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Winners and Losers from Seahawks 38 Cardinals 30

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks ended their first losing season since 2011 with the very familiar feeling of both a road win over the Arizona Cardinals and a gutwrenching, awful injury to one of their key players down in Glendale.

While the final score was 38-30 I feel like the Seahawks largely outplayed and dominated Arizona, and it’s a couple of silly mistakes that led to the game being closer than it needed to be. Let’s end this season with an upbeat Winners and Losers!

Winners

Rashaad Penny

Last week he had a career high 174 yards on the ground and a couple of touchdowns. It took a little longer for him to get going against the Cardinals but he still racked up a new career high of 190 and the game-clinching TD to wrap up a tremendous final month of the season for him. His best games from 2018 and 2019 didn’t look as good as the Penny we’ve seen lately, and while the injury history is a concern I don’t see why you wouldn’t try re-signing him.

Russell Wilson

Yes, even with the two turnovers he’s a winner. Why? Because he had three touchdown passes (and should’ve had a 4th) and a rushing touchdown, while continuing his 3rd down hot streak from the preceding week. Wilson’s TD rush was technically the game-winning score, guaranteeing that he won’t go the whole season without a game-winning drive in the 4th quarter. For much of the season he was injured and wasn’t at his best, but he heated up over the past few weeks into something more closely resembling the elite QB we’ve seen over the years.

Tyler Lockett

He just loves playing at that stadium. Last year it was 15 catches for 200 yards and a hat trick of touchdowns. Today it was 5 catches for 98 yards and a pair of scores to wrap up another quality season.

Freddie Swain

For some reason his catches are usually the most wide open imaginable. His only catch and his only target was a 25-yard touchdown that tied the score up at 24-24. Hey, if he has some sort of invisibility device or a shield around him I think he should use it more often!

Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas

What valuable special teamers they’ve both been. Through sheer intimidation Homer got Andy Lee to fumble the ball, then Dallas forced Lee to fumble it again for the game-changing turnover.

Side note: ST coordinator Larry Izzo is the best assistant on the coaching staff.

Cody Thompson

He recovered the fumble! That’s awesome for him.

Offensive Line

Even with no Gabe Jackson, the offensive line played very well. Russell Wilson was sacked just once (which led to the fumble return touchdown) and while he took some heavy hits at times he was not under constant duress like his counterpart Kyler Murray was. Mike Solari quite conceivably may have justified staying for another season with the way this OL improved so much over the past few weeks. Duane Brown looked like his old self, Jake Curhan was great, and I hope Phil Haynes remains on the team next season.

Jordyn Brooks

I thought about putting him in the Losers column for that really rotten series where he missed multiple tackles and essentially gifted the Cardinals a touchdown to start the 2nd half. The dude had 20 (!!) tackles and two of them were for loss. To cap it all off he recovered the onside kick to help secure the win. He’s got the franchise record for tackles all to himself after Bobby Wagner had the record a minute and a half ago. Here’s to him continuing to show improvement in year three.

Cody Barton

This was Barton’s first start at middle linebacker in his Seahawks career, and he flourished. He was 2nd behind Brooks with 12 tackles (7 solo) and several of them were to deny Arizona a first down or to limit a potentially big gain. On one screen you saw Brooks and Barton both converge on the ball carrier (Conner, I believe) to stop him short of the marker. He’s rarely played any first-team snaps in three seasons but he’s had to see more action over the final two weeks and has fared well.

Sidney Jones

I’ve not praised Sidney Jones enough for what an upgrade he’s been over Tre Flowers. Yes, that’s not a very high bar to clear but he genuinely looks like a capable starter (and advanced stats back it up). He plays the ball well, has trimmed down the busted coverages we saw early in the season when he was unfamiliar with the scheme, and is a sound tackler both against the run and pass. I’m on board with bringing him back. It’s also great for him to go the whole season being relatively healthy given he entered the NFL with a serious injury that hurt his draft stock.

The entire defensive line

Darrell Taylor split a sack with Poona Ford, Carlos Dunlap had two sacks to finish the year with 8.5, Poona Ford had 1.5 sacks, and Kerry Hyder even had one for an impressive 5-sack day of Kyler Murray. The run defense, which has been the most consistent unit for Seattle all season, held James Conner and Eno Benjamin to just 83 yards on 22 carries. It was a great team effort and I just wish it didn’t take this long to finally get going in terms of the pass rush.

Losers

Gerald Everett

He’s had a good season but when he screws up he does it in bunches. Everett negated a 3rd down conversion to DK Metcalf with an offensive pass interference, then in the same series he drops a gimme touchdown from Russell Wilson that would’ve made it 21-10. That wasn’t as bad as his disaster against the San Francisco 49ers but that was a tough sequence for him.

Hope that the 49ers would miss the playoffs along with us

The one time where it would’ve been cool if the Los Angeles Rams had won, it’s the one time they fail to win after holding a halftime lead in the Sean McVay era. I can’t even knock the 49ers for such an outstanding comeback, and I suppose from an entertainment standpoint no one was eager for a Trevor Siemian playoff appearance.

Go Cowboys next week! Or really, just root for Dan Quinn to shut the 49ers down.

Final Notes

  • On very short notice, Josh Jones filled in well for Ryan Neal, who was out with COVID. He does have starting experience but he didn’t look out of place and Arizona struggled to generate anything deep down the field.
  • Kudos to Colby Parkinson for getting more reps today than usual in Will Dissly’s absence. He had a couple of catches for 14 yards.
  • Dee Eskridge, remember him? Nothing on the stat sheet. Obviously a frustrating rookie year for Dee on multiple fronts.
  • Pete Carroll’s ability to always get his players to play for him is one of the things I will miss most whenever he does leave. It probably won’t be this season but he won’t be coaching forever, and when he is gone we need to look at the culture of this team as one of his biggest assets. The moment it’s undeniable that Pete’s done is the moment we see the Seahawks look like they’ve quit.
  • All the best to Quandre Diggs. That injury gave me bad Earl Thomas memories from 2018. I hope that he has a smooth and speedy recovery and that the Seahawks do re-sign him. He’s played at a level that should command a big payday but right now the main focus is getting healthy again.
  • Thanks to everyone for reading these Winners and Losers columns and all of our work at Field Gulls for another season. It’s been a difficult year for the team but you’ve all been great, and we hope you continue to follow our coverage throughout what could be a fascinating offseason.