Pete Carroll's Successful PI Challenge Sparks Seahawks, Perhaps Controversy

Sep 15, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll (left) talks with quarterback Russell Wilson (3) on the sidelines during the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Rang

It took 68 years for Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll to successfully win a pass interference challenge but his timing could not have been better.

Carroll opted to throw the red flag after it appeared that officials had missed a pass interference by Pittsburgh Steelers' safety Terrell Edmunds against Tyler Lockett early in the fourth quarter of Seattle's road-opening game Sunday.

The video replay showed that Edmunds had, in fact, "materially interfered" with Lockett, spinning the receiver around as he attempted to cradle a long throw by Russell Wilson.

Wilson was rocked on the play by a questionable hit, something that is not reviewable under the NFL's current rules.

He was set to receive the snap from Justin Britt on 3rd and 20 before Carroll tossed the flag, perhaps hoping for an early 68th birthday present from the league.

He got it, giving the Seahawks a critical first down to continue the series immediately following Pittsburgh's most impressive drive of the day - one culminated with inspirational play from Steelers backup quarterback Mason Rudolph, in for the second half after Ben Roethlisberger suffered an injury to his throwing arm/elbow.

One play later - with many of the fans at Heinz Field still grumbling about the overturned call - Wilson lofted a pass to DK Metcalf who made a juggling grab to secure his first NFL touchdown, extending Seattle's lead to 28-19. Seattle held on to win 28-26.

Carroll and the Seahawks have been criticized by some - including in the first half of today's road opener - for "wasting" challenges when flags have been thrown on Seattle's defenders.

This, for example, is the NFL's official explanation of the play that Carroll challenged and lost in the first half.

This is one of the first times that any coach has challenged a non-call, opening up a potential can of worms for the league in Week Two of the season.

Why? Well, watch the play below. It was not called pass interference live or after replay.

Like late hits on the QB and unnecessary roughness, defensive holding is NOT reviewable but pass interference is. Kudos to Carroll for testing the league's interpretation of this rule throughout the preseason and early regular season.

Comments (1)
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J Hager
J Hager

Definitely thought it was PI on Lockett, but didn't think it was enough to overturn it. First successful PI challenge I've seen that made a huge impact on the game. I wonder how often these challenges will change the outcome of a game especially in December & the Playoffs.