Final | Cardinals 23, Seahawks 13
1:25 p.m. | Lumen Field | Seattle
TV: FOX | Radio: 710 AM/97.3 FM | Stream: NFL Game Pass
Seahawks drop to 3-7 after loss to Cardinals and backup QB Colt McCoy
The schedule says the Seahawks have seven games left this season.
But as darkness descended on Lumen Field Sunday afternoon with the Arizona Cardinals departing following a 23-13 victory, it felt like the Cardinals left with all of Seattle’s remaining hopes with them.
In a game that was pretty much a must-win for Seattle in the playoff race, Seattle instead was dominated from the start by an Arizona team forced to start veteran backup Colt McCoy at quarterback instead of the injured Kyler Murray.
Seattle is now 3-7, having lost five of its last six, still has road games against the Rams and Arizona, and must finish 6-1 the rest of the way just to avoid the first losing season of Russell Wilson’s career.
Three things we learned from the Seahawks’ 23-13 loss to the Cardinals
The Seahawks’ longshot playoff dreams took another major hit Sunday in a lackluster 23-13 defeat to the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals at Lumen Field.
The Seahawks have lost four of five games at home this season and dropped to 3-7 overall.
Third quarter impressions
No time to cry
Time of possession remains the Seahawks’ biggest eyesore. It has been all season, and why would we expect anything different now, right?
Through the end of the third quarter, Arizona had a 28:33 to 16:27 advantage in time of possession.
Seattle’s defense, for as well as it played in Green Bay last week, eventually wore down. Why would we expect anything different now?
Third down, in particular, remains a disaster for the Seahawks.
On his six drop backs on third down, Russell Wilson is 0-for-4 with two sacks. The Seahawks overall are 1-for-8 on third down.
Wilson entered the week as the league’s worst QB in third down completion percentage — and, yes, it’s gotten even worse since.
The Seahawks have gone seven full quarters now without a touchdown, with 20 offensive drives without reaching the end zone.
Jones interception that wasn’t
For a few moments, anyway, Sidney Jones had his first interception as a Seahawk. During a subsequent review of the play, DK Metcalf went out of his way to approach Seattle’s defensive backs sitting on the bench — stopping to give each one a handshake. He started with Jones and went down the line there.
A few seconds later, the review was complete and referee Clete Blakeman made the announcement: The Colt McCoy pass hit the turf. Jones’ interception was overturned.
So instead of having the ball at the Arizona 11-yard line, the Seahawks got the ball at their own 22 after the Cardinals punted. That was a huge swing — and obviously not one in the Seahawks’ favor.
Rashaad Penny returned to the field to open the third quarter after sustaining an apparent hamstring injury early in the game.
Penny got his first career start and rushed for 18 yards on the game’s first snap. But he immediately left the field and entered the medical tent on the Seahawks sideline.
He was back after halftime and played two snaps in the Seahawks’ first offensive possession of the third quarter, getting one carry for 1 yard.
The Seahawks run game has been largely nonexistent again today.
First half impressions
Gut-check time for Seahawks
It’s hard to overstate the importance of the beginning of the second half for Seattle.
Seattle caught some breaks there at the end of the half as Arizona’s long drive went for naught as veteran Matt Prater missed from 39 yards out.
Still, the Cardinals have outgained Seattle 213-144 despite going with backup Colt McCoy at quarterback.
And it looked really bleak at 13-3.
The Seahawks at least stopped the bleeding a little bit with the 68-yard drive to get a field goal to cut the lead to 13-6 and then getting the break on the Prater miss.
But Seattle has now been stopped twice inside the 10 and had to settle for short field goals.
Arizona gets the ball to start the second half, and the Seahawks need a stop. It won’t be easy to keep coming back in this one.
Seattle’s cornerback depth thinning out
The Seahawks began the game without starting right cornerback D.J. Reed, who was ruled out after battling knee and groin issues in practice. That had Sidney Jones making the start at right corner but then replaced by Bless Austin for the third series, the first action this year for Austin who was signed late in the preseason after being released by the Jets.
Three plays into that drive starting left cornerback Tre Brown suffered a knee injury while defending a long pass to A.J. Green, that was completed for 31 yards.
