By John Boyle
So the Seahawks aren’t unbeatable at home after all? That’s one thing we learned Sunday as the Arizona Cardinals, a team that lost here 58-0 a year ago, pulled off a 17-10 upset that leaves the Seahawks waiting once again to clinch the NFC West.
The Seahawks should still be able to clinch the division and home-field advantage with another home game next week, but in case you’ve missed every game between them and St. Louis in recent year, a victory next week won’t come easily.
“Everybody knows that if we handle our business, we’ll have home field throughout the playoffs, but that’s not going to stop people from coming in and trying to get a win,” said defensive end Red Bryant. “Today we got an example, if we’re fortunate enough to get home field, of the type of effort other teams are going to give. They played great. Today it’s about them. They did what they had to do in terms of getting a victory. I give them a lot of credit.
Before we call it a night, a few notes from Seattle’s first home loss since the end of the 2011 season.
3—Points scored by Seattle off of four Arizona turnovers. That’s just not cutting it.
Other key number
What do you want from me? I couldn’t settle on one, OK? Anyway…
6—The Seahawks committed at least one penalty and six total on Arizona’s four scoring drives.
Play of the game
Michael Floyd’s ridiculous juggling 31-yard touchdown that put the game away for good. That wasn’t a play where somebody messed up—Byron Maxwell’s coverage was nearly perfect—it was just a case where a good receiver made a very good play.
“The receiver made a great top-10 play,” Thomas said. “I think Max did a great job making him make a spectacular catch, and that’s all we talk about. If we’re going to get beat, they’re going to have to be on ESPN about it.”
Less obvious play of the game
Early in that go-ahead drive, it looked like the Seahawks were going to stop the Cardinals on third-and-3—they had receivers well covered, pressure was coming at Carson Palmer, but somehow the not-so-fleet-of-foot QB had just enough speed to get out of the pocket, then float a pass just over the outstretched hands of Bobby Wagner to hit Jake Ballard for a 17-yard gain.
“We had Carson, and somehow he was able to hit him on the run, we couldn’t get him, get off the field, and somehow (he hit) the tight end,” Bryant said.
Surprise of the game
Just how much Russell Wilson struggled. Yes the Cardinals have a good defense, but as well as Wilson has played in his two seasons as Seattle’s quarterback, it’s shocking to see him struggle so badly. Wilson’s 108 yards and 4.0 yards per attempt were career lows, while his 49.6 passer rating and 40.7 percent completion percentage were season lows.
Jermaine Kearse was limping after the game, and Pete Carroll said the receiver had a sore ankle. Russell Okung briefly left the game then returned with what Carroll said was a sore toe. That Okung finished the game is encouraging, but it is perhaps a cause for concern that this was the same toe, according to Carroll, that landed Okung on short-term IR earlier this season, causing him to miss eight weeks.