I won’t try and paint that game as a masterpiece, but I wasn’t really all that worked up over the Seattle Seahawks needing a last-second field goal to beat an Arizona Cardinals team that will now pick first in the 2019 NFL Draft. It sure helped that the Minnesota Vikings trailed wire to wire against the Chicago Bears, but I never felt that the Seahawks were actually going to lose the game, and sure enough, they found a way to win and finally beat the Cards in Seattle. The biggest thing out of all of this mess was the fact that it was a relatively injury-free game and several key players who didn’t play on Sunday will be available next week against the Dallas Cowboys.
Let’s get to the final Winners and Losers of the 2018 regular season.
Chris Carson and Mike Davis
A combined 166 rushing yards and a touchdown each for this running back duo. Carson had a career-long 61-yard run in the 3rd quarter, whereas Davis made it three touchdowns against Arizona in the two matchups.
Lockett didn’t get a 1,000 yard season, but he did get his 10th touchdown on the year, and the big catch on the final drive to set up the winning points. What a great 2018 Lockett has had, and just imagine how much better it could get.
No, 12/21 for 152 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT is not a great stat line. I don’t care. Wilson threw his 35th touchdown pass of the season, breaking his own single-season franchise record, and his 196 regular season touchdown passes separates him from Dave Krieg on the franchise all-time leaderboard. The only negative is Baker Mayfield broke his rookie single-season record for TD passes, but it was inevitable that someone would break it in this era of football.
He didn’t need to make a game-winner here, but he did! After enduring the failed Blair Walsh Project last year, Seabass has knocked through three buzzer-beaters, including two against the Cardinals. Well done to him!
Frank Clark and Jarran Reed
Two sacks apiece! Clark finishes the regular season with 14, while Reed had a staggering 11.5. Is the Cardinals offensive line pure trash? Yes! And great pass-rushers crush bad OLs, which is what they did. Clark literally used a Cardinals OL to jar the ball loose from Josh Rosen.
The fifth-round rookie has been a quality contributor, as his strip-sack put him at three sacks on the season... the same number Frank Clark had as a rookie. He’s very much a raw talent but a promising, speedy talent.
The oft-penalized Seahawks only had one accepted penalty, a week removed from three accepted flags against the Chiefs, and two weeks before 5740 flags against the 49ers.
Brian Schneider and the Special Teams unit (except Seabass)
Fire him. Two blocked punts is unacceptable, as is the kick coverage, as is the return game. I’ve seen enough. The special teams unit is game-losing bad, and against a better team, they would’ve lost it. They were directly responsible for 18 of Arizona’s 24 points.
The Week 17 offensive line combination
If there’s good news from this week’s abysmal offensive line’s performance, it’s that DJ Fluker is going to be back next week, and maybe JR Sweezy will too. It was worth a shot to see George Fant at right tackle, Germain Ifedi at right guard, and Ethan Pocic at left guard... I do not want to see it again. Pocic in particular was poor and for now, seems to lack the strength to be an NFL guard. Russell Wilson was sacked six times and the run game was not particularly effective outside of Chris Carson’s 61-yard run and Mike Davis’ touchdown.
That interception sure looked a hell of a lot like a famous play in which a Seahawks WR wearing #83 got outmuscled and outpositioned on a pick play, didn’t it? Targets to Moore from Wilson yielded a mark of 2/4 for 16 yards, 1 first-down, and 1 INT. I said it earlier this week that Moore is coming back down to earth, but right now he’s a liability, and that pick is on him.
The hands of Seahawks DBs
Seattle only had 12 interceptions this season, and none from the defensive backs for the whole of December. Justin Coleman and Bradley McDougald both dropped gimme picks.
Sam Rosen and Brady Quinn
I knew we were in for a rough broadcast when Rosen introduced Quinn as “the outstanding quarterback.” Rosen bizarrely called Josh Rosen (no relation) “Wilson” multiple times, and misidentified Chris Carson as “DJ McKissic” in a remarkable double fail. Oh yes, and we had another “Rashaad Perry” moment. Quinn got in on the act by saying Jacob Martin’s sack was the first of his career... nope.
Granted, some of you probably still would rather hear this commentary crew over Joe Buck and Troy Aikman if you were given a choice of one of the two.
- Akeem King as extra DB has been a pleasant surprise. I didn’t see much good out of him in preseason but he’s really been shining in his limited role.
- King might have been at fault for Larry Fitzgerald’s touchdown, but I don’t care. We might have seen Fitz’s final NFL game and he made a one-handed catch look ridiculously easy. If this is the end, it’s been a blast watching you play, and you certainly deserved so much better than the carousel of bad teams you’ve played on over the years.
- What was up with the drops? Doug Baldwin had two, Nick Vannett had one, Mike Davis had one.
- Bring on the Cowboys.