That meant Jones had to return to play on the left side with Austin having to remain on the right.
Brown headed straight to the locker room after he was able to get up and limp off the field. He was listed as questionable to return, but the way he limped made it feel like it’d be a longshot if he were able to play again today.
Getting back to the run
The Seahawks wanted to get back to the run in this one after the 48-11 run-pass ratio against the Packers.
Seattle has indeed done that with 10 runs for 52 yards by the running backs in the first half.
The trick for Seattle will be to stay patient and keep running despite the deficit.
Cardinals extend lead with another Ertz TD
The scoring play: Colt McCoy dropped the snap, but hit Zach Ertz for his second touchdown of the game from 2 yards out.
The drive: 13 plays, 92 yards, 6:31.
The score: Cardinals 13, Seahawks 3.
Seahawks cut into Cardinals' lead with short FG
The scoring play: Seahawks kicker Jason Myers hit from 27 yards out to cut into the Cardinals' lead.
The drive: Seven plays, 36 yards, 2:05.
The story: The Seahawks had success with the rush and play-action on that drive, but the possession stalled with two incompletions at the 9-yard line.
The score: Cardinals 7, Seahawks 3.
Jamal Adams blows up Cardinals' second drive
The drive: Three plays, -1 yards, 2:11.
The story: Jamal Adams blew up a short pass to Rondale Moore — and the Cardinals' second drive of the game.
Next possession: Seahawks start at Cardinals' 45.
Time left: 10:28 in 2Q.
First quarter impressions
Rashaad Penny cashes in, checks out
Rashaad Penny’s disappointing career was perfectly encapsulated in one dazzling play Sunday afternoon.
Penny officially made his first career start for the Seahawks against Arizona — one week after playing zero snaps in the loss to Green Bay.
As he’s done throughout his career, Penny flashed the potential of a first-round pick, rushing for 18 yards on the game’s very first play.
But, yes, there’s always this eventuality with Penny — he immediately left the field and headed with trainers into the medical tent to get evaluated for an unknown injury.
Penny spent about 10 minutes inside the tent and then emerged on the sideline. He’s been jogging on the sideline but it’s unclear if he will be able to return.
Penny’s presence is even more important to this Seahawks team with Chris Carson now out for the season with a neck injury.
Time of possession, yikes!
The Seahawks are by far the worst team in the NFL in time of possession, and there are several reasons for that.
One of the biggest reasons came to light again on Arizona’s first possession of the game. The Cardinals converted all three of their third-down plays — and benefit from a questionable pass-interference call on a third-down play against rookie Tre Bown — and held the ball for 9 minutes, 27 seconds en route to taking a 7-0 lead.
The Seahawks, simply put, have to get off the field when they have a chance.
Sidney Jones in at right corner
Sidney Jones started for the Seahawks at right corner in place of the injured D.J. Reed.
That means there are three former UW defensive backs starting in this game, with Budda Baker and Byron Murphy mainstays in the secondary for Arizona.
It appears Murphy has drawn the assignment on Seahawks star receiver DK Metcalf.
Seahawks botch second drive with misplayed pitch
The drive: Nine plays, 28 yards, 5:08.
The story: The Seahawks were running the ball well, seemingly putting together a nice drive ... until a misplayed pitch resulted in a 14-yard loss and the end of Seattle's second possession.
Next possession: Cardinals start at own 5.
Time left: 12:39 in 2Q.
Colt McCoy hits Zach Ertz for touchdown as Cardinals take early lead
The scoring play: Colt McCoy hit TE Zach Ertz with a shovel pass for a 1-yard touchdown and an early 7-0 lead.
The drive: 16 plays, 82 yards, 9:27.
The story: The Cardinals dinked-and-dunked their way down the field across 16 plays and more than nine minutes of game time, converting seven first downs along the way.
The score: Cardinals 7, Seahawks 0.
Russell Wilson takes sacks on second and third downs as Seahawks punt
The drive: Four plays, 12 yards, 2:46.
The story: Rashaad Penny opened with an 18-yard rush ... and then Russell Wilson took two straight sacks on the ensuing second and third downs to end any shot of the Seahawks putting together much of an opening drive.
