I suppose you could say the Seattle Seahawks (6-3) won the game but lost the battle. Seattle vanquished the Arizona Cardinals (4-5) by a score of 22-16. It was your typically hard-to-watch Thursday Night Football affair — the game was sloppy, the referees were horrendous, Drew Stanton is not a good quarterback — but what made it worse were the numerous injuries to key players on both teams. For Seahawks fans, none is bigger than Richard Sherman, who apparently hurt his right achilles and looked to have said on the sidelines that it was torn.
Seattle received the opening kickoff after Arizona won the coin toss. Unsurprisingly, they went three-and-out. A bad punt by Jon Ryan put Arizona right in Seattle territory on the ensuing return. Adrian Peterson gave the ball right back to the Seahawks by fumbling on Arizona’s first offensive play. Kam Chancellor stripped Peterson and Sheldon Richardson made the recovery just inside Arizona’s half of the field.
All the turnover accomplished was flipping field position, as the Seahawks again went three-and-out, with Wilson lucky not to be intercepted by Budda Baker on 3rd and 13. Arizona had to start its next possession from its own 4. The Cardinals did get one first-down, but a holding penalty effectively killed their drive, and Justin Coleman did well to break up a pass to Larry Fitzgerald on 3rd and 15. Tyler Lockett’s punt return set up the Seahawks offense back at midfield.
Seattle would get on the scoreboard thanks to a 9-play, 51-yard drive capped off by a short touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Jimmy Graham, who boxed out safety Tyvon Branch and held on for the score. Unfortunately for Branch, he suffered what appeared to be a rough knee injury.
Arizona responded by just going down the field via Seahawks penalties. Two third-down conversions were due to flags against Seattle, including a hugely debatable pass interference call against Shaquill Griffin. A roughing the passer penalty on Sheldon Richardson put Arizona in the red zone heading into the next quarter.
All of the penalties that kept Arizona’s drive going ended in a touchdown off a screen pass to TE Jermaine Gresham. 7-7.
The Seahawks picked up one first-down on a pass to Doug Baldwin, but the drive stalled after Luke Willson was called for a clipping penalty on a successful C.J. Prosise run. Curiously, the Cardinals fielded Jon Ryan’s punt at the 2-yard line, and a penalty backed them up even further. Seattle took advantage by stuffing Peterson in the end zone for a safety. K.J. Wright had the penetration and Kam Chancellor wrapped him up. 9-7 Seahawks.
Following the free kick (and a penalty on Terence Garvin), the Seahawks went three-and-out, with two plays ending in a sack. Arizona failed to capitalize on the favorable field position, and followed suit with three plays and a punt. Russell Wilson and company responded with an 11-play, 76-yard drive, featuring a 23-yard scamper by Thomas Rawls and a nifty third-down conversion by Tyler Lockett for 16 yards. An incomplete slant to Paul Richardson on 3rd and 6 meant Seattle had to settle for a field goal, which Blair Walsh thankfully made. 12-7 Seahawks.
In the two-minute drill, Drew Stanton ripped off a couple of chunk plays to get the Cardinals into Seattle territory, then on 3rd down, Andre Ellington caught a pass over the middle and fell to the ground, lost the ball, and it was ruled a fumble and Seahawks football off of Kam Chancellor’s recovery. Apparently, Ellington didn’t “survive the ground” so it was ruled incomplete, despite Ellington taking four steps with the ball. Whatever. Amazingly, Bruce Arians went for it on 4th and 9, and JJ Nelson could not beat Shaquill Griffin on a deep bomb to the end zone. Seattle wound up with better field position than had the fumble stood.
One long ball to Paul Richardson immediately had the Seahawks in the red zone. An Ethan Pocic holding penalty hurt Seattle’s chances of a touchdown, but they did get another field goal to end the half. 15-7 Seahawks.
As was the case on the Cardinals’ touchdown drive, their field goal to begin the 2nd half was partially the product of two penalties on third-down by Seattle, and another ticky-tack hands to the face on Justin Coleman drew the ire of Seahawks players. Thankfully, Drew Stanton’s refusal to be accurate meant that they had to settle for a Phil Dawson field goal. 15-10 Seahawks.
Karlos Dansby was penalized for roughing the passer for a helmet shot on Wilson, and they had to take Wilson out for a play for a concussion evaluation. Austin Davis came in for one play, handed it off to C.J. Prosise for no gain, and Wilson returned for the remainder of the series, which ended in consecutive sacks.
Disaster struck on Seattle’s next defensive possession, as Richard Sherman gave up a completion for 18 yards on 3rd and 11, and he looked to have injured his leg on the play. He limped off the field, keeping in mind that he was questionable with an achilles injury. Keep in mind that Shaquill Griffin hurt his shoulder on the previous series.
After the two teams traded punts, Seattle finally mustered up the ability to move forward, primarily through the shiftiness and speed of JD McKissic.
Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin did this on 2nd and 21 and I am at a total loss for words as how to describe what happened.
Jimmy Graham big-brothered Antoine Bethea for his second touchdown of the game. 22-10 Seahawks.
Arizona mounted a nice drive to try and engineer a comeback, but a huge sack by Nazair Jones left Stanton with far too much to do, and his desperation 4th down throw to the end zone was broken up by Bradley McDougald. They did get the ball back with 2:28 remaining and punch it in on a 1-yard TD by Andre Ellington. Jeremy Lane blocked the extra point, Seattle recovered the onside kick, and that mercifully ended proceedings. 22-16 Seahawks.
Seahawks injury report
DT Jarran Reed suffered a left hamstring injury in the 1st quarter and did not return.
LT Duane Brown injured his ankle in the 2nd quarter and did not return.
RB C.J. Prosise hurt his ankle in the 3rd quarter and did not return.
CB Shaquill Griffin hurt his shoulder in the 3rd quarter but returned to action.
CB Richard Sherman appeared to say he tore his achilles. As of this writing, we don’t know if that’s the official diagnosis.
LB Michael Wilhoite apparently injured his calf and did not return, and I never saw when it happened.
DT Sheldon Richardson and DE Frank Clark ran into each other while trying to sack Drew Stanton in the 4th quarter.
SS Kam Chancellor went into the medical tent for reasons unknown. Delano Hill replaced him on Seattle’s final defensive possession.
Next week’s opponent
Seattle gets an extended break, as they won’t return to action until Monday, November 20th, when they host the 4-4 Atlanta Falcons at 5:30 PM PT on ESPN.