Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 20-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona:
The Seahawks rushed for 171 yards, including a career-high 101 yards and two touchdowns from Mike Davis. The running game, plus Russell Wilson’s game-winning drive, elevate this to a passable performance from the offense. However, Seattle was 0-10 on thirds downs — including a couple of completions to Doug Baldwin on routes short of the first-down marker — and passed for just 160 yards. That won’t be near good enough next week against the Los Angeles Rams.
Seattle held running back David Johnson to just 71 yard on 22 carries, but allowed rookie quarterback Josh Rosen way too much time in the pocket. The Seahawks managed only a single sack and were aided by a number of dropped passes by the Cardinals, including a couple from future Hall-of-Famer Larry Fitzgerald. Seattle did hold Arizona to just 263 total yards and forced its ninth turnover of the season.
Sebastian Janikowski rebounded from a brutal start to hit a 52-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. Two missed field goals, the first of which came off a Cardinals turnover, completely turned the momentum in the first half. Tyler Lockett had a couple of bad decisions on punt returns that cost the Seahawks yardage. Rookie punter Michael Dickson had his usual effective performance, finishing with a 47.5-yard net average on four punts.
Head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer did not have great days. The Seahawks settled for field-goal attempts when they had the chance to put the game away early. A bad pass call on fourth-and-1 from midfield as the first half was winding down resulted in a sack and almost gave the Cardinals three more points, but Arizona kicker Phil Dawson missed a long field goal as the half expired. Another unsuccessful pass call on third-and-1 in the fourth quarter — despite the running game being effective all game long — led to a game-tying drive from the Cardinals. Seattle also used two timeouts early in the second half, which would have been very useful on the eventual game-winning drive.
A win is a win, especially on the road, and those are hard to come by in the NFL. But this one didn’t feel very good at all. The lasting image likely will be star safety Earl Thomas being carted off the field after fracturing his leg and gesturing angrily toward the Seahawks sideline. Rookie tight end Will Dissly also suffered a serious leg injury. The Cardinals are not very good, and it took a game-winning drive from Wilson, the 19th of his career, to pull out the victory. The ground game, led by Davis, was a bright spot, but this was a bittersweet victory for the Seahawks.