It was bound to happen eventually: the Seattle Seahawks are no longer undefeated, leaving Pittsburgh as the only team without a loss on the season. This defeat came at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals in a shootout overtime victory that will go down in history.
The Hawks came out of the gates swinging, going up 10-0 on a touchdown to Tyler Lockett and a 41-yard field goal by Jason Myers. The Cardinals responded with a 35-yard touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins to narrow the deficit to three points. In the second quarter, Seattle scored yet another 10 unanswered points thanks to a 44-yard field goal by Myers and a 24-yard rushing touchdown by Carlos Hyde. The Cardinals again narrowed the lead to 20-14 after Kyler Murray hit Christian Kirk for a seven-yard touchdown. Before halftime, the Hawks connected on another touchdown to Lockett, this one for 47 yards. Zane Gonzalez and Arizona responded by kicking a 49-yard field goal to make the score 27-17 at halftime.
Arizona struck first in the second half as Murray ran for a five-yard score for the only points of the third quarter. The Seahawks responded in the fourth quarter on Lockett’s third touchdown of the night, making the score 34-24. The Cardinals followed with 10 unanswered points to tie it at 34 on an eight-yard pass to Kirk and a 44-yard field goal by Gonzalez. Despite being behind since the very first score by Seattle, the Cardinals had tied the game, sending it to overtime.
The Seahawks got the ball first in overtime and burned half of the clock before having to punt the ball. The Cardinals drove down the field and attempted a 41-yard field goal on second down, but it was wide left, turning it over to the Hawks. Seattle made it through seven plays, including a D.K. Metcalf touchdown that was called back, but Russell Wilson threw his third interception of the game to give the Cardinals another chance. They made the most of it, drilling a 48-yard field goal and winning the game 37-34.
It was a thrilling game to watch. The Cardinals’ above-average defense was wrecked by the Seahawks as Russ threw for 388 yards and three scores, even if they salvaged the game through picking Wilson off three times, doubling his season total. After Chris Carson was taken out with an injury, Carlos Hyde ended up leading the backfield with 15 carries for 68 yards and the one touchdown. On the receiving end, all three touchdowns went to Lockett who finished with 200 yards on 15 receptions. Metcalf didn’t have the numbers, but he was targeted by the Arizona defense which allowed Lockett the ability to succeed the way he did. Still, Metcalf’s presence was still noted. A pick by Buddha Baker almost resulted in a defensive score before Metcalf ran him down, clocking in at 22 miles per hour to catch Baker. Imagine reading a box score and seeing a 90-yard interception return that wasn’t a touchdown!
The other side of the ball is where Seattle’s weaknesses became clear. Their defense was torched by Kyler Murray to the tune of 360 yards and three touchdowns, even though Quandre Diggs did manage an interception. They couldn’t pressure Murray whatsoever, landing zero sacks or QB hits at all. Sure, the Cardinals have a contending offense bolstered by the offseason addition of DeAndre Hopkins, but there’s no excuse. Murray was getting the ball to all of his receivers and Seattle didn’t have an answer.
That said, this definitely isn’t the end of the line for Seattle. The NFC is still open for the taking and it would be foolish to not expect the Seahawks to be contenders by the end of the year. They just recently traded for Bengals pass-rusher Carlos Dunlap, who, at 31-years-old, was just one sack short of the franchise record. He was clearly unhappy with Cincinnati but the Seahawks have never shied away from problematic players. Jamal Adams hasn’t played since week three but should return hopefully soon.
The team will cruise into a week eight match against a much more favorable division matchup in San Francisco. The Seahawks will be missing potentially their top three running backs (four including Rashaad Penny) and rely on DeeJay Dallas as the starter, but at that point I don’t see why they don’t just pass on every down. The 49ers rely heavily on yards-after-catch so the pro bowl linebackers and not-awful secondary should be able to make the open-field tackles needed to make this a decisive win.