First impressions from our Seattle Times Sports team following the Seahawks' 34-31 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday at CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks suffered their first home loss of the season on Saturday, falling 34-31 to the Cardinals at CenturyLink Field. But they also lost wide receiver Tyler Lockett to a broken right ankle and safety Kam Chancellor and running back Thomas Rawls to leg and shoulder injuries, respectively.
Seattle (9-5-1) also lost its grip on the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye with the loss and now will need help next weekend to jump back into the No. 2 spot.
Plenty more to come from our Seattle Times Sports team at seattletimes.com/sports, but for now, here are some first impressions:
Bob Condotta: Blame this one on the special teams — a blocked field goal, blocked punt and missed PAT made this one a disaster against what had been one of the worst special-teams units in the league in Arizona.
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Larry Stone: All due credit to the Seahawks for a rousing fourth-quarter comeback, but there were enough issues on offense, defense and special teams in the course of the game to cause major concerns as the playoffs near.
Matt Calkins: The magic the Seahawks were once able to find whenever they needed it has seemingly disappeared. No other way to put it — they let this one get away, and it will likely cost them a first-round bye.
Ryan Divish: The absence of Earl Thomas has been glaring, but no more so than in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game. With the Seahawks having just cut the lead to 21-18, the vaunted defense allowed any momentum to dissipate, giving up two monster plays — a 33-yard cutback run to David Johnson and a 41-yard slant to J.J. Nelson. On both big gains, Thomas’ replacement — Stephen Terrell — took poor angles to the ball carrier, allowing the plays to gain excessive yardage. If Thomas was on the field, he may not have negated the plays, but he certainly wouldn’t have snuffed out the huge gains, which resulted in a quick touchdown.