In another ugly offensive performance, the Seattle Seahawks scraped by the Arizona Cardinals (now the NFL’s only winless team) 20-17 on a Sebastian Janikowski field goal as time expired. While the rushing game came alive for 171 yards, the passing game was a mess, as Russell Wilson went 19/26 for just 172 yards and no touchdowns.
Of glaring note from Sunday’s win on the offensive side of the ball is the fact that the Seahawks went 0/10 on third-down. This is only the 20th time since 1991 (per Pro-Football-Reference) that an NFL team has prevailed without a successful third-down conversion. The most recent team to accomplish this was the 2015 Cincinnati Bengals, who beat the Baltimore Ravens 24-16 and went 0/9 on third-down.
Seattle notably threw on 3rd and 1 and 3rd and 3 and Wilson threw incomplete passes both times. The only “rush” was a Wilson scramble on 3rd and 5 that wound up short of the marker.
Well if there’s anything to say about the Seahawks over the years, is that they sure find unique ways to win games. Last year they had more penalty yards than offensive yards, but still beat the Dallas Cowboys 21-12. In 2013 they beat the St. Louis Rams 14-9 with just 135 yards of offense (80 on a Golden Tate TD), the third-fewest yards in a win in franchise history.
With Earl Thomas out for the season (and perhaps out as a Seattle Seahawk after this season ends), it’s more important than ever for the Seahawks offense to fix its flaws, because the defense is going to be worse without ETIII. They may have won this game despite another disappointing performance from the passing offense and the third-down woes, but against better teams — the Los Angeles Rams, for example — this is usually a one-way ticket to a blowout loss.