A sampling of national-media reaction after the Seahawks played to a 6-6 tie against the Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz.
It would be easy to say the Seahawks and Cardinals are kicking themselves after Sunday’s bizarre game. Except that choice of words might hit too close to home with the way the final minutes of overtime unfolded.
The Seahawks and Cardinals played to a 6-6 tie at University of Phoenix Stadium that was a big offensive struggle for Russell Wilson and the offense. Meantime, the defense put on an all-time performance in which they played 90 snaps and were on the field for more than 46 minutes.
For the Seahawks (4-1-1), it was the first tie in the 41-season history of the franchise. It was also the first tie that featured zero touchdowns since 1972.
With Seattle in the prime-time spotlight on Sunday, the national media had plenty to say about this game. Below is a sampling:
Monday Morning Quarterback’s Peter King had plenty of vignettes from the game, but also put the game in perspective in terms of the NFC West standings:
“This game was a bad tie for Arizona. The Cardinals needed to win. They are 3-3-1. Seattle, atop the NFC West, is 4-1-1. Arizona is two games behind, essentially, with nine to play, and with two home games and five on the road in the final seven weeks. Seattle still has to play at New England and Green Bay, but finishes with three of five at home.”
Greg A. Bedard of Sports Illustrated was enthralled by the theater that was Sunday night’s game:
“Both defenses came to play, which made it a real and rare treat. But both offenses are challenged. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians obviously doesn’t trust QB Carson Palmer as much as he did last season (for good reason, Palmer isn’t as accurate and his footwork gets very sloppy under pressure). The Seahawks’ offensive line can’t block anyone whether it’s a pass or run, and it gets exposed when a gimpy Russell Wilson can’t make as many plays with his feet.Still, it was great theater (for some people) by two very good teams that know each other well.”
CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson was not a fan of the game:
“If you love suspect coaching, horrible special teams and offensive football before the advent of the forward pass, all sandwiched around superb defense, Sunday night’s Seahawks-Cardinals game was your Super Bowl. Added bonus: There was overtime, all 15 minutes of it, and the proceedings, mercifully, ended in a 6-6 tie after kickers for both teams botched imminently makeable, potential game-winners. For the glass-half-full football aficionado, this game had everything. For the NFL, which is in the midst of a ratings crisis and prefers points to punts, this was no doubt a nightmare.”
Vinnie Iyer of SportingNews.com called the game the NFL’s worst nightmare:
“For the NFL, it’s absolute hell, at the very worst time. The last thing the league needed with its prime-time ratings in decline was Seattle and Arizona playing 75 minutes with neither a touchdown nor a winner. Yes, it was like kissing your sister, if her name was Medusa.”
ESPN.com’s Ian O’Connor wrote how Richard Sherman was the winner of this tie:
“This was the picture of an athlete who had no blood, sweat or tears left to give. Sherman had gone head to head with Larry Fitzgerald, one of the greatest receivers of all time, and won the most fascinating battle of an otherwise maddening night. In the second quarter, Sherman stopped Fitzgerald short of a first down, raised his fist to the University of Phoenix Stadium roof, and forced the Cardinals to settle for a field goal. In the fourth quarter, Palmer put Fitzgerald in position to get blasted, and blast the receiver Sherman did before turning to his sideline to celebrate the pancake hit.”
Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com said Russell Wilson is not the same quarterback at the moment:
“Blame it on the inexperienced, hold-happy offensive line. Blame it on his bum knee. Blame it on the opponent, but against a division rival in a familiar environment, Wilson was subjected to one of the least productive games of his career. Without a stable running game from Christine Michael, the quarterback was erratic. He missed wide receivers, settled for short gains and worst of all, failed to establish a relationship with tight end Jimmy Graham, who finished with five catches for 53 yards.”
ESPN.com’s Sheil Kapadia focused on Seattle’s struggling offense:
“The Seahawks are fortunate to escape with a tie, given how bad the offense was, and their focus this week will be on coming up with solutions. Overall, the offense managed 257 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per play. The Seahawks were 3-for-14 on third downs. And those numbers got a boost by two drives in overtime. The eye test was worse than the numbers indicate. And while the Seahawks are still in good shape at 4-1-1 in the NFC West, Wilson’s health continues to hang over the season.”
Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports’ Shutdown Corner blog said you won’t see a stranger NFL game:
“There won’t be a weirder game on Sunday night this NFL season. There won’t be a weirder one on Thursday night, Monday night, Sunday afternoon or any other time the NFL wants to play, either.”
The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman was highly disturbed by the way both teams played:
“There was so much crap here that the good defense couldn’t quite wash it away. The Seahawks had 130 yards of offense in regulation and 90 yards in penalties. They essentially went nowhere all game, and literally went nowhere on their only scoring drive of regulation: They got great field position off of a blocked punt, went zero yards, and kicked a field goal.”
The Ringer’s staff also called Wagner one of its winners of Week 7:
“It seems likely that there’s a science here. There has to be some sort of tic opponents give that allows these defenders to play a point-saving game of leapfrog. On the other hand: HOW THE HELL DID HE DO THAT? HOW DID HE KNOW WHEN THE BALL WAS GONNA BE SNAPPED? HOW DID HE JUMP OVER HIM? I believe that each of these plays is caused by the player receiving a supernatural blessing. May Wagner use his blessing wisely.”
John Breech of CBSSports.com gave the Seahawks a C for their performance on Sunday night:
“This game might’ve ended in a tie, but had to almost feel like a win in Seattle. As a matter of fact, the Seahawks should probably change their name to the Cats, because they had nine lives in this game. Here’s how bad things were for the Seahawks: They only had five first downs during the four quarters of regulation. That’s an ugly average of just 1.25 first downs per quarter. On the bright side, the Seahawks might’ve just rewritten the book on how to play a bend-but-don’t-break defense. Although the Cardinals got the ball inside Seattle’s 28-yard line six different times in this game, they only came away with six points.”
USA Today’s Tom Pelissero pointed out that Wilson does not look like himself:
“This season, Wilson has 22 rush attempts for 33 yards. His career low for rushing yards in any other season is 489. More than that, Wilson doesn’t seem willing or able to step up through his creases. He looks jittery at times in the pocket, seemingly conscious that he can’t extend plays like he’d want to. On third-and-25 in the fourth quarter Sunday, Wilson made a backhand flip to running back C.J. Prosise instead of running himself – a play he insisted he’d make even if 100% healthy.”