Well, it finally happened.
For the first time since 2011 and the first time in Russell Wilson's career, the Seahawks have lost at home. The Cardinals came into Seattle, played great defense, got some amazingly fortunate calls by the referees and won 17-10. It gives Arizona a chance to make the playoffs and puts on hold the Seahawks clinching of the NFC West, a first round bye, and homefield advantage in the playoffs.
If the San Francisco 49ers lose to the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night, then Seattle will still clinch the West. If they win next week or the 49ers lose or tie to the Cardinals, then they will win the West. But as for now, they fall to 5-3 and the Seahawks have not yet won the West.
Seattle's offense really struggled throughout the game, something we've seen from time-to-time with this team. Especially against great defenses, like that of Arizona. Actually, the lowest Y/A of Wilson's career coming into today was 4.50 against the Cards in Arizona last year.
The Seahawks didn't score a touchdown until 7:26 left in the game, when Wilson hit Zach Miller for an 11-yard touchdown to go up 10-9; A precursor to just one of many strange moments in a weird-as-heck game. The crucial extra point was no good, but then a penalty on the Cardinals gave Steven Hauschka a second chance, that he made of course.
- Hauschka's first legit, just straight up doinked field goal attempt under 50 yards over the last two years, cost Seattle three points early in the game. Not only that, but the field goal attempt from five yards closer was good but they had to re-kick from 27 after a penalty.
- Robert Turbin, returning kicks because of ball security, had none. He fumbled away a crucial kick without anybody around him.
- Wilson wasn't especially great, though he did have a career-high 27-yard run. Yay.
- The Seahawks intercepted Carson Palmer four times. They were 27-3 in franchise history in games where they had at least four interceptions.
- The interception that basically gave the game to Arizona came on an apparent doink off of Doug Baldwin's arm as it was splayed on the field, but if they had simply called it an incomplete pass, it would have stood as an incomplete pass.
Stop me if you've heard this before: The refs had a terrible game. They might have cost the Seahawks from clinching the NFC West by opting to make that interception call with such little evidence to support it. It's pretty unfortunate, but that's the world of sports that we live in.
Still, I don't want to turn the attention away from a not-so-great game by the Seahawks. Besides the Hauschka doink, Wilson was 11-of-27 for 108 yards, one touchdown and one not-actually-an interception. Many will probably call it the worst game of his career, definitely the worst of his home career, but maybe just get this out of the way before the playoffs.
Hey, reminder: We have clinched the playoffs. Let's try to move on and get the next one: in Seattle versus the Rams.
Don't forget that the Seahawks have four chances to clinch number one seed. Worst case scenario: They're left with 3 more chances.— Kenneth Arthburr (@KennethArthurS) December 22, 2013