The Carolina Panthers lost to the Atlanta Falcons 22-10, so there will be no postseason football for the Seattle Seahawks for the first time in the Russell Wilson era. That’s really what needed to happen, regardless of how the Seahawks fared against the Arizona Cardinals. Guess what? They lost anyway, by a score of 26-24 after Blair Walsh missed the go-ahead field goal in the closing seconds. Seattle finishes 9-7 and with four home losses in their final five.
The game couldn’t have started any worse for the Seahawks. A balanced Cardinals offense didn’t register a single negative play on the opening drive, and Drew Stanton made a great throw outside the pocket to Jaron Brown for a touchdown. 7-0 Cardinals.
Tyler Lockett provided an instant response, going 99 yards for a score on the ensuing kickoff! 7-7.
Arizona nearly returned the favor, as D.J. Foster went 55 yards and was only one tackle away from his own TD, but Terence Garvin stopped him at the Seattle 43. After one first down pick-up by Larry Fitzgerald, the drive stalled and the Cardinals settled for a Phil Dawson 49-yard field goal. 10-7 Cardinals.
Halfway through the first quarter, Seattle’s offense finally took the field at its own 25. They just as quickly went three-and-out. Arizona’s next drive didn’t last much longer, although their running game sure looked more competent than it had most of the season. Seattle went three-and-out again, and Jon Ryan shanked a punt so badly that the Cardinals had great field position, and two good runs put them inside Seattle’s 30 to end the quarter. Zero yards of offense for the Seahawks.
Arizona capped off its short-field drive with a touchdown run by Elijhaa Penny. Just too easy. 17-7 Cardinals.
Seattle finally got a first down, with Doug Baldwin making a phenomenal catch for 20 yards on an underthrown ball. A holding penalty naturally destroyed the drive. Arizona’s next possession saw Drew Stanton convert 3rd and 14 on a pass to J.J. Nelson, but that was all the success Bruce Arians’ offense could muster up. The Seahawks responded with... a three-and-out. Arizona matched it, and it was evident that the game had slowed to a crawl. Guess what Seattle did? Yup, three-and-out.
The Cardinals chipped away and actually got into Seahawks territory via Justin Coleman’s pass interference penalty while defending Larry Fitzgerald. That led to another Phil Dawson field goal. 20-7 Cardinals.
Fearing another big kick return by Tyler Lockett, the Cardinals kicked short to Luke Willson, who advanced the ball to Seattle’s own 40. Disaster nearly struck, as Wilson was strip-sacked and Arizona recovered, but offsetting penalties negated a turnover. Wilson was sacked and fumbled again anyway, so they called it a half. Mercifully.
Seattle’s offense came out and immediately benefited from a holding penalty on Patrick Peterson. A couple of nice runs by Mike Davis and an 18-yard catch by Tyler Lockett put the Seahawks into Arizona territory for the first time all game. Faced with 4th and 6 at Arizona’s 35, Seattle went for it instead of kicking a long field goal, and it paid off, as Jimmy Graham got free for 20 yards. Two plays later, Doug Baldwin eased past rookie safety Budda Baker for a touchdown. 20-14 Cardinals.
Drew Stanton got greedy with his first pass after intermission, bombing one way down the field and into the arms of rookie CB Shaquill Griffin. If he didn’t get it, then Earl Thomas was in position to grab it. Seattle failed to capitalize, and returned to the three-and-out garbage.
We see you rook! @ShaquillG #LOB #AZvsSEA pic.twitter.com/J3Fnh9aZMb— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) December 31, 2017
After another shanked Jon Ryan punt gifted Arizona great field position, and they turned it into points. Phil Dawson connected on his 3rd FG of the game, this one from 53 yards out, to make it 23-14 Cardinals.
Mike Davis broke out the longest Seahawks rushing play of the season, a 33-yard scamper with Wilson aiding him with some nice downfield blocking. A Thomas Rawls screen pass gained 12, but a taunting penalty cost him 15 after the play was over, and the Seahawks eventually punted. Arizona quickly went three-and-out for their last possession of the quarter.
It looked as if another Seahawks drive would end futilely, but JD McKissic caught a deflected pass on 3rd and 4, even while falling down. Luke Willson was wiiiiide open inside Arizona’s 10 on 3rd and 1, but he dropped it. Just dropped it. Blair Walsh hit from 49 yards away to cut the scoreline to 23-17 Cardinals.
The Cardinals were temporarily bailed out by a Frank Clark roughing the passer penalty, only to fail to move the chains after that. Tyler Lockett ripped a big punt return to his own 40. Russell Wilson rushed for 30+ on the read-option keeper, then dropped a dime to Doug Baldwin over Patrick Peterson for the go-ahead touchdown. 24-23 Seahawks.
TD grabs don't get much better than this. #WOOTS pic.twitter.com/2IYuqM9vL5— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 1, 2018
Arizona’s offense reverted to being totally impotent, which led to three unsuccessful snaps and yet another punt. Seattle did nothing, so Arizona immediately got the ball back, and had their seemingly dead drive extended because of another roughing the passer penalty. Drew Stanton hooked up with D.J. Foster on a 3rd and 2 to get the Cards into field goal range with under four minute remaining. Phil Dawson put the Cardinals back in front with 2:21 to go. 26-24 Cardinals.
It didn’t take that long for the Seahawks to get into field goal range, but of course Blair Walsh missed the game-winning kick. Fitting end to this season.
Seahawks Injury Report
Right guard Ethan Pocic had his left knee rolled on in the 2nd quarter, and he was replaced by Jordan Roos.
Linebacker Terence Garvin was ruled out for the rest of the 2nd half with a concussion.
Next week’s opponent