Next possession: Cardinals start at own 18.
Time left: 12:14 in 1Q.
Cardinals QB Kyler Murray inactive vs. Seahawks
Quarterback Kyler Murray will not play for Arizona against Seattle Sunday as he has been declared inactive.
It is the third straight game Murray will miss with an ankle injury suffered at the end of a loss to the Packers last month. That means Colt McCoy will start for the third straight game.
Murray practiced on a limited basis all week. But the Cardinals decided to hold out Murray to give him an extra week to get past the ankle injury since they have a bye next week.
For Seattle, starting right cornerback D.J. Reed will miss the game after battling groin and knee injuries this week. That could mean Sidney Jones starting at right corner opposite rookie Tre Brown on the left side.
Seattle’s other inactives are defensive linemen L.J. Collier and Robert Nkemdiche, offensive tackle Jamarco Jones, quarterback Jacob Eason and backup center Dakoda Shepley. Jones is battling a back injury while the others are all healthy scratches.
The good news is that safety Jamal Adams, who was listed as questionable with a groin injury he tweaked in practice this week, is active.
Arizona’s other inactives are receiver DeAndre Hopkins, running back Jonathan Ward, safety James Wiiggins and starting left guard Justin Pugh. Pugh has been battling a calf injury.
Despite long odds, Seahawks confident they can make playoff run, starting with game vs. Cardinals
RENTON — No Seahawks player has been here before.
Well, not with the Seahawks, anyway.
They fell to 3-6, with last Sunday’s desultory 17-0 loss at Green Bay, for the first time since 2011, the year before quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner arrived.
The Seahawks were 2-6 that season before beating the Baltimore Ravens — a team that would win the Super Bowl the next year.
It was a win that kicked off a string of five victories in eight games the rest of the way and is often cited as a turning point for the Seahawks, who would win the Super Bowl two years later.
Now, 10 years later, the question is if coach Pete Carroll and the Seahawks have a similar run in them.
As you’d expect, Carroll and players who spoke to the media this week expressed confidence that the team can rip off a bunch of wins and reach the postseason. They also acknowledged that they pretty much need to win Sunday against Arizona — 8-2 and tied for the lead in the NFC West and second in the NFC playoff seedings — for that to happen.
Seahawks’ Jamal Adams, D.J. Reed to be game-time decisions vs. Cardinals after being injured in practice
RENTON — Half of the Seahawks’ starting secondary — safety Jamal Adams and right cornerback D.J. Reed — is listed as questionable and considered a game-time decision for Sunday’s home game against Arizona.
Coach Pete Carroll said both players suffered injuries in practice this week and sat out Friday — Adams “tweaked” a groin, and Reed is dealing with groin and knee injuries.
“Those guys are gonna go to game day and see how they do, because something happened a little bit during the week,” Carroll said. “We don’t know enough about it yet, so we’ve got to wait and use every day. They’re hopeful that they’re going to be all right.”
If Reed can’t play, the Seahawks would likely start Sidney Jones IV — the backup on the left side — on the right side. If Adams can’t play, Ryan Neal would likely start at strong safety. Neal was in the concussion protocol early in the week after an injury Sunday at Green Bay but was cleared and not on the final injury report.
What to watch for when the Seahawks take on the Cardinals in Week 11 — plus Bob Condotta’s prediction
If there was a turning point for the Seahawks on their way to the NFC West title a year ago, it came on Nov. 20.
After losing three of four, the Seahawks returned home to face an Arizona team that they trailed in the NFC West standings (each stood 6-3 but Arizona had beaten them three weeks earlier), and some wondered if the game might represent a changing of the guard if the Cardinals were to come in to Lumen Field and win.
The Seahawks responded with one of their most well-rounded efforts of the season to beat the Cardinals 28-21 and start a string of six wins in seven games to end the season and win the fifth division title of the Pete Carroll era.
Three hundred sixty-six days later here the Cardinals come again with the Seahawks (3-6) again reeling, though this time to a greater degree — losers of four of their past five.
Another season-ending surge won’t be easy. But hope remains alive until the math says otherwise.
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