Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 23-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Lumen Field:
The hope was that quarterback Russell Wilson, in his second game back from injury, would have shaken off the rust. That wasn’t the case, as Wilson continued to make incorrect reads and miss open receivers. Seattle was able to mount something of a running game after it was completely absent in last week’s 17-0 loss at Green Bay, and the Seahawks finally found the end zone for the first time in eight quarters in the fourth to make it a 16-13 contest. But Seattle’s offense still looks broken, and the inability to convert anything on third down (2-for-10 Sunday, just 32.4% overall) is just crushing.
No, Seattle’s defense didn’t play well. The Seahawks gave up 413 yards to a team playing without its starting quarterback or top receiver, were picked apart by Colt McCoy — who somehow also proved too elusive for the Seattle defenders — and gave up four marathon drives, including the back-breaking touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter that made it a two-score game when the Seahawks desperately needed a stop. But frankly, it would have been enough for a team with a competent offense. And there’s only so much the defense can do when it’s regularly required to spend 40 of the game’s 60 minutes on the field.
Seattle received another solid outing from punter Michael Dickson, and kicker Jason Myers made both his chip-shot field goals (and made a nice tackle on kickoff coverage). But Myers sending the kickoff to start the second half out of bounds essentially gifted Arizona a field goal, and there was no threat in the return game, which has been the case all season — remember when Tyler Lockett used to bust big returns on pretty much a weekly basis? However, compared to Arizona’s special teams (two missed field goals and a missed extra point) the Seahawks looked pretty good.
Just what is Seattle trying to do offensively? There was a concerted effort to establish the run game early, but that didn’t last. There were several sketchy play calls on crucial third downs. One senses the scheme was designed to accommodate Wilson’s injury/rustiness, but if the Seahawks needed to change things that much should Wilson even have been playing? Defensively, it wasn’t a good look being unable to solve a journeyman like McCoy. And for good measure, Pete Carroll lost another challenge on a play that had little chance of being overturned.
This game was Seattle’s last stand. Sure, the Seahawks faced a challenge against the NFC West leaders who came in 8-2. But with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins both out the opportunity was there for the taking, and Seattle couldn’t grab it. The result had huge implications on the meaningfulness of the rest of the Seahawks’ season, as according to FiveThirtyEight.com Seattle would still have had some hope (24%) at snagging a playoff spot with a victory. Now, at 3-7, that number is 5%, and it sure feels like the last seven games are going to be academic.
– Nick Patterson, Herald writer