughness showed up and his resolve to find ways was all over the field, running and passing.
“The only way he can think is he’s going to get it done and he’s just going to make it happen. He’s proven it so many times and he did it again.”