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RENTON Sebastian Janikowski Color Rush Jersey , Wash. (AP) — Pete Carroll’s favorite memory of Paul Allen is an obvious one.February 2014. In New Jersey. On the field of MetLife Stadium raising the Vince Lombardi trophy.“He wanted to be a champion and to be up on the stage with him in the crowd and the confetti’s flying and all that, and to just be there with him, that’s my favorite moment with Paul,” Carroll said Tuesday. “Now, there was a great moment later on that night when he was on stage and he was playing (the guitar). He was hitting it and he thought he was Eddie Vedder or something up there. He was going.“I think that was the great moment that we got to share. He got to have it because you can have all the money in the world, but it’s really hard to have that world championship and it meant everything to him. To be able to share that with him was amazing.”The Seattle Seahawks coach was in a reflective mood Tuesday, a day after team owner Allen died at 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.It was Allen’s message and approach that lured Carroll away from college football and back to the NFL in 2010. Along with general manager John Schneider, Seattle’s power structure created a franchise that has reached the playoffs in six of Carroll’s eight seasons in charge, twice claiming NFC championships and winning the first Super Bowl title in franchise history.Carroll described Allen as “shy,” but the pair communicated regularly. Until this season, Allen was a regular at home and road games for the Seahawks and typically had pregame conversations on the field with Carroll.“He just wanted to know how much we were going to blitz or if we had any trick plays and stuff, basically,” Carroll said. “By that time, that close to game time Dontae Johnson Color Rush Jersey , there would always be questions about guys who were hurt or healthy and all that kind of stuff. Always wanted to know about the quarterback and what we were hoping to do and how we were going to defend the other quarterback, so it was pretty basic fundamental stuff that a fan would want to know going into the game if they could ask the head coach.”Carroll said the team is still figuring out plans to honor Allen for the remainder of the season. He believes the best way is by keeping Seattle competitive and in contention for a playoff spot in the NFC. The Seahawks are 3-3 entering their bye week after last weekend’s 27-3 win over Oakland in London.“We’re going to battle for him. You’re either competing or you’re not. That’s kind of the way I think we can best give tribute to what he would want us to do,” Carroll said. “I’d love to live in his image of wanting to win championships and keep moving forward and do great things. I don’t see any reason why that’s not still out there, we’re going for it. I feel pretty good about telling you that that’s how we’re going about it.” It was easy and understandable to feel discouraged about the Seattle Seahawks’ playoff chances when they dropped to 4-5 following a loss to the LA Rams in Week 10, but much like being down 14-3 early to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night, it’s usually a bad idea to count out Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson when there’s time left on the clock. The Seahawks seemed to have a whole host of teams ahead of them in the wild card race just a week ago and now the path to a postseason berth — for a short time at least — is clear:Beat the Carolina Panthers in Week 12.After Seattle improved to 5-5 on Thursday, eyes turn to the 6-3 Panthers who were on the road on Sunday against the 3-6 Detroit Lions, a team that the Seahawks beat in Detroit less than a month ago. Carolina tied the score 13-13 in the fourth quarter, then the Lions struck back with a touchdown by Kenny Golladay to go up 20-13. After exchanging punts, the Panthers got the ball back with 2:44 remaining and at their own 25. Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey hooked up for a 34-yard gain on the first play and then roughly a minute later they scored on an 8-yard touchdown throw to D.J. Moore. With the score at 20-19, Ron Rivera opted to go for two rather than give Detroit the ball back with 1:07 left or go to overtime and the result (Newton missed an open Jarius Wright in the end zone) dropped Carolina to 6-4 on the season.Rivera basically said he didn’t trust his kicker Graham Gano or his defense to get a stop.The Panthers return home to face 5-5 Seattle, a team that has an extra three days of rest on them thanks to their Thursday night matchup in Week 11. If the Seahawks get a win, they’ll move ahead of Carolina in the standings and should move them into at least the second wild card spot, if not the first.The 5-3-1 Minnesota Vikings play the 6-3 Chicago Bears on Sunday night. The Bears hold a head-to-head tiebreak advantage over Seattle thanks to their Week 2 win over the Hawks D.J. Fluker Color Rush Jersey , whereas the Seahawks host the Vikings later this season. It should benefit Seattle to see the Vikings lose this one, solidify the Bears as the winners of the NFC North, and drop Minnesota to 5-4-1 with a chance of dropping to 5-5-1 next week. If the stars aligned, the Seahawks would be in the first wild card spot by the end of Week 12.First, Seattle needs to win in Carolina.The Seahawks faced the Panthers just four times total from 1995-2009, but this will be the ninth meeting between the two teams since Pete Carroll arrived in 2010. Seattle is 6-2 in those games, including 3-1 on the road and 3-0 in Carolina in the regular season. Rivera/Newton have averaged just 15.7 points per game against Carroll’s defense, with one of those games being the 31-24 playoff victory against the Seahawks in 2015. Even that included a scoreless second half. Seattle has averaged 29.5 points per game against the Panthers in their last four meetings, including a 40-7 victory in 2016. The Seahawks rushed for 240 yards and three touchdowns in that game, a story they’d like to retell next Sunday.If they do, they’ll be back in the lead for a playoff spot with five December games, including four at home and two against the San Francisco 49ers, left to go. This team really is tough to put away.
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