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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll defends struggling kicker Jason Myers

UPDATED: Sun., Nov. 3, 2019

Seattle Seahawks long snapper Tyler Ott, right, walks with punter Michael Dickson, left, and kicker Jason Myers, center, during warmups before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (John Froschauer / Associated Press)
Seattle Seahawks long snapper Tyler Ott, right, walks with punter Michael Dickson, left, and kicker Jason Myers, center, during warmups before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (John Froschauer / Associated Press)
By Adam Jude Seattle Times

In the giddy aftermath Sunday of the overtime victory over Tampa Bay, Pete Carroll stepped to the podium for his news conference and spent the first two minutes talking about the Seahawks’ “incredibly beautiful” performance.

Then his tone turned serious. He wanted to talk about his kicker.

“I want to say this: Our kicker, Jason Myers, he’s our kicker,” Carroll volunteered. “It didn’t go right today for him. But it’s gonna. So we’re counting on him coming right back next week and kick the winners and do all the things we need him to do. He’s got magnificent talent and today got hard and didn’t work out right.

“But we won anyway and our guys won for him. They got his back.”

As time expired in regulation Sunday, Myers missed the potential winning field goal — wide right from 40 yards, kicking into CenturyLink Field’s north end zone. The ball just missed the right upright, by an inch or two at most.

Myers immediately dropped his head and grabbed his nose with his right thumb and forefinger.

“Tough day,” Myers said in the locker room afterward. “That’s the thing about being a kicker — when you have a tough day, it gets magnified.”

Myers was 2 for 4 on his field-goal attempts Sunday, and he also missed a point-after try in the second quarter. He missed his first field-goal attempt, from 47 yards, wide left.

He converted from 37 and 22 yards.

The Seahawks signed Myers to a four-year, $15.45-million contract in the offseason, with $5.5 million guaranteed, hoping to shore up a kicking game that has struggled the past two seasons.

Myers was a Pro Bowl kicker for the New York Jets in 2018, when he converted 33 of 36 field-goal attempts, including 6 of 7 from 50 yards or longer.

This season, he is 12 for 17 on field goals.

He was asked if there might have been something technically off in his approach Sunday.

“I’ll check out the film,” he said. “It’s kind of hard to feel. I was trying to get my feel back throughout the game, but it was just kind of a grind out there today. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t go where you want it, so that’s kind of what happened.”

He was, of course, grateful the Seahawks rallied in overtime for the 40-34 victory.

“It’s always good to get the win,” he said. “It’s a team game. I’m happy for that. We’re rolling. But I’ve got to do my part. I’ll just get back to work and figure it out.”

Another lost fumble for Carson

The Seahawks saw plenty of the good Chris Carson on Sunday.

The impressive version of the running back broke several tackles and burst through for a 59-yard run in the fourth quarter, and finished the game with 16 carries for 105 yards against a Tampa Bay defense that’s ranked No. 1 in the NFL against the run.

“The offensive line did a great job,” he said. “Us running backs, we put our foot in the ground and try to gain as much as we can.”

But the Seahawks also got two glimpses of the bad Chris Carson on Sunday. Carson fumbled twice, losing one of them in front of the Seattle sideline in the fourth quarter.

It’s his fourth lost fumble of the season, but the first since Week 3.

“I just move on to the next play,” he said afterward.

Vita Vea ‘a great player’

Tampa Bay’s Vita Vea, the former University of Washington standout defensive tackle, played his first NFL game in Seattle on Sunday. He had three tackles, one hit on Russell Wilson and a lot of praise from Seahawks center Joey Hunt afterward.

“Oh man, he’s a great player,” Hunt said. “He’s a strong player. He’s a smart football player. I’ve got a lot of respect for that guy. You’ve got to bring your lunch pail every play. He plays hard. Most nose tackles don’t play super hard, but he’s an exception. He plays super hard the whole time.”

Hunt made his first start of the season after the Seahawks lost Justin Britt to a season-ending knee injury last week. The Seahawks had 492 yards of offense, their second-highest total of the season, including 145 yards rushing — the most Tampa Bay has allowed all season.

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