Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 27-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at CenturyLink Field:
Everything clicked perfectly on Seattle’s first drive of the game. But from that point on it all fell apart for the Seahawks’ offense. Seattle finished with a mere total 224 yards, which is a season low. The running game disintegrated as running backs Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise both left the game injured. And quarterback Russell Wilson was unable to perform any of his magic as he was constantly under pressure and was sacked five times. This was against an Arizona defense that came into the game as arguably the worst in the league.
Granted, the defense was handed a gargantuan task by the offense’s ineffectiveness. But the moment Arizona running back Kenyan Drake went almost untouched for an 80-yard touchdown on the game’s third possession the warning bells were ringing. The Seahawks whiffed when presented chances for stops in key moments. Even the loss of starting quarterback Kyler Murray to injury proved just a temporary setback for Arizona, as back-up Brett Hundley somehow was able to lead the Cardinals on a 78-yard touchdown drive that sealed the game.
The special teams that provided the only glimmer of hope for Seattle. Arizona was about to put the game away late in the third quarter when Rasheem Green came up with a huge block on an Arizona field-goal attempt, with a big return stirring up thoughts of a Seahawks comeback. Not everything was clean, particular when it comes to penalties, but add in Michael Dickson’s pinning punts and Jason Myers’ 51-yard field goal and the special teams did what they could to try to save the game for Seattle
This was just a bizarre game from a coaching standpoint. There were so many decisions that left one scratching one’s head, from taking a delay-of-game penalty instead of either going for it or kicking a field goal in the first quarter, to calling a timeout to save clock for a driving Arizona at the end of the first half, to calling a run play on third-and-three when a first down and touchdown were desperately needed at the end of the third quarter. Injuries were a factor, but this game mattered to Seattle’s playoff seeding and the team didn’t look ready.
For a largely inconsequential game the Seahawks sure come out of it deflated. Not only did they get whupped at home by a down-and-out team, they now have an injury crisis as they head into their most important game of the season. The only thing that prevents this game from being a complete and utter failure is that it had no impact on Seattle’s ability to win the NFC West, which will be decided when San Francisco visits CenturyLink next Sunday. If the Seahawks win the division but don’t get a first-round bye in the playoffs, they are going to rue this one.