RENTON -- There were two things about Thursday night's victory that resonated most with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.
-- The team was able to close out a tight game and get an important victory when it matters.
-- That victory came with key contributions from several of Seattle's youngest players.
The 27-24 win over the Green Bay Packers represented just the second victory in the team's last 10 games decided by one score (eight points) or less. The Seahawks had been 1-5 on the season with losses to the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Chargers and two defeats to the Los Angeles Rams.
They were 1-9 in such games dating back to last November. However, the Seahawks managed to close out the Packers when it counted with a late touchdown drive and a perfectly executed four-minute drill to run out the clock after Green Bay punted back to the offense with 4:20 remaining.
"Really great finish and we're really happy about that," Carroll said. "Something that we've been needing to do in a number of games, would have made a difference in some games this year if we had the connected finish - both offense and defense - like we did."
Additionally, Seattle's rookie draft class is beginning to produce on a more consistent basis.
Michael Dickson has been stellar punting all season long and Tre Flowers quickly earned the starting job at right cornerback. Rashaad Penny had his first 100-yard game a week ago and averaged over five yards per carry against the Packers due to a 30-yard carry early in the game. Rasheem Green and Jacob Martin each recorded sacks of Aaron Rodgers
"A lot of young guys did some good things. Rasheem Green gets his first sack and Jacob Martin helped out. Rashaad (Penny) played well again. Just some really good stuff happening to see those guys a part of it," Carroll said.
Will Dissly was also showing up regularly before a knee injury ended his season after only a month and Shaquem Griffin has been a stalwart special teams player.
"I think I've always said if you play your guys (rookies) early, then by the halfway point they can really start to help you because they feel like regulars and it's not a big deal for them to play in the games and all that and they're comfortable with it. That's kind of showing up a bit and that's how we've always counted on it," Carroll said.
Carroll also thought it was the best game the team has had from a pass rush standpoint as they sacked Aaron Rodgers five times on the night.
"I think that was a really good game of pass rush for us," Carroll said. "That was one of our best games we’ve had in a while. You could really feel the tempo and feel the heat. When you’re rushing against one of the most difficult guys ever to rush against (in Aaron Rodgers). I thought it was a very good showing by our guys up front."
Even though Flowers gave up a deep completion to Davante Adams (Shaquill Griffin did as well) he was really happy with how both players responded.
"These guys are rock solid competitors, they’re fine," Carroll said. "They handled it, they came right back and played and did some good things. Changed up on him to make sure that they weren’t vulnerable again. These are really good games for these guys, these are really big games – particularly for Tre because (it’s his) first time around, he needs these challenges.
The team also came out of the game without any new injuries to address. Penny tweaked an ankle on his big run in the first quarter but returned to the game and is fine. Justin Coleman's brief absence was, Carroll thought, due to an equipment issue, and J.R. Sweezy returned to the lineup after cramping up coming out of halftime.
The one injury of note is with linebacker K.J. Wright, who did not play against the Packers.
"We’re trying to get his knee back where he really feels confident that he can get back and stay back," Carroll said.
Wright had surgery in August and missed the first six weeks of the season due to his knee injury. He played in three games since returning before needing to come out of the team's loss to the Rams last Sunday.
"We’re going to take our time, whatever time it takes to check that out and make a decision on it and give him an opportunity to – the whole time, we were pressing for really quick return and he was going for it and we were going for it and the docs were going for it and all that, and it just maybe was too much, too soon but we found out that he did everything he could. He’s been awesome and he did everything he could to get back. Now we’re going to just figure it out and make sure that we give him a shot to come back full-go."
Mychal Kendricks is not allowed to return to the team after serving the first six weeks of an eight-game suspension for pleading guilty to insider trading charges in August. He appeared in three games for Seattle before the league handed down an indefinite suspension that was later amended to eight games.
He can practice for the next two weeks before being eligible to return for the team's game against the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 10.
"He’s got two weeks that he can prepare and then in the third week he can play," Carroll said. "We’ll welcome him back. He did a real nice job for us and I know for his own personal world, it’ll be great for him to be back and working with the guys."
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 15: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is sacked by Jake Martin #59 of the Seattle Seahawks in the third quarter at CenturyLink Field on November 15, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)