The Cardinals’ offense was on the field for more than 46 minutes Sunday, yet the Hawks’ defense held it to just six points. Bobby Wagner and company deserved some help from the offense.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Some will call it weird. Some will call it wild. Some will call it wacky.
I’m gonna call it something else: A waste.
Sunday’s game should have ended with the Hawks celebrating a defensive masterpiece. It should have gone down as a definitive chapter in Seattle’s shutdown lore.
Seahawks defense by the numbers
46:21 Time of possession by the Cardinals, the most ever by a Seahawks opponent.
90 Snaps the defense played on Sunday, the third-most in team history.
3 Number of 6-6 ties in NFL history since the merger, and all involved the Cardinals: Sunday vs. Seattle, 1972 at the Eagles and 1970 at the Chiefs.
For 90 plays, the Seahawks’ D suffocated the Cardinals as though it were the starters vs. the scout team. And all they got out of it was a 6-6 tie.
It would be one thing if Seattle was offensively inept. It might be forgivable if its starting quarterback wasn’t considered one of the best in the NFL.
But this is a team that has legitimate weapons. Yet all they did with them was shoot themselves in the foot.
“Penalties definitely didn’t help us,” Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse said. “It just continued to push us back, and when that happens, it’s tough to get drives going and keep that momentum.”
It was more than just penalties, though. It was pretty much everything and everyone. And that includes Russell Wilson.
At the end of regulation Sunday, Wilson had completed 17 of 29 passes for 121 yards. Had the game ended then, it would have been the fewest number of passing yards he’s had in a game since 2013. But as ugly as the stats looked on paper, his performance on the field was even more aesthetically displeasing. Something just seemed … off.
That fourth-quarter magic that we’ve become accustomed to didn’t even seem like a possibility. There was a pass too low for Jimmy Graham here, a pass too high for Doug Baldwin there — his mojo was nowhere to be found.
And given how we no longer talk about Wilson as a beneficiary of a run-first offense, but rather a top-tier quarterback who can create points with his arm alone, a six-point night means that he didn’t do his job.
Then again, nobody else on offense did, either.
The Seahawks’ running game was nonexistent Sunday, which seems to be becoming a theme when facing defensively capable opponents. Christine Michael’s 52 yards on 16 carries (31 on 10 through regulation) was borderline inexcusable for a team so committed to its ground game.
Additionally, the offensive line offered little protection for Wilson, and when he was able to get a pass off, players such as Graham, Baldwin and Nick Vannett managed to drop them.
There are going to be a lot of people who put the blame on Seattle kicker Stephen Hauschka for missing a 28-yard field goal that would have won the game in overtime. But his team wouldn’t have been in that position if the offense had managed to produce in any meaningful capacity. The Seahawks’ lone points in regulation came after a blocked punt they recovered on Arizona’s 22. Seattle’s numbers on that “scoring drive?” Four plays for zero yards.
“We just couldn’t get in sync at all,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “It was just no rhythm.”
It’s a shame, too, because the defense was truly spectacular. Drive after drive, someone would make a huge play to keep the Seahawks in the game.
The most spectacular one came when Bobby Wagner leapt over the Cardinals’ line in the second quarter to block Chandler Catanzaro’s field-goal attempt. Even so, the offense failed to capitalize.
After the game, Wagner was asked how he felt about the tie. His answer?
“I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. I’ve never been in this before.”
Well, he would be justified to feel frustrated. He would be right to lament the fact that his teammates on offense couldn’t deliver. Arizona had the ball for 46 minutes and 21 seconds Sunday, yet was able to score just six points.
That’s an all-time effort by Seattle’s D. Unfortunately, it was offset by an all-time letdown by the O.