Blip on the radar, or cause for concern?
The Seattle Seahawks suffered their first defeat of the 2020 season Sunday night when they fell 37-34 in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. So what’s the takeaway about the Seahawks in the aftermath of this one?
Seattle sure seemed to be in control for much of Sunday’s game in the desert. The Seahawks led throughout regulation, including leads of 20-7 and 27-14 in the first half and 34-24 in the fourth quarter, largely moving the ball at will. But Seattle couldn’t close it out, as Arizona tied it with a field goal on the last play of regulation, then won it with another field goal in overtime.
The result, in honesty, doesn’t change the are of Seattle’s season much. The Seahawks are still 5-1, which leads the NFC West and is tied for the best record in the entire NFC. Sunday’s loss was on the road against a quality Cardinals team that’s now 5-2, and Arizona needed overtime to get it done.
Seattle’s offense continued to hum, racking up 572 yards, and the Seahawks remain the top-ranked offense in the NFL in both points and yards per game. The only difference Sunday from the first five games of the season was that quarterback Russell Wilson threw three interceptions, and if history is an indicator then we can expect Wilson to clean that up pronto.
According to FootballOutsiders.com, Seattle retains a 79.5% chance of making the playoffs, which is down 11.1% from last week, but is still the third-best chance in the NFC. The Seahawks also have a 39.9% chance of winning the NFC West, which is remarkable considering all four teams in the division have winning records.
On the other hand, Sunday’s loss highlighted all the issues Seattle has had this season. While the Seahawks came into the game 5-0, four of those five victories went right down to the wire, only for Seattle to figure out a way to win at the end, so the Seahawks had been walking a tightrope. This is illustrated by the team’s point differential (+31), which is nowhere near other top teams like Pittsburgh (+65), Baltimore (+75), Kansas City (+75) and Tampa Bay (+80), and is actually the lowest among all four NFC West teams.
Sunday’s game also further highlighted Seattle’s problems on defense. The Seahawks allowed 519 yards against the Cardinals and remain dead last in the league in yards allowed per game (479.2, with Atlanta’s 425.9 being the next worst). The pass rush (nine sacks in six games, a mere 18.0% pressure percentage according to ProFootballReference.com) was non-existent, as Seattle registered zero official hits on Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray on 48 dropbacks.
An argument can be made that the loss to the Cardinals was no big deal, or that it constitutes a reason to panic.
Where do you fall on that spectrum? Do you think Sunday’s result is cause for concern about the Seahawks? Let us know by voting